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6 ways to stay calm during an interview

Interviews can be nerve wracking, especially if it is for a position you really want. Some people experience nervousness more than others; I get really nervous for interviews because of the uncertainty around it all. However, nervousness is completely natural because it is often in a situation where we are out of our comfort zones. It is important to recognise feelings of nervousness as natural and not panic too much. Here are 6 tips I have picked up on how to stay calm during an interview. 

1. Preparation 

If you make sure you are prepared for typical interview questions and know what your answers will be in advance, your preparation will help you stay calm during the interview. One of the things that makes us nervous is not knowing what questions you will be asked, but if you make sure you know exactly what the job requires you to do and know some information about the company, you will be less likely to panic if you are asked about either. 

2. Give yourself time  

This is a really important one I have just recently learned myself. Giving yourself time to relax before the interview is essential. I have had so many interviews where I have tried to cram knowledge about the role and the company into my mind last minute and it just never works. You just end up trying to remember certain facts or figures during the interview when you could be showing the interviewer your assets by giving a truly authentic answer.

It is also important to give yourself time to answer the questions too, don't worry about 'awkward silences', it is far more important to consider what the best response will be instead of rushing your answer. You don't want to say something you might regret later!

3. Drink some water 

Sometimes you may feel a lump in your throat due to nervousness, this is because your muscles can become tense when you are under stress. While staying hydrated may not get rid of nervousness completely, it can help reduce its intensity. Water also has natural calming properties, according to the Calm Clinic. Your body will benefit from added hydration during times of intense stress.

4. Remember your strengths 

Before your interview, write down your skills, attributes and achievements. There is a reason you have been selected for an interview and it's because you clearly have something to offer. You need to remember this fact and execute it coherently in the interview. Remember somebody more experienced and qualified has selected you out of many applicants to be interviewed, so well done! Give yourself praise for getting this far. 

5. Think positively

From my own experience, I have normally been unsuccessful if I didn't think positively during the interview. I'd go into the interview with negative thoughts such as, 'I'm probably not going to get this job', 'the other interviewees look like better candidates' or 'I don't think the interviewer liked me'. If you are already thinking negative, then you are likely going to sound quite unenthusiastic and have flat answers. 

Thinking positively will help you stay calm during an interview because you will have a more optimistic outlook on the result.

6. Just breathe 

Controlled breathing is one of many calming techniques you can definitely practice during an interview. Concentrating on your breathing will relax the tension in your body, while also distracting your mind from your nervous thoughts. 

Count to three in your head as you breathe in through your nose and again as you breathe out. It is honestly so effective and will definitely help you relax your whole body.

Just breathe, you've got this! 

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30 Apr 2021

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