These feelings are all normal to have in hours the leading up to a job interview. However, such signs of nervousness can devastate you chances of getting your dream job.
Here are eight ways to nix the pre-interview jitters and boost your confidence:
Try a Power Pose
Social psychologist and Harvard professor Amy Cuddy says that power poses can decrease hormones related to stress by 25 percent and can increase the body’s testosterone levels by 19 percent. Find a private place, like the bathroom, and strike a power pose. Stand with your head and chin up, lift your chest and place your arms up above your head or on your hips. Hold your power pose for two minutes and repeat until you feel confident.
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Look the Part
The first impression is important, so be sure to leave a professional impression and dress the part. If you’re interviewing for a corporate job, a suit is best. For women, tailored suits or a pencil skirt paired with a tucked in blouse and blazer are both good options.
Dressing for interviews
Less-formal jobs mean that you can wear more business-casual attire. Accessories like a briefcase, handbag or jewelry should complement your outfit and should not be distracting. If you’re carrying a briefcase or a handbag, it shouldn’t have any wear and tear and most importantly, it should be clean.
Swap Your Eyeglasses
Eyeglasses are known to make some people feel insecure. Sound familiar? Have you ever tried contacts? Ask your eye doctor about options for trading in your frames for contact lenses from a local company or Vision Direct. Without the spectacles hiding your eyes, you’ll feel more empowered and confident in yourself.
Breathe In, Breathe Out
Before you walk into your next interview, take a few deep breaths to calm your nerves. Katherine Walker, Executive Director of Lifetime Behavioral Health suggests taking 10, slow, deep breaths to relieve stress brought on by your interview. Breathe in through your nose, fill your lungs, and then breathe out through your mouth. You’ll feel cool and confident after this breathing exercise.
Exercise Prior to the Interview
Regular exercise is a great way to reduce stress and unwind from a hectic day. But did you know that exercising the night before a big interview can give you a boost of confidence, too? Heather McNab, author of What Top Professionals Need to Know About Answering Job Questions says exercise helps calm your body’s nervous system and can help reduce physical signs of stress like foot tapping and fidgeting.
Repeat Positive Affirmations
The CEO of The Mindful Living Network and the Stress Institute, Kathleen Hall, says that repeating positive affirmations before an interview can reduce stress hormones and cortisol by nearly 50 percent. Repeating positive affirmations can also lower your blood pressure, slow your mind and reduce your heart rate. Less stress means more confidence. Hall suggests repeating the affirmation, “I am confident in all things. I have unlimited potential.”
Practice What You Want to Say Before the Interview
Practicing what you want to say during your interview can make you feel calm and confident when it comes time to meet with your potential employer. Rehearse your answers to a handful of standard interview questions like “What are your strengths?” and “What is your dream job?” Forbes has assembled a list of 50 common interview questions that job candidates can browse through. Take a look, and practice your answers before your next big interview.
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Come Prepared With Questions
Bring a notepad or portfolio along and have a couple questions prepared for the interview. Asking questions shows that you’re interested in the job and that you have confidence. Plus, the notepad or portfolio will come in handy if you need to jot down any important information your interviewer may give you.
The bottom line: Boosting your confidence can help you interview better. So get busy and prepare now to excel at your upcoming job interviews.