Getting scheduled for a job interview is always an exciting experience. But once the post-appointment high wears off, it’s often quickly replaced by pre-interview nerves and fear caused by the realization of just how high the stakes are. In fact, according to a study by Everest College and Harris Interactive, 92 percent of Americans admit to feeling anxious before a job interview.


In other words, pre-interview nerves are normal. What’s important, however, is finding ways to tame your nerves and turn that negative energy into something productive. Listed below are four strategies to help you calm down before an interview.


Breathe and Relax


You don’t have to light candles and play ambient music to meditate—although it can certainly help. Whenever you’re feeling particularly anxious about an interview and all the unknowns that come with it, just remember to breathe in, breathe out, and relax. Clear your mind and focus on your breathing to alleviate your anxious and negative thoughts. This is an especially helpful strategy when waiting for your turn in the interview lobby.


Show Up Early for the Interview


Arriving early for the interview allows you to get acquainted with the job interview environment, which will help you get in the headspace to ace the interview. This little bit of familiarity will help you calm down and collect your thoughts when it’s your turn to enter the interview room. Showing up early will also give you time for last-minute preparations and exercises to get you ready for the interview.


Think Positive


“What the mind can conceive, the body will achieve” sounds like a cheesy cliché, but it’s not something to be taken lightly either. Confidence, after all, is all in the mind. It’s in how you view yourself, adversity, and the rest of the world. Keeping a positive mindset will ultimately help you pull through, not just with your job search, but when dealing with pre-interview nerves.


Practice and Come Ready


Ultimately, the best solution to controlling your nerves is preparation. Practicing your elevator pitch for the “Can you tell me about yourself?” question, making sure your resume is perfect, and doing your homework about the employer are all part of the preparation process. By keeping your mind busy, you can channel your nerves into something productive. The more you practice and prepare, the more routine things become, which in turn, makes you sharper.


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