All of us have hated exams for as long as we can remember but there are a few exams which, even though unconventional, are more frightful! Most of us face job interviews before we even graduate, like at the age of 20-22 and the first interview can actually play a pivotal role in many ways. There is too much pressure to perform as a one man army in those 30-40 minutes and that is what makes it stressful. Even though we know that this stress does no good, we all hear people saying how they got all nervous and how they could have done better had they been calm.
So here are a few tips that ensure that you are relaxed and automatically give your best –
More often than not, the real reason for stress is the clutter around you, be it materialistic or in your thoughts. Make sure you have everything ready a night before the interview, be it your clothes, the bag you want to take, your documents’ file, a pen and a diary, anything you think you might need. Also plan your sleep in a way that you get sufficient time to get ready and reach the venue in time. Many a time, if your morning is hassled and hasty, you tend to be restless and this would make you more nervous. On the other hand if you are sure of everything around you and everything that you need, you would be calm, confident and ready. This would ensure that you are sure of every step and would give you a calm and peaceful thought process.
9) Sleep well
As difficult as it is to sleep before an important day, make sure you get at least 4 hours of sleep the night before the interview. Consciously you may feel that you are fresh with lesser hours of sleep too but your brain needs a recharge time to function at its best. It goes without saying that you need your brain at its best the next day! So manage your time and ensure at least 4 hours of sleep.
8) Dress comfortably
One of the mistakes that candidates make includes uncomfortable dressing. When you are not confident about yourself and the image that goes to the interviewer, your mind gets diverted in too many things. Listening to the interviewer, understanding his question, processing your answer and at the same time staying alert about your clothes. This would undermine your confidence and you would begin to fret.
7) Reach the venue well in advance
As trivial as this one sounds, most candidates neglect it. Make sure you reach the venue at least an hour before the scheduled time of your interview. This would help you in getting accustomed to the surroundings. Stress is generally due to uncertainty. Once you are sure about things around you, there is no space and no reason for stress.
6) Eat well, avoid fluids
It is common that you are not willing to eat before the interview but it is very important that you eat something light and nutritious. A heavy meal would lead to your blood flow being routed to your stomach for digestion and makes you feel dizzy and lazy. At the same time, an empty stomach would also not help your brain to work faster. Rather you would be preoccupied with the discomfort of a growling stomach. Avoid too much intake of fluids. People prefer taking coffee or mints as it keeps them alert and drives away the drowsiness. Food high in sugar, like chocolates, are a good choice as they are difficult to resist even if you are tensed and they have a high energy content without being too heavy.
5) Know the details
Many a time interview candidates are not sure about the job profile being offered to them or the major work sphere of the company. This either leads to silence when these questions are directly asked, or even worse the answers tend on divergent paths than what the interviewer is expecting. It is important that you know the details and you are confident about the information. This makes sure that you answer in coherence with the interviewer’s expectations and that boosts your confidence
4) Self pep talk
When someone else tells you that everything will be alright, it is not as effective as you telling it to yourself. Talk to yourself, muttering under your breath would do too (not in your mind, but for real – speak!). Ask yourself what is making you nervous, what are you afraid of, would stressing out be helpful, are you sure of your skills and capabilities and so on. All these questions would enable your brain to be positive and that is all what it needs to stop worrying. Talking this out loud instead of thinking about it is way more effective because our brain, conscious and sub-conscious areas both, recognize our own voice the most and hence the calming effect would be quick and easy!
3) Practice the basics
There are certain questions or areas which you are sure you will be questioned on. Make sure you prepare your answers and practice them. This would ensure that you are comfortable with the interview and do not have too many surprises. The general questions include – Tell me about yourself, Why we should hire you, Why do you have a low percentage, What are your strengths and weaknesses, Why do you want to join our company etc. Knowing what to say would make it easier.
2) The hand trick
This is one trick which has worked for me in all stressful situations. When you feel that you are getting tensed, try to hold your palms together and press them as tightly as you can. Even better would be if you could hold a friend’s palm. As silly as this sounds, the effort needed in doing it makes your mind active and alert. Also, your brain gets the impulse that you are strong and that is what helps you believe in yourself and relax. It is very common that when you are nervous your hands get cold and you feel physically weak and restless. This trick allows you to concentrate your attention and strength, in turn allowing you to ease the stress!
1) Breathe, smile, repeat
Whenever you take deep, soothing breaths, your brain gets more oxygen and functions better. Also, smiling makes you believe you can. Hence follow the algorithm of breathe, smile, repeat. This would keep you calm, confident and active. Also, if you are positive and sure about yourself, you would exude the same and your interviewer will also feel the positive vibes.
They say, believe you can and you are half there! Worrying gets you nowhere anyways! Few opine that having a confident body language and a vibrant smile pasted to your face is enough to hide a stressful you inside. But all of us know that are interviewer is trained to unveil the nervous one and test us accordingly. So it is always better to remain calm in real rather than pretending to be. That’s easier! So all the best for your job interviews! Keep calm and nail it!
Let us know what you think of these hacks in the comments section!