You have your eyes on the prize. You know that you’re qualified for the job you applied for and then you got a call that they’d like to interview you. That’s when your stomach drops and your nerves start to kick in.

It’s a position everyone will find themselves in at some point or another in their life, and at the Professional Development Center of Glendale Community College, it’s something we’re confident that you can prepare for. Sure, being asked to come in and talk about yourself can be incredibly intimidating — in fact, it can often feel like your entire professional life is being put under a microscope and examined with extreme scrutiny — but believe it or not, it’s something you can get through.

That’s why in today’s post, our team would like to offer a few tips to help you deal with nerves at your next interview. We’re big proponents of continuous improvement and if you’re taking the next step in your career, we’re here to help. Keep reading to learn more.

Are You Nervous About Your Next Job Interview?

If you’re feeling a little bit intimidated about an upcoming job interview, here’s some information that should help to calm you a bit — you’re not alone! It’s very easy to focus in on yourself and your specific situation when you’re feeling overwhelmed by an upcoming interview, but the fact of the matter is that pretty much everyone out there is nervous to be interviewed. In other words, they’re in the same position as you. 

So what will set you apart? It’s all about how you deal with your nerves!

Here’s what you can do:

Be Yourself!

First and foremost, it’s important to remember to be yourself during your interview. If you’re pretending to be someone else, there’s a good chance that you won’t come across as sincere. Instead, recognize that you know who you are and that you’re a qualified candidate for the job you’re applying for. After all, if you’re not qualified, they wouldn’t have called you for an interview in the first place!

While some will tell you that an interview is an opportunity to sell yourself to your potential employer, we think that there’s a better way to think about it. Instead, we advocate for showing them why you’re awesome, and there’s no better way to do that than by being yourself. If you bring a lighthearted approach to work, put it on display in your interview. We’re not saying that you need to think of a hundred different jokes to tell or anything like that. Instead, we want the takeaway to be that you should focus on the things that make you who you are and don’t be afraid to put them on display.

Know the Position You’re Interviewing For

One of the absolute best things you can do when preparing for an interview is to review the responsibilities of the job you applied for. Knowing what’s expected of you goes a long way towards showing the company you want to work for that you cared enough to take the time to do your research. 

Our advice? Hone in on a handful of key phrases from the job description and make sure to use them in your interview. You don’t have to bend over backwards to work them into your conversation, but if the opportunity comes up, be sure to take advantage of the knowledge that you’ve gained!

Of course, it also doesn’t hurt to do your research on the company you’re applying for. If they’re a small startup, learn about how they got their start and what their goals are. If, on the other hand, the company has been around for quite some time, try to get a handle on their history and some of the company’s milestones.

Take Care of Yourself Beforehand

It can be easy to get lost in the buildup to the interview. This is so true, in fact, that it can cause you to stop taking care of yourself. That’s why we recommend taking some time to relax the night before your interview. Whether that means taking a hot shower, reading a book instead of watching television, or going for a walk, it will go a long way.

You should also stay hydