11 ways to keep your cool during the job interview

Gamechanger Conseil carrière et recrutement Luxembourg Coaching

So you have found the perfect career move; you have the experience, you’re qualified and the company has a great reputation for team spirit and career advancement.

You get your CV updated, your LinkedIn profile is up to date and you even have a new photo that makes you look extremely engaging, intelligent and employable. Even your friends tell you that this would be such a great move for you.

Finally you get the message that you have been selected for an interview and immediately you are excited, scared and happy; you begin to build the image in your mind of yourself in the new role, how great life will be and thankful that at last your career is where it should be.

But there is just one problem – the more passionate you feel about the new job, the more the fear of making a mess of it combined with nerves and stress will conspire against you to make sure you don’t perform at your very best on the day.

The interview is a paradoxical exercise; the more we care about the position, the more, nerves, stress and pressure we experience – It is perfectly normal.

So what if there was a proven method that could help you to calm, the nerves, overcome the fear and help you be at your very best during the Interview process?

You’d be interested – right?

Well, help is at hand. Based on our extensive research and experience in helping people just like you get the career job of their dreams, there is a simple process that will transform your results.

1 – Stand up while you wait

You will often be invited into a boardroom before an interview and offered a seat while you wait. Don’t take it. You don’t want their first impression of you to be struggling up out of a chair, so stay standing. You’ll look more confident if you are on their level as you first meet them. Use this moment to relax your body. Open your arm, spread legs while standing, have a power pose. It will directly impact your confidence and energy level.

2 – Break the ice or follow the interviewer doing it

The first contact is crucial; you have to make a good first impression!
Depending of your social skills it can be more or less embarrassing to meet a totally new person. This is the case for you and for the interviewer. The both of you definitely need to get comfortable. You should break the ice or follow the lead of the interviewer the first minutes. Use this small talk to get relaxed, confident and pumped. Here your social skills will be put to the test.

To break the ice, don’t hesitate to compliment the person about the office, the view or whatever. Don’t try to be original. The only objective is to get relaxed and at ease. Talk about the weather or the latest (avoid politics and religion…) news, it is ok, just get comfortable on cheesy topics with the total stranger you will spend an hour with. When the two of you are relaxed, begin the interview.

3 – Think of the interview as a conversation

The interviewer is craving for you to drop your job interview armour and meet the person behind the business card. Your objective is to end up talking candidly about each of their needs, wants and goals as related to the open position.
Be different from the other candidates and avoid the typical call and response of a job interview. It is conversation between two professionals deciding whether or not to work together. When you will leave the room, you will both have the information and level of interaction necessary to make an intelligent choice.
Having a job conversation is one of my most successful strategies to get the job. How to do that; ask powerful questions.

4 – Find your best sitting position

You need to be comfortable and have a positive and strong body language. Work on that at home and try to determine two or three default positions.
Never trust the back of the chair, it is definitely not your friend during an interview. By leaning too far back you will look sufficient and too relaxed plus it will negatively impact your voice by tightening your throat.
Try to slightly lean a forward, your two feet on the ground, the legs a bit spread (for the men) and always show your hand. Please don’t play with something while you talk.

5 – Be yourself

You don’t need to play a role, even if it is close to who you are.
Just be yourself, stay natural and authentic. You will come across confident and relaxed. Do you want the person to hire you for who you are or the persona you created?

6 – Listen and observe

This one is critical…
A stressed person seems to be focused on themselves and the next answer they will give.
Bad strategy.

Slow down, focus on the other person by carefully listen and observing. You will be in the moment and connect with the interviewer, plus you will have way more information to elaborate your arguments with. Be present, not in your head.
Change your philosophy: you are not going through an interview, you are simply having a conversation with a fellow professional

7 – Make the other person feel special

Obviously it is important to look passionate about the job on offer but be careful not to swank too much about.
Remember to ask questions and be genuinely interested in your interviewers answer.
Depending on the social type of your interviewer, this will have an impact on their impression of you.

8 – Use your own voice and speech

Looking to project a confident image you can sometimes use a different voice than usual. On the other hand if you are not comfortable, the stress can tighten your throat. Be aware of that and notice if one of this two syndromes is happening.
Try to stay natural and use your own voice rather than putting on a formal public speaking voice. Often this is as simple as not speaking too loudly. Speak as if you were talking with a group of friends.
The same is true on the level of speech you are using. Don’t try to say long sentences with words or complex turn of phrases. It is not the moment to challenge your comfort zone.
Trying to portray a different, unnatural image means you could destroy your credibility.

9 – Show your hands

It has been proved that we are much more likely to get a job if we have our hands visible on the table in front of us rather than hiding our under the table. Showing our hands is a sign of honesty.

10 – Breathe and pause

You don’t need to answer right away. It is strongly recommended to think before putting some words in the conversation. Do you prefer to answer quickly with an average results or with a small delay and strong arguments?
Plus pausing and being comfortable with this is a strong proof of self-confidence. This obsession of filling potentially uncomfortable silences means that the best quality answers are missed. The pauses demonstrates power and authenticity.

11 – The world is big

That means that you can fail. Whatever you think there will always be another opportunity for you, there is no such a thing as a perfect job. Allow yourself the right to mess up the interview and decrease the pressure. Of course, it is a way to trick your mind, you definitely don’t want to blow it!

With all these tips you will be able to be more relaxed during the interview.

Stephane Brun Personal branding Gamechanger Luxembourg Coaching Carrière

Hello there!

I’m Stéphane, I am huge people person and spent five year in the financial industry but a few year ago I got inspired to get into technical recruiting. There is nothing greater than finding professional opportunities for smart people to do great things, it is a fantactic process and I feel lucky to participate in.