You got the call. The date’s on the calendar. The hiring managers at your dream company are interested in you and want you to come in for an interview. (Of course they do!)
But now, understandably, you’re feeling a little nervous.
So, in addition to the practice questions and company research you’ll be doing, make time for these seven get-you-pumped-up tips. They’ll help you feel confident, powerful, and mentally prepared, so that you can bring the calmest, happiest, and most charming version of yourself to the table.
1. Write Down Your Career Highlights Reel
Do a quick inventory of your career highlights: all the awesome stuff you’ve done, problems you’ve solved, ways you’ve made people’s lives better. Don’t necessarily regurgitate your resume—think about the accomplishments you’re really proud of. Then, write down these highlights in your journal or notebook. Read them back to yourself anytime you’re feeling nervous (and definitely the morning of the interview). It’ll really make your attributes sink in and give your confidence a boost.
2. Hit the Gym (or a Punching Bag)
If you’re feeling nervous, shaky, or anxious, doing something physical is a great way to release that emotional energy. The night before the big meeting, go for a run, take a dance class, or throw a few punches at a punching bag. Even yelling or singing at the top of your lungs (try a garage or a bedroom with the music turned way up to muffle the sound) can work wonders. It may sound intense, but this kind of physical release has worked wonders for my clients over the past two decades—reducing their stress and getting them back into a calmer, more centered place.
3. Use Optimistic Language
The job search process is tough, and it’s easy to let thoughts of doubt creep into your mind. When they do, here’s a terrific phrase to repeat to yourself in the days leading up to your interview: “I hope this is the job opportunity of a lifetime. But if it’s not this, then that just means something better is going to come along.”
Similarly, make sure to give yourself some pre-interview love. Write down five positive things about yourself (e.g., “I am articulate, smart, interesting, talented, and a great communicator”). Read your list out loud the hour before the interview, and you’ll remember that you’re already a winner.
As you’re getting ready for the interview, do a practice run of your introduction in front of the mirror. Reach out your hand and say your name. Smile like the job is already yours! Then, practice saying the salary that you want out loud. Add 5% to that number and say that out loud, just for fun. This is excellent practice to recognize what a valuable asset you will be to the job, so that you can interview with confidence.
5. Get a Last-Minute Pep Talk
The morning of the interview, have a friend call you for a quick pep talk. (Hey, if it works for professional athletes, it can work for you!) Ask your friend to remind you that you’re experienced, qualified, a total winner, or whatever else you need to hear. Or, if you can’t get ahold of a friend in time, pump yourself up with this quick video of 40 Inspirational Speeches in Two Minutes.
6. Wear Your Signature Scent
Dab on your favorite cologne or perfume, ideally one that makes you feel powerful. Take this feeling with you into the interview—it can dramatically affect the impression you make on the hiring managers.
7. Remember it’s an Interview, Not an Interrogation
Remind yourself that the people who will be interviewing you are human beings, just like you. They’re not hiring gods. They’re not better than you. They’re just people. And this interview isn’t an interrogation. It’s just a few people having an energizing conversation.
If it’s helpful, pretend that they’ve already hired you, and now, they’re just interviewing you to collect some additional details for the company memo that will introduce you to your new teammates. Just relax and put your best self forward. No sweat!
Finally, remember that no matter what happens, landing a job interview is a big step in the right direction. And that—whether it’s with this particular company or somewhere else—the best (of your career) is yet to come!
Credit: Suzanne Gelb, PhD, JD.