14 Pre Job Interview Tactics To Keep You Calm, Cool and Collected

Don’t head into your interview without feeling calm and prepared.
Updated May 8, 2024
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Job interviews can be nerve-wracking experiences, but managing your anxiety is key to presenting yourself confidently and professionally. 

Implementing effective strategies to calm your nerves before the interview can improve your performance and land you a job that can help you get ahead financially.

From preparation techniques to relaxation exercises, here are 14 ways to tame your nerves and ace that crucial job interview.

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Visualize success

djile/Adobe signing contracts and handshake

Take a moment to imagine yourself confidently answering each interview question with poise and clarity. Visualize the interviewers' positive reactions as they recognize your qualifications and suitability for the role.

Picture yourself leaving the interview room feeling accomplished and optimistic about the outcome, reinforcing your belief in your abilities and potential to succeed.

Practice relaxation techniques

microdot/Adobe meditating in sunlit room

Experiment with different relaxation techniques to find what works best for you in calming your nerves before the interview. Consider incorporating mindfulness meditation into your routine to promote a sense of inner calm and focus.

Practice progressive muscle relaxation by tensing and then releasing each muscle group in your body to alleviate physical tension and promote relaxation. 

Experiment with deep breathing exercises to regulate your breathing and induce a state of relaxation before the interview.

Get a good night's sleep

fizkes/Adobe close up alarm clock

Establish a pre-bedtime routine to wind down and signal to your body that it's time to rest. Avoid screen time and stimulating activities at least an hour before bedtime to promote relaxation and prepare your mind for sleep.

Ensure your bedroom is dark, quiet, and at a comfortable temperature to create a comfortable sleep environment. Consider practicing relaxation techniques, such as deep breathing or gentle stretching, to help you unwind and ease into sleep.

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Arrive early

fizkes/Adoobe nervous applicants

Plan your journey to the interview location well in advance, considering potential traffic or public transport delays. Aim to arrive at least 15-30 minutes early to allow time for unexpected delays and to familiarize yourself with the surroundings.

Use this extra time to compose yourself, review your notes, and mentally prepare for the interview, reducing the risk of feeling rushed or flustered.

Dress appropriately

Enrique/Adobe onfident man standing in office

Choose clothing that is professional, well-fitting, and appropriate for the company culture and industry. Select outfits that make you feel confident and comfortable, avoiding any clothing that may cause discomfort or distraction during the interview.

Pay attention to grooming and personal hygiene to present a polished and professional appearance that reflects your attention to detail and professionalism.

Stay hydrated

Lalandrew/Adobe reusable steel stainless eco thermo

Drink plenty of water throughout the day leading up to the interview to stay hydrated and maintain optimal cognitive function. Hydration helps promote overall well-being, so prioritize staying hydrated before and during the interview.

Carry a water bottle with you to the interview and take sips as needed to keep your throat moist and your mind sharp. 

Avoid caffeine

monticellllo/Adobe cup of starbucks coffee

Limit or avoid caffeine consumption on the day of the interview to prevent jitteriness, rapid heartbeat, and excessive nervousness. Opt for decaffeinated beverages such as herbal tea or water to stay hydrated and avoid the stimulating effects of caffeine. 

Caffeine can be very stimulating, so minimizing its intake can help you stay calm and focused during the interview.

Practice positive self-talk

pikselstock/Adobe woman driving a car and smiling

Replace negative thoughts and self-doubt with affirmations and empowering statements that boost your confidence and self-esteem.

Remind yourself of your strengths, skills, and past successes to bolster your belief in your abilities. Focus on the value you can bring to the role and the positive impact you can make, reinforcing your self-assurance and readiness for the interview.

Focus on breathing

fizkes/Adobe  guy relaxing during remote working

Incorporate deep breathing exercises into your pre-interview routine to calm your nerves and center your focus.

Practice breathing by inhaling deeply through your nose, allowing your abdomen to expand fully, and exhaling slowly through your mouth. 

Focus on the sensation of your breath as it enters and leaves your body, grounding yourself in the present moment and promoting relaxation.

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Use power posing

Joanrae P/peopleimages.com/Adobe arms crossed business woman

Adopt confident body language before the interview to convey assurance and authority. Stand tall with your shoulders back, head held high, and arms relaxed at your sides to project confidence and poise.

Avoid closed-off postures such as crossed arms or hunched shoulders, as they might signal defensiveness or insecurity. Embrace expansive, open postures to exude confidence and reduce feelings of anxiety.

Bring a support item

Diego Cervo/Adobe stress ball in hand

Carry a small item or token that holds personal significance and brings you comfort and confidence. This could be a lucky charm, a photograph of loved ones, or a motivational quote that inspires you. 

Keep the item discreet and portable, allowing you to access it easily for a quick boost of encouragement and reassurance during moments of nervousness.

Engage in light exercise

Nina/peopleimages.com/Adobe training warm up in house

Incorporate gentle physical activity into your pre-interview routine to release tension and promote relaxation. Take a short walk around the block, do some light stretching exercises, or practice yoga to loosen up your muscles and calm your mind.

Physical activity can help reduce stress and anxiety, leaving you feeling more relaxed and centered before the interview.

Listen to calming music

wichayada/Adobe woman listening to music

Create a playlist of relaxing music or nature sounds to listen to before the interview to soothe your nerves and promote a sense of calmness.

Choose instrumental tracks with slow tempos and gentle melodies to help you relax and unwind. Alternatively, opt for nature sounds such as ocean waves or bird songs which can evoke a tranquil atmosphere and ease tension before the interview.

Remember to smile

Charlize D/peopleimages.com/Adobe thinking of work investment vision

Incorporate smiling into your pre-interview routine so it comes naturally when you meet with the interviewer. Practice smiling in front of a mirror to gauge your expression and ensure it appears genuine and welcoming. 

Remind yourself to smile naturally throughout the interview, conveying warmth, enthusiasm, and confidence to the interviewer.

Bottom line

kerkezz/Adobe business people shaking hands

By implementing these strategies, you can effectively tame your nerves and approach your job interview confidently and comprehensively. 

Remember, nerves are natural, but with the right techniques, you can harness them to your advantage and shine during this crucial opportunity.

Having more confidence can help you pursue better job opportunities, increase your salary, and build more wealth.

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Author Details

Adam Palasciano Adam Palasciano is a personal finance-obsessed and money-savvy individual who loves to hash out content on all things saving money. He specializes in writing millennial-friendly personal finance content, covering topics ranging from trending financial news, debt, credit cards, cryptocurrency, and more.

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