How not to be nervous at a job interview?

How to calm down the excitement before the interview

Have you been invited to a job interview? Congratulations! We tell you what to do if you are very nervous, and the meeting is only a few hours away. The most anxious will be helped by exercises, proper preparation for the conversation and a good mood during it.

It’s normal to be nervous at a job interview. It’s only necessary to take some serious measures to curb it when it interferes with a professional conversation.

If you know that anxiety is your weakness, and the responsible conversation is accompanied by shaking hands and confused thoughts, listen to our advice.

Allow yourself to accept rejection

The most unpleasant thing about a job interview is the possibility of rejection. And a protracted job search or money problems only fuel the excitement. It seems that you have to get the job at any cost, and you do not even want to think about rejection.

Dozens, hundreds, and sometimes thousands of applications come in for each job. Therefore, even statistically, the chance of getting rejected at several interviews in a row is quite high. Prepare for this situation in advance: yes, you may be rejected, but it does not mean that you are a bad specialist. Just for this particular job and for this company, in the opinion of the employer, someone was better suited. Maybe you would not like it here. And somewhere they are waiting for someone exactly like you.

Work with that thought. Tell yourself that rejection is not the worst thing in life. And that you will definitely find a suitable job. Think through the most unfortunate scenario, exaggerate the details to the absurd: the recruiter laughs at your personal life, the manager scolds you for your old-fashioned suit, the company director personally kicks you out of the building. When the scenario becomes absolutely fantastic, you will feel relief. And the excitement will no longer be so strong.

Shake it off and watch your body.

The “I’m shaking all over” condition can be relieved by actually shaking your arms and hands. There is a strong connection between the body and the emotions, and it can be used to reduce anxiety. Imagine that you are quickly shaking off water: from your shoulders, from your elbows, from your hands. And you’re shaking off the tension along with the water.

Knees are trembling – sit comfortably and stretch the joints, darken the eyes – cover them for a couple of minutes and take a few slow deep breaths and exhalations.

If the palms are sweating because of anxiety, dry them and try to warm them. Stretch your fingers, rinse your hands in warm water and wipe them dry with a towel.

Place a bottle of water nearby: you may suddenly have a dry throat during the meeting.

To tune in to a conversation with a stranger, use an oratorical exercise. Go to the mirror, look yourself in the eyes and take ten deep breaths. Inhale slowly and don’t linger on the exhale. Maintain an attentive gaze. This will help you concentrate and calm down.

Before you start talking:

  • Exhale. Start talking on the exhale, not with your lungs full.
  • Relax and put your shoulders down: this will help keep your voice clear.
  • Be aware of the purpose of the conversation. Concentrating on your feelings only increases panic. So at the moment of your answer, remember the thought you are now going for: that you have achieved such-and-such results, that you are now interested in such-and-such tasks or for such-and-such reasons you came to this company. The only thing you need to do now is to convey this thought to the interlocutor.

Practice your answers.

There are classic questions that are always asked in job interviews. What is your work experience, what did you do at the previous company, why did you leave there and what are you waiting for at the new place. Run through your resume and write down briefly what you tell the recruiter.

Pay special attention to difficult issues. For example, if you were fired, you will be asked about it. Consider how to answer such a question. Try to avoid accusations against your former boss, talk only about the facts.

Ask questions

Uncertainty comes from a lack of information. Will you be able to be useful at the new job? Do you know everything about the schedule, salary, scope of responsibility? Don’t be shy to ask about the new place. Find out what your manager expects from you, what tasks will need to be performed. When you have the initiative in your hands, it’s much easier to communicate.

This technique is also good, because it helps to complete the story of your experience. Perhaps you’ve done something similar before, or your previous knowledge can help you approach the task in a new way.

Watch your rate of speech. When anxious, speech can speed up or slow down a lot, depending on your individual reaction. If you notice that you are speaking too fast and gesticulating more actively than usual, consciously slow yourself down. Slow down the speed of your speech, and calm your gestures. The brain will react to this and support the inhibition, and speech will return to its normal rhythm.

Employers are people, too.

It may seem to the candidate that the interview is conducted by impenetrable superhumans who never worry and are very good at holding their own. In fact, HR professionals are just as human as anyone else. And if an interview is conducted by a future manager, he or she is in a situation that is not familiar to him or her. The desire to pick a good employee can be so strong that he or she will have to deal with the excitement as well.

Maintain a benevolent tone of communication, keep the conversation calm. Communication without unnecessary stress will help both of them to get enough useful information and to leave each other satisfied.

And most importantly – try not to perceive this meeting as one on which your entire fate depends. If it does not work here, it will work somewhere else. Somewhere just waiting just for you.

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“I’m embarrassed to go to interviews”: how not to stay unemployed because of your fears

“Why is it necessary, it would be better if they sent a test, I would immediately show what I can do,” – think some applicants. Because they are shy, do not know how to behave at the interview. In the end – just leak. We talked to a psychologist and learned what to do in this case, how to get the desired job, even if you are shy of interviews and have always ignored them. You might even get sucked in.

