How to Handle the Stress of an Interview

Do you get nervous in interviews? Do you find them stressful? Perhaps you get annoyed with yourself after the interview because you can never think of what to say in answer to an interview question, but you can think after the interview has ended. This article provides five tips to handle the stress of an interview.

Tip 1: Rehearse the interview

Preparation rings confidence. So, feel free to prepare what you might say to typical interview questions and then rehearse your answers with a trusted friend, family member or colleague. Doing so means that you get constructive feedback on how you come across. It also gives you time to review (in advance) your answers to typical interview questions, as well as those that might be specifically asked for the role you are applying for.

Tip 2: Go for a walk

If you are struggling on how to best answer an interview question, even after rehearsing the interview several times, you might like to metaphorically sleep on the question. It might also be helpful to go for a walk and allow your mind to reflect, wander and play with the question. By the end of the walk, you may be surprised with how many relevant points you can make in answer to any one interview question.

Tip 3: Smile

Be sure to smile at everyone upon arrival at the interview. Smile to the greeting receptionist. Smile at the staff member who walks you to the interview room. Smile at the interviewer when you walk in the room. Smile at each member of the interview panel if there is more than one interviewer.

When you smile, the person you smile at will respond with a smile. A smile lets you know that you are liked and that the interview is going to take place in a warm and friendly environment. That is often enough to take the nerves or stress out of an interview, and in so doing, enable you to put your best foot forward.

Tip 4: Deep breath

If you find that you are still feeling nervous or stressed in the interview, take time to breathe deeply. Breathe deeply for 5, 10 or 20 minutes prior to the interview, depending on how much time you have available. Take a deep breath before answering any one question. No-one will be aware of what you are doing but you will find that it will help calm your nerves and take the sting out of any stress you might be feeling.

Tip 5: Take a sip of water, ask for the question to be repeated

If you find that your mind is still going blank, you can ask the interviewer to repeat the question. You can also take a sip of water. Both actions will give you a few more moments to organize your thoughts and come up with a suitable answer. If you still do not know, it is alright to say so and ask if you can come back to the question later on.

Interviewers understand that job seekers get nervous or feel stressed in interview settings. They have often been there themselves. Interviewers are really only interested in what you have to say. Ultimately, interviewers are seeking the answer to three questions: (1) Can you do the job? (2) Do you want to do the job? (3) Will you fit in?

So, just sit back, relax, smile and let the interviewer know who you really are and what you can do.

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