How to Handle Pre-interview Jitters

How to Handle Pre-interview Jitters
Whether this is your fifth or fiftieth interview, it usually happens. The pre-interview jitters tend to set in the days and hours before the interview. Will you be able to answer the questions? What will you wear? Most importantly, will you get the job? Being nervous before any big day is common and interviews are no different. There are simple things you can do to calm down and get ready before your big interview.

Have you ever had this happen to you? You get up the day of the interview and your suit has a stain on it. You forgot to look up the directions and can’t find the piece of paper you scribbled the address on. You are ready to dash out the door and can’t find your resume – or worse, your car keys. Everything goes wrong.

You get lost on the way. You arrive so nervous you need to use the restroom. Everything is falling apart. Basically, by the time you arrive to the interview, you are a hot sweaty mess. While you cannot stop and rewind like the movies, there is some preparation you can do to minimize the trauma.

Set out not one, but two outfits at least two nights in advance. Why so many outfits so far ahead? First, if you prepare your outfits the night before; it does not provide wiggle room if you suddenly find stains on your favorite suit or shirt. Second, it’s natural to change your mind about an outfit. Having two waiting in the wings will give you a bit of leeway in the last minute decision-making process.

Do a drive-by of the location. How many times have you said, “I know where that is?” On the big day your nerves might get the best of you and suddenly you can’t remember how to get around the corner. Perhaps you know where the road is, but what if it’s one of those roads where the names change several times? Having an “idea” of the road location is very different from actually looking at it. Why risk pulling up at the last minute; or worse, being late. Don’t forget to factor in traffic. You may be able reach the location in ten minutes on the weekend, but remember the traffic will be a lot heavier during the week.

Get some sleep in the days leading up to the interview. Most people are too keyed up and nervous to sleep the night before. Take some time to get rest stored up in the days before the interview. Do your best to stick to your nightly routine.

Finally, slow down – we tend to forget more when we rush around. Where did I leave those keys? They are in my hand. Where is that resume? It’s sitting on the table by the door. By taking a moment to slow down and breathe, you can get everything back in focus.

Pre-interview jitters are common. Doing a little front-end work and being prepared will help to ease some of your nervousness.

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