Going Back to the Basics: 5 Ways to Calm Your Nerves Before Interviewing for a New Job


Having the chance to interview for a new job is exciting. You are potentially poised to make a significant stride forward in your architecture, engineering or construction career, so being a bit anxious is also normal. However, if your nerves negatively impact your performance in your interview, you may miss out on the opportunity.

If you want to make sure that you are at your best during your interview, taking a moment to calm your nerves is wise. There are a number of approaches that can help, but their effectiveness often depends on which best suits your personality or the physical environment. Here are five quick and easy ideas that are worth considering.

5 Ways to Calm Your Nerves Before an Interview

1. Try a Two-Minute Meditation

While most professionals know that meditation can be incredibly beneficial, particularly for stress reduction, most people are not active practitioners. Luckily, even a two-minute meditation can work wonders when you need to quell anxiety.

Begin by setting a timer. Then, close your eyes and inhale for three counts. Hold your breath for one second, then exhale for four counts, working to control your exhalation so that you finish at the proper time. Finally, pause for one count before starting again.

2. Eat a Banana

While eating a banana before an interview seems odd, it can be a great choice. First, if you are hungry, it puts something gentle on your stomach. Second, they are also a good source of potassium, contain tryptophan, and even act as a natural source of beta-blockers. While some debate whether there is enough of the beneficial chemicals to actually calm you, it certainly does not hurt to try.

3. Visualize Success

Before you head into an interview, it is easy to let your anxieties control your thoughts. However, if you focus on the possibility of a bad outcome, you may be more likely to have one. Instead of letting the negative creep in, take a few minutes to visualize success.

Imagine yourself getting along with the interviewer, being able to confidently answer every question, and otherwise impressing. Often, the human brain likes to be right, so picturing a positive experience may increase your odds of having one. Plus, it will improve your mood, allowing you to arrive calm.

4. Try a Power Pose

Certain physical positions impact your behavior. When you assume a power pose for two minutes, such as the Superman stance (standing with your feet shoulder width apart with your hands in gentle fists set on your hips), you will feel more confident thanks to a slight change in body chemistry. By holding the power pose, your testosterone rises slightly while cortisol, the stress hormone, dips, lowering anxiety and increasing a sense of being powerful.

5. Smile

Smiling is another action that triggers a response in the body and mind, even when you force it. Before heading into your interview, make yourself smile. If you have trouble making yourself smile, put a pencil between your teeth and hold it for a minute, as it forces your mouth into the proper shape. No matter which approach you take, you will usually feel happier when you are done.

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