The human brain doesn’t stay put and keeps wandering. It may not affect us greatly on a normal day. However, if we don’t keep a check on our thoughts during an interview, it could cost us the job we really want. Our mind is anxious during an interview because we so dearly want the job. There’s this constant pressure of performing well and a looming fear of failing to impress the interviewer. These thoughts are the reason why we are unable to do well in job interviews.
We may not have the power to stop thinking completely, but we certainly have the control to channel our thoughts in a positive direction. To stop your worst fear from coming true, here are some ways to calm your nerves and stay focused in a job interview:
1. Cut down distractions:
Distractions make it difficult for us to achieve goals, especially when they fill our minds with negative thoughts. As job seekers, we all know that ‘interview nerves’ is a real thing and not something made up. The best example of this is how nervous we feel when we see other candidates at the interview venue that we start doubting ourselves and our capabilities. These distractions take away our focus from what the interviewer is asking. We are unable to answer properly and end up performing badly in an interview. Therefore, it is important to cut down on these distractions and focus on being present in the interview.
Whenever you are faced with a tough interview question, take a deep breath. Deep breathing helps in calming nerves. When we stay calm, channeling our thought to finding a proper answer becomes easy. However, make sure that you do it in a subtle manner. You don’t want to give your interviewer an impression that your confidence level is wavering or you are freaking out.
3. Maintain eye contact:
Maintaining eye contact not only makes one appear confident but also helps stay focused during an interview. It prevents your mind from wandering into negative or distracting thoughts and keeps you grounded in the present. Additionally, if we keep looking up, down or anywhere except at the interviewer, it gives away the truth of you being distracted.
4. Listen attentively:
Another great way of maintaining focus in an interview is to listen attentively. There is a lot said about the importance of rehearsing for the interview and we are not trying to say otherwise. However, it is equally important to not give scripted answers. Therefore, listen attentively to understand what the interviewer is asking and answer accordingly. Ask any interviewer and s/he will say that the most memorable interviews are the ones where the conversation flows freely.
5. Stop undermining yourself:
One of the major causes of job interview stress is constantly undermining yourself. Most job candidates feel that it is because of sheer luck that they have been called for an interview which is a wrong approach. It shows how little confidence you have in yourself. Always remember that you are called for an interview only because the recruiter liked your profile and saw potential in you. Don’t let random thoughts make you think otherwise.
6. Keep the end goal in mind:
Keeping eyes on the prize also helps one to stay focused. Whenever you feel that your mind is diverting to less important things, think about getting the job. You will instantly feel the difference. You will not be bothered about how many candidates are there at the venue or any other negative thought that may come to your mind.
Keep these tips in mind to perform amazingly well in your next job interview.
All the best!
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