Your heart is beating fast, your mouth is dry, your brain is unable to organize your thoughts and you are blabbering. You are either speaking too fast or taking too many pauses. Even the easiest question sounds difficult to you. You know that you are making a fool of yourself but you can’t help it. You are unable to focus and in your mind you already know that you have lost this interview.
Have you experienced this in an interview?
Even your high marks and excellent internship experience cannot save you if you are the one who tends to get nervous during the interview.
Nervousness kills your chances of success. You lose one interview as you are unable to justify your own skill set and work experience because of nervousness, in next interview, you go with even less confidence and more nervousness and you lose that one too. It creates a vicious cycle, hence coming out of it is really important.
So let’s address how to calm your nerves at time of interview.
Find out what triggers nervousness
- Fear of unknown
- Pressure of selection
- Lack of confidence
Find out your pattern of nervousness
- Whether you feel nervous even before the start of interview or only during the interview.
- Whether it makes you forget everything or there are too many thoughts in your mind.
- You speak too slow or too fast.
- Are you always nervous while talking to people or is it only during the interview only?
Understand how our brain works :
We are god’s favorite creation. To save us from the danger he has given an inbuilt mechanism in our body –Flight or Fight system.
Whenever we sense any danger, this system gets triggered due to certain hormones, and body starts reacting in a certain way to protect us. Like while driving a car, if another car is coming from opposite direction towards your car, your body will get alarmed and then with speedy heart rate, without thinking for a second you will take action.
So if your mind is considering interview as a threat or danger or something you feel the fear of, then your body will start showing symptoms of nervousness like faster heartbeats, sweaty palms and inability to think properly.
How to treat this :
If you are facing such issues then you need to do some reprogramming of your brain:
Declutter your mind: A little amount of pressure and anxiety is fine and is actually required for your mind to understand the importance of interview and to perform well in an interview. But when it starts taking a toll on your performance and confidence then you have a serious issue to deal with.
Keep your mind calm before the interview. Do some meditation and breathing exercises and try to keep all negative thoughts away.
Watch some motivational videos or few TED Talks to bring your mind in a calm and composed zone. Reiterate yourself that this interview is important but even if you fail you will be getting other opportunities to explore.
Practice: More you practice, more confident you will feel.
Prepare answer of some commonly asked interview questions like why are you looking for change and practice them.
Prepare yourself to face some worst-case scenarios and how you will handle questions if the situation gets out of your hands.
Research: You can beat that ”Fear of Unknown” by doing thorough research about the company and its culture. Also, read and understand job description. Browse LinkedIn profiles of people working there.
This will help you in framing good answers and will definitely make you feel comfortable at the time of interview. As this is how our mind works, more familiar we are with people and situation, more comfortable we feel.
Exercise: If you get some time, then do some physical activities and exercises in the morning. It will improve blood circulation in the brain and help you feel calm and composed during the interview.
Find out your comfortable body posture: Everyone has a comfortable posture or sitting style, find that out and sit in that way at the time of the interview. Of course, it should not be something which makes your body language look sluggish.
Stay away from coffee and take the help of chewing gum: Caffeine products right before the interview are never a good choice. On the other hand, having a chewing gum before interview helps in keeping blood circulation level high in brain and keep you in relaxed form, considering you are throwing it away before the interview.
Start off good: A firm handshake, confident body language, good smile and well-prepared answer of “tell me about yourself ” will give you a confidence boost and a good start.
Deep Breathing: Take few deep breaths just before the interview, It will help you in taking your nerves under control.
Prep talk or Self-talk: Over the years many of research has proved the importance of self-talk in boosting confidence and motivation.
Saying powerful phrases to yourself like “You can do it” “Focus” generate positive results and help you in keeping your mind focused and bring you into action immediately.
Pick up your clothes a day before, Have a healthy breakfast and reach early: It is important to have every small action item planned and in place to avoid stress over smaller things.
So tame that anxiety and nervousness in your mind and fill it with confidence to achieve success in interviews.
As rightly said by David Cuschieri “The mind is a powerful force. It can enslave us or empower us. It can plunge us into the depths of misery or take us to the heights of ecstasy. Learn to use the power wisely”