Picture this: you have been sending resumes to online job postings, meeting with networking connections to tell them you on the job hunt and you have finally landed an interview! In fact, it’s at a company that you would LOVE to work for and the job is perfectly suited for you. Then, panic sets in because you haven’t been on an interview for a LONG time and you get nervous—really nervous. Read through these tips below for some advice on how to appear confident during your upcoming interview.

Tip #1 – Do your homework. Research the company, its products, services, staff members, and mission statement. Do NOT show up to the interview and not know anything about the organization. In fact, a commonly asked interview question concerns you telling THEM what you know about their company. Don’t disappoint. And, with how easy it is to research a company on the Internet, you really have no excuse for not doing this easy step.

Tip #2 – Practice interview questions. Google a list of commonly-asked interview questions and think about how you would answer them. Conduct a mock interview with a trusted colleague or friend. (Contact me today for mock interview services) And, if you do this on your own, say your responses out-loud. Better yet, turn the camera on yourself and SEE how you respond to these questions. Often, how we think we sound is actually different than how it comes across to someone else.

Tip #3 – Don’t be squirmy. This may sound completely strange; however, when people get nervous, they fidget, play with their hair, dart their eyes in all directions, and generally squirm in their chairs. I tend to talk with my hands A LOT and probably do that even more when I’m nervous. To calm my nerves, I always bring a pen and a portfolio or paper with me. This grounds me and allows my hands to rest on something that doesn’t cause a distraction (just don’t play click-click-click with your pen).

Tip #4 – Breathe. Breathing comes naturally to all of us, right? Not true. When people are nervous, they tend to take short breaths and find themselves breathing shallowly. Take a few deep breaths upon arrival to your interview, take another deep breath before the first question, and be conscious of your breathing during the interview.

Tip #5 – Don’t be hard on yourself. Think positively and use every single interview as a learning experience. If—during the interview—you feel like you gave a less-than-stellar answer, don’t worry about it. You are probably dwelling on it more than the interviewers even noticed. And, even if this job opportunity doesn’t work out for you, you have gained even more experience as an interviewee and can learn from each one of them. Be certain that you are the CORRECT person for the job and explain how the company can be positioned better with YOU as a member of the team.

Interviews can be nerve-wracking. And, as I always tell my clients, if you aren’t nervous for an interview, I would almost think you weren’t really that interested. A little bit of nervousness can harness power within you and actually be a good thing – use that to your advantage.

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