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Four Tips To Calm Your Interview Jitters

There is a lot at stake when you finally land that coveted interview with your targeted company.  Making a good first impression and managing your anxiety comes down to these four easy steps to calm your interview jitters:

1. Prepare at least 2-3 days in advance of the interview.
  • Do thorough research on the company through every means that you have -  Hoovers, Google,and LinkedIn.
  • Also remember to look up all of the people on the interview team on LinkedIn.
  • Review the job description to see if you can identify your skills and accomplishments compared to the job description.
  • Rehearse your answers to key questions and your Tell Me About Yourself pitch.
  • Prepare your portfolio including extra copies of your resume and business cards. Choose your interview attire and ensure it is interview ready.
2. Take a test drive to the interview location, preferably at the exact time of day of the interview during the week.
MapQuest and GPS are great tools but neither are fool proof. I once left my home for an interview on Peachtree Street in midtown Atlanta.  I used both MapQuest and GPS and allocated one hour for the 20 minute drive. What I didn’t realize is there are numerous Peachtree Streets in Atlanta and I arrived 20 minutes late!
3.  Anticipate potential delays such as road construction and plan adequate time for parking.
On the day of the interview, take a walk, run, go to the gym, read a humorous article, pet the dog or meditate to help with pre interview anxiety. Eat several hours prior to the interview to fuel your body and brain. Avoid spending excessive time reviewing your interview prep notes as this will add to your level of anxiety.

4. Arrive in the lobby or reception area of the company ten minutes before the scheduled interview.

Do not fidget with your papers or review your notes. You want to be relaxed and appear relaxed to the people you encounter. Read a company publication or industry guide if available and be mindful of your body language. Be aware that you are being observed from the time you enter the building.

A year’s salary and your dream job may be on the line, so relax.
 Advanced preparation is the key to taming your interview fears. And don’t wing it no matter how adept you feel you are at interviewing!

Paula Pope is a Senior Consultant with The Frontier Group. Her practice specialties are outplacement, career coaching, interview training, leadership development and corporate training.