12 Ways You Can Zap Your Job Interview Nerves

12 Ways You Can Zap Your Job Interview Nerves
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By Mike Simpson

OK, it’s “go time”.  You open the front door to the company you are about to interview with.

The floor beneath your feet is cold and unforgiving, echoing your footsteps as you make your way down the unfamiliar hallway.

Each ragged breath you draw in fills your lungs, causing your already pounding heart to skip a beat.

Sounding familiar?

You try to swallow, your tongue thick and heavy feeling, your mouth so dry you feel as though you’re crossing a thousand deserts.

Your heartbeat picks up in speed and you glance around, eyes wide and wild, convinced that someone…anyone can hear it thundering in your chest.

“Oh good,” the figure behind the desk leers at you, fingers crossed beneath their pointed chin with seemingly demonic glee.

“You’re just in time.”

No, this isn’t the start to some new blockbuster horror novel, or even the first five minutes of a really good Halloween special.

This is you…on your way to an interview…and you’re nervous.

Of course you’re nervous! Interviews can be scary things…but we’re not here to tell you why you’re nervous…no, our job is to teach you how to NOT be nervous…or at least not AS nervous as you are right now.

Hey, a few nerves are actually a good thing…definitely don’t want to go in too cocky. And we’re going to teach you how to find that balance.

Ready?

Good. Now wipe your hands, they’re still clammy.

Battling Through Your Interview Nerves

Nerves are a natural response to being in a new situation. Without them, our ancient ancestors wouldn’t have lasted a heartbeat in a world much more wild than the one we’re in now. Of course, we’re no longer battling sabre-toothed tigers, but if you’re fairly new to interviewing, sitting down across the table from the hiring manager can seem to be just as scary.

First off, take a deep breath.

Hiring managers are used to nervous candidates.

It comes with the territory. So don’t think you’re accelerated heart beat is anything they haven’t seen before.

Of course, if you’re hiding behind the door holding a chair out like a lion tamer and yelling “Back, I say,” well then, we might have deeper issues here.

For those of us who aren’t hiding behind the doors, but are still feeling that all too familiar sinking in the pit of our stomachs at the mere thought of an interview, we’re here to help.

First thing we want to do is try to manage that fear.

Coming into an interview as a borderline wreck doesn’t do much to inspire confidence and you want the hiring manager to look at you and see a leader, not someone who is going to crumble the first time you’re under pressure.

There are two critical points at which you can tackle your fear; before and during the interview.

Before the Interview – 6 Tips To Get You Ready

The best part about getting an interview is you have a little bit of prep time to figure out what you need to do to get yourself under control.

First thing you have to do is give yourself a pat on the back.

Hey, they called YOU!

Clearly the company saw something in your application and/or resume that made them say, “This one might be the missing piece! Let’s bring them in and talk with them!”

Feels good to be wanted, doesn’t it? Good.

Give yourself a few minutes to bask in that glow. Breathe deeply. Fill those lungs and hold it for a minute. Don’t hold it too long, we don’t want you passing out.

Hopefully you’ve gotten the heads up for the interview with a little bit of lead time before you have to actually walk in and sit down with the interviewer.

If you have a day (or two or three) now is the time to really prep for that big moment and get yourself ready, both physically and mentally.

1) Get Plenty Of Rest

First thing you want to do is make sure you get plenty of rest. You want to go in to the interview at the top of your game and that means getting some serious shut eye the night before (or even better, during the week leading up).

Take care of yourself. You want them to look at you and see the perfect fit for the job they’re offering, and it’s hard if you can’t even keep your eyes open or if you’re so sleep deprived you’re bouncing around like a cricket on crack.

2) Get Some Exercise

Another great way to relax is through exercise.  Not only does doing exercise give you a mental edge that will help you stay on top of all of the details needed for your interview, but it also releases endorphins in your system that will naturally help calm you down.

Find yourself as a jumpy sort of nervous individual? Hit the gym first. If you’re a bottled up mass of excitement, try the treadmill or swim some laps. Need to slow down and really focus on yourself? Try some meditation or yoga.

3) Eat Right

Don’t forget the importance of eating right as well. The night before make sure to reward yourself with a good meal, but don’t to too heavy on the rich or exotic. And whatever you do, drink any alcohol in moderation…or better yet, skip it all together.

Not only can it leave you fuzzy the next day, but it’s also a diuretic and can overly dehydrate your body…which can lead to the dreaded dry mouth bad breath dilemma, among other unpleasant little side effects.

Okay, so you’ve exercised, you’ve meditated, and you’ve just finished up a fabulous meal and now you’re counting down the hours to your interview. What to do with all this spare time…what to do…

How about more prep?

4) Practice Interviewing Aloud

Role play your interview. No, you’re not psychic and we aren’t e