Photo by Deniz Altindas on Unsplash

“Talk to yourself like you would to someone you love” – Brené Brown

You have a job interview and you’re nervous. Does any of this sound familiar?

  • You’re thinking of all the reasons you won’t get the job.
  • You’re worried about what happens if you do get the job.
  • You haven’t interviewed in awhile and you’re lacking in confidence

It’s normal to feel this way, but there are some things you can do to stop worrying and feel more confident.

  • Look at past successes. Can you think of a time in your life when you were nervous about something and lacking confidence but you succeeded? Maybe it was the interview for your last job or something you did in school. Often when we look at our past successes, it helps us feel better about the future.
  • Prepare talking points in advance. Look at the job description and prepare bullet points on how you are qualified. Think about transferable skills, for example, if they are looking for a good problem solver, how have you used this skill in the past? If the job description mentions being a team player, be prepared to talk about a situation in which you took an action that helped the rest of your team. Consider writing down the skill, the action you took that demonstrated the skill, and the result. Then practice talking about it in front of the mirror.
  • Get a pep talk. Is there someone in your life who can give you that extra boost of confidence right before your interview? A hug from your spouse or partner, a reminder from your parents or siblings about your past successes, or words of encouragement from a friend can give you positivity before your interview.
  • Breathe. Whenever you are feeling nervous, remember to breathe! Meditating a few minutes before the interview or when you wake up, can put you in a positive mindset.
  • Relieve unnecessary pressure. Are you so focused on getting an offer that you are missing the bigger picture and putting extra stress on yourself before the interview? If you don’t get an offer, maybe the job wasn’t a fit for you or there is a better one out there and this is just practice. Ask yourself, “what am I afraid of and is it true?” I recently coached someone who was so focused on how her life would change if she got the job, that she wasn’t allowing herself to focus on what she needed to do right now. When she asked herself what would happen if she didn’t get the job, she realized that whatever the outcome, she would be okay, but she was going to prepare and interview with a confident mindset. Guess what? She got the job offer!
  • Reframe your thoughts. Are you putting up obstacles in your mind about why this wouldn’t be a good job before you’ve even interviewed? In order to convey enthusiasm in the interview, focus on how this job might positively affect your life. Then if you get an offer, you can decide if you want to take the job.
  • Mantras. Don’t underestimate the benefits of positive self talk. What do you want to tell yourself before the interview, especially if you start to feel nervous or negative? It could be something as simple as “I am calm and confident.” Some people even write their mantra on sticky notes and leave them in “key” places.

To recap, prepare for the interview, believe in yourself and then know that you’ve done your best. You may not be able to control the final outcome, but you can certainly control your own thoughts and actions.