How to calm your nerves on interview day
Job interviews are stressful, and before you land a position, you might have to go through several of them. Who can handle all that pressure? You can.
Here are nine ways to beat stress and calm your nerves on interview day.
Eat breakfast: Eat some protein and vegetables – like a fried egg on a bed of spinach – and don’t go nuts with the carbs, so you will feel energized rather than sluggish.
Don’t go overboard on the coffee: Have your daily coffee. Despite what you might be hearing to the contrary, there is still plenty of solid evidence that it’s just fine for you, good even. But don’t drink the whole pot and get the jitters. Remember, the interviewer may offer you one too.
Get some exercise in the morning: Go for a run or a yoga class, or even just a walk. Exercise is a meditative, relaxing, distracting mood improver. The endorphin release will set the positive tone for the day, and the sense of accomplishment will carry through to your attitude in the interview.
Drink green tea: If you’re going to reach for something with caffeine during the day, go for tea. There is evidence to support the claims that both green and black tea may lower stress levels and help regulate cortisol, the fight-or-flight hormone our bodied release when we are stressed (some is good but too much is bad). And, of course, there is ample anecdotal evidence that tea has a calming effect on the nerves.
Meditate: Sit down, shut up, breathe, and focus on Now. There is both scientific and anecdotal evidence that meditation has a calming effect on the nerves and helps people focus. And focus is key to acing that interview. A daily practice would be a lot more effective then a one off, but you do what you can.
Breathe: Just concentrating on your breathing can have a calming effect. We tend to breathe shallowly when we’re not paying attention – and when you’re nervous you might hyperventilate. Just stopping to pay attention and increase the depth of your breath and increasing your oxygen intake will have a calming and focusing effect. Do it now. You were breathing shallowly weren’t you? Feels good to take in more air, doesn’t it?
Listen to music: Studies suggest that music has a calming effect on the nerves and can help regulate cortisol response. Choose whatever you like, as what you like should have a positive effect. There is also one study that suggests music with heavy bass can pump you up before the interview.
Be prepared: Research the role and the company until you know them well. Learn about the company culture and, if you can, about the person who will be interviewing you. Know how you’re going to get there. Prepare your answers and the stories you will share to showcase your skills and abilities. You’ll be amazed at how far feeling ready will go towards calming your nerves.
Watch some Amy Schumer/Louis CK/Your favourite comedian: Laughter has been demonstrated to dilate blood vessels, lower blood pressure and have a positive effect on health. Also, if you’ve hit a point where you’re just pacing back and forth, running through everything in your head over and over and over again, it’s probably better to take a step back and think about something else. And you might as well amuse yourself and lower your blood pressure while doing it.
Just don’t lose track of the time
Relax. You’ve got this.