This blog post was written by Kristyn Anguiano, senior sociology major and film and television studies minor and Campus Ambassador at Loyola Marymount University. Follow her on Twitter @KristynMA.
Interviewing, whether in person or on the phone, can be an exciting experience but it can also be nerve racking. You might have a flawless cover letter and extensive experience on your resume but a bad interview can hurt or even kill your chances of getting that internship or job. Because of this it is difficult not to feel some sort of anxiety before an interview. However, you want to feel confident during an interview because if you don’t, your interviewer will probably be able to tell and your answers may suffer as well. Here are five tips that I use to calm myself down and feel confident before an interview.
1. Perhaps the most important tip is to make sure you are prepared for the interview. It is never a good idea to “wing it”. Make sure you research the company. What do they do? Who are their clients? What could you bring to the table? What are your goals for the internship? Go over the typical questions that you might be asked and make sure you have solid answers. Practice practice practice! If you have a phone interview, make sure you have bullet point answers in front of you that you can easily refer to. Also, if you know who will be interviewing you, it is always a good idea to do a quick LinkedIn search. This way you know exactly what their position is and, who knows, you might even find that they graduated from your college or belong to the same LinkedIn group as you do. It can’t hurt to check!
2. Bring copies of your resume along with you. You do not want to assume that the interviewer has your resume on file. If it is a phone interview consider having your laptop open with your resume, cover letter, and the internship posting displayed. This way you can refer to it quickly and easily. This will also allow you to point to exactly what qualifications you have and what work experiences have prepared you for this new job. Also, have your calendar or schedule within reach. This way if an employer wants to set up another interview day you can give them a clear answer.
3. Stay hydrated! You do not want to become parched during an interview or lose your voice because that will definitely not help your confidence. If it is a phone interview, have water within your reach. If it is an in person interview, drink water before your interview.
4. Make sure to breathe! Nothing is worse than being panicked before an interview. Take deep breaths, close your eyes, and smile. Concentrate on your breathing. If it is a phone interview try laying down a couple of minutes before the call. This simple exercise can really make a difference.
5. While you are doing this, envision the interview going well. It might sound strange but a lot of times we can change how we feel by just giving ourselves permission to feel that way. Have you ever noticed that just smiling can make you feel better and happier? It is the same concept. If you envision the interview going well it can make you feel more confident!
Feeling nervous before an interview is normal but if you utilize these tips it will get easier over time.