Entering a job interview can evoke a mix of excitement and anxiety. Presenting your qualifications during an interview while staying composed is an art in itself. In this high-stakes scenario, where first impressions can significantly impact your candidacy, mastering the ability to remain calm becomes paramount.
Maintaining composure is not only a testament to your professionalism but also a key factor in showcasing your abilities effectively to potential employers. This is especially crucial when dealing with interview questions for physical therapists since prospective employers seek a candidate with the requisite skills and someone who can demonstrate poise under pressure. Below are five key tips to ensure you stay calm during your upcoming job interview:
A study conducted at the University of Guelph found that candidates who seemed more anxious were less likely to be hired. One of the most effective ways to combat nervousness is through thorough preparation. Research the company, understand the job role, and familiarize yourself with common interview questions. Doing that can make you feel more confident in your knowledge, translating into a more composed demeanor during the interview.
Start by reviewing the company’s website, mission statement, and recent news. This demonstrates your genuine interest in the position and provides you with valuable information to tailor your responses. Anticipate potential questions and practice your answers, ensuring you can articulate your thoughts clearly and concisely.
You’re less likely to be caught off guard when you’re prepared, reducing anxiety and helping you maintain your calm under pressure. Additionally, being prepared allows you to engage in meaningful conversations with the interviewer, showcasing your enthusiasm and interest in the company.
During a job interview, non-verbal cues can speak volumes. An essential aspect of staying calm is mastering your breathing and body language. Before entering the interview room, take a few moments to practice deep, slow breaths. This simple technique helps regulate your nervous system, promoting a sense of calm and focus.
Similarly, pay attention to your body language throughout the interview. Maintain good posture, make eye contact, and offer a firm handshake. These actions convey confidence and contribute to your own sense of self-assurance. If you find yourself getting nervous, take a subtle pause to recalibrate by taking a deep breath or adjusting your posture.
Besides what you say, effective communication is about how you present yourself. Being mindful of your breathing and body language can help you exude confidence and stay composed even in high-pressure situations.
Harnessing the power of positive visualization and affirmations can significantly impact your mental state during a job interview. Before the big day, spend some time visualizing a successful interview scenario. Picture yourself confidently answering questions, engaging with the interviewer and leaving a positive impression.
Additionally, create a list of affirmations that reinforce your capabilities and strengths. Repeat these affirmations in the days leading up to the interview, especially moments before it begins. Affirmations can serve as powerful mental tools, combating self-doubt and boosting your confidence.
By focusing on positive outcomes and affirming your abilities, you create a mental framework that supports composure. This mental preparation is an often overlooked but critical aspect of performing well in a job interview.
It’s natural to feel compelled to respond quickly to questions during an interview. However, taking a moment to gather your thoughts before responding allows you to provide a more thoughtful answer and maintain composure.
If you encounter a challenging question, resist the urge to rush into an answer. Instead, take a deliberate pause, collect your thoughts, and then respond calmly and confidently. Pausing also demonstrates your ability to handle pressure and think critically, qualities that employers often value in prospective candidates.
In a job interview, you must convey security and confidence. But to do this, you must first feel safe and confident. One strategy is to respond concisely. Don’t go on too long in your answers, as that could convey the idea that you’re not sure what you’re saying or that you’re trying to hide something.
In this sense, a study conducted at Harvard Business School suggested that it is not a good idea to show off by hiding behind a complaint. Therefore, when they ask you about your weaknesses, instead of saying things like “I’m a perfectionist” or “I work a lot,” it is better to acknowledge your “defects.” Saying: “I am aware that I am not always well organized, but I am improving,” will allow you to convey a more mature image.
In fact, other research from Stanford and Harvard universities found that many interviewers pay more attention to candidates’ potential than to their actual achievements. Lying adds an additional cognitive load that will generate more nervousness. On the other hand, being honest will take a weight off your shoulders and allow you to feel more confident and relaxed.
Job interviews can be demanding, but with the right strategies, you can navigate them with composure and confidence. By preparing thoroughly, managing your breathing and body language, embracing positive visualization and affirmations, and leveraging the power of pause, you can present the best version of yourself to potential employers. Staying calm and collected can ensure you showcase your skills and abilities to the fullest, increasing your chances of making a lasting impression and securing the job you desire.
Sexzer, O. et. Al. (2017) Humblebragging: A Distinct – and Ineffective – Self-Presentation Strategy. Harvard Business School Marketing Unit Working Paper; 15-080.
Feiler, A.R.&Powell, D.M. (2016) Behavioral Expression of Job Interview Anxiety. J Bus Psychol; 31: 155–171.
Tormala, Z. L. & Jayson, S. J. (2012) The Preference for Potential Stanford University Michael I. Norton Harvard Business School. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology; 103(4): 567–583.