How to Overcome Stage Fright and Ace Your Next Job Interview
Overcome Job Interview Stage Fright and Land Your Dream Job
Let’s face it: job interviews are terrifying, even if you know you’re the perfect fit for the job. What if you say something stupid? What if you forget to say something important? What if you’re asked a question you have no idea how to answer?
From the moment you walk into the office, you know the eyes of the decision-maker are on you. The spotlight is bright. The stakes are high. It’s all on the line, and you can’t afford to screw this up.
Here’s the good news: you don’t have to stay paralyzed by stage fright. How can you get out of your way and put your best foot forward when the bright lights shine on you?
Preparation provides the most potent antidote to job interview anxiety. Know as much as you can about the company, the position, the person interviewing you, and your surroundings going in.
If possible, get in touch with people who work at the company. Find out about the culture you’re stepping into.
A couple days before the interview, drive to the site. Get to know the route so the commute doesn’t add to the nervousness of the big day.
Two nights before your interview, commit to getting a full night’s sleep. The night before, you might be too nervous to rest. That’s okay, because your adrenaline will carry you through the interview. But that’ll only be possible if you rest well two nights before.
Eat a healthy, filling breakfast the day of the interview. Hunger makes you more nervous. Don’t let avoidable hunger keep you from victory.
Despite what your brain may fool you into believing, this interview won’t make or break your career. If you mess up, so what? This is one of many opportunities you’ll have to shine. Make the most of each opportunity by doing your best, trusting the process, and refusing to agonize over mistakes. Cut yourself some slack, and you’ll feel less pressure.
You are not the defendant on the witness stand of a trial. The interview is a conversation. You’re looking to see if this job is going to be a good fit for you. The interviewer may be checking you out, but you’re doing the same. You both have questions. You both have an agenda. You both have goals to meet, and you’re both looking to see if it makes sense to try to meet those goals together.
So don’t let your mind tell you that the interview is a one-sided interrogation. It’s a two-way conversation that involves give-and-take. This conversation mindset drops your stress level dramatically.
Practice may feel silly at first. Talking to yourself or role-playing with a friend feels awkward. But it’s worth the effort.
The chances are good that you know what questions are coming in the interview. Rehearse your answers until you’re comfortable.
What’s the one thing that makes you the right person for this job? Keep this one thing in mind as you practice answering the questions you know are coming. Work this one thing into your answers.
With practice, this will become second nature. You don’t just want to answer the questions being asked. You want to make sure the manager knows why you’re the one she should pick. Practice your answers until selling yourself becomes natural.
When you start to panic, you rush everything. Your heart beats faster, and so does your mouth.
But it’s okay to pause during an interview. In fact, it makes you look considerate, careful, and poised. If you don’t understand what’s being asked, ask for clarification. Don’t rush into an answer and stumble over your words. Take a second, gather your thoughts, and deliver those thoughts with confidence.
Want to ace your next interview? Prepare well. Think differently. Practice. Slow down. Replace paralyzing stage fright with the powerful presence of confidence and poise. Get out of your own way and land that job today.
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