As far back as the twentieth century, it was a common behavior that could be characterized by the words “Keep your head down, you’re no better than anyone else. Many of our parents were brought up with the slogan, “Modesty embellishes. If you look even deeper, keeping a low profile was also a way of behaving, which seemed to provide security. It was possible to suffer for thinking outside the box, being bright and impudent. Therefore, the behavior learned from grandparents and parents unconsciously. But in our “age of narcissism,” those who are better able to show themselves. Therefore, shyness is no longer useful and even began to harm. And so we need to find a more effective strategy for behavior.

Also, the cause of shyness is anxiety. Anxiety takes a lot of moral and physical strength, and the forces are not left on the real action.

To understand what exactly the reason for your shyness, why you find it difficult to interact with people, go to interviews, you can take the test Spielberg-Hanin for anxiety.

If anxiety is a personal characteristic, it is better to see a psychotherapist and work on changing not only behavior, but also changing the structure of personality. This is a long work. Cognitive-behavioral therapy is effective in coping with anxiety. Sometimes in conjunction with therapy is necessary to take antidepressants, which are prescribed by a specialist based on symptoms.

If you’re not ready to go to a therapist, try changing your behavior yourself. Try new strategies and note your reactions. For example, if you have always answered questions briefly before, try to make your answers more explicit. Most importantly, don’t compare yourself to others.

The only person you should compare yourself to is you in the past. And the only person you should be better than is you are now.

On the one hand, Skype, discord and zoom simplify interaction – you don’t have to go to the office for meetings, you can work with foreign companies. On the other hand, the discomfort of communicating in this format. At first it was difficult for everyone to switch to online communication, because it was not familiar. Now many people are used to it, but some people can’t adapt and feel a lot of stress every time they make a video call.

The main reason for the discomfort is the minimum of nonverbal information. You do not feel the location in space, smells, the ability to move during a conversation, changes of posture in relation to different interlocutors. This information helps you better orient yourself to the conversation in progress. In video call these moments are absent.

Besides, in a video call you can see yourself. And in a live conversation we only look at the person we are talking to. And when we look at ourselves, it causes additional emotions that can interfere with productive communication.

But like anyone, the skill of online communication can be practiced:

  • Communicate more by video with people who approve of you.That way you’ll get used to having your own image looking at you in dialogue.
  • Record some videos in which you talk about the topic of work. And watch them. You’ll learn to spell out important terms and thoughts, and that way you’ll practice communicating at job interviews. At the same time you will get used to the way you look on the screen.
  • You can look in the mirror and say the affirmation out loud: “I love my face. I like the way I look. When I talk about serious things, I like myself.” This needs to be done several times. It’s important to talk and look at yourself. Even if you feel resistance, you need to continue and do it regularly. And after a while, your brain will believe these affirmations. And you will become comfortable seeing yourself on the screen.

The method of soothing breathing works well. Only it is important to breathe correctly: first try to hear how you breathe. Feel how deep, how often, with your nose or mouth, with your chest or belly. Make a note of it. After that, take a deep breath with your nose, so that you get a belly full of air. And then exhale with your mouth. But exhale 4 times slower than you inhaled. Do this several times.

When we allow ourselves to breathe noisily and deeply, our brain perceives the environment as safe. Stress hormone levels go down and we calm down.

Another way is to put the palm of your hand to your forehead for a few minutes and feel the temperature of your skin, the weight of your hand and the contact of the palm with your head. Allow yourself a few minutes to be in those sensations.

Then put your hand to your chest and also feel the contact, your breath and the weight of your hand, the rhythm of your heart. Stay in this state.

Finally, put your hand to your abdomen below the navel. And also feel the contact with yourself.

Such a method helps to relax and “ground” well, to get rid of intrusive thoughts, to switch to feelings, to pay attention to yourself. The body is very receptive and grateful for such attention.

Salary, vacations, schedules, responsibilities are issues that relate to your values and boundaries. Look at how you set boundaries with family and friends and, if you are good at it, try to transfer the ability to your communication with your employer.

Answer the questions below for yourself. Practice until you are able to express yourself clearly, to say what you want. Imagine yourself as an actor learning a role.

  • What do you yourself think you are worthy of? Why?
  • Aren’t you devaluing yourself? Aren’t you overestimating yourself?
  • You will probably find unpleasant situations from your school years. Discuss why this happened, how you could have avoided it, or how you could have gotten out of it.
  • Think about how you’d like to discuss issues that are important to you.
  • Write yourself a wish list of your work framework and read it aloud several times.
  • Imagine how you’ll feel when you manage to get the desired conditions, what feelings you’ll experience.

In order not to get yourself worked up, write out all your thoughts that come to mind after the interview. Make two columns. In the first one write down all the disturbing thoughts. And in the second, answer the question, “Why is this so?” Do this until you get bored. Afterwards, think about what you like to do. And do it.

There’s another technique: set aside 30 minutes a day for worrying, and the rest of the time don’t think. In 30 minutes you can write out all your worries, just think, nervous as you can. But when the half hour is up, finish worrying. The next half hour to worry is only tomorrow, preferably at the same time.

It is a property of a healthy psyche to be critical. It is normal to worry a little bit.

So that excitement and fear do not become too strong, think about what you have already done well. Go back to that situation and relive it. Mark your emotions in a situation of success. Memorize them. Notice the sensations in your body.

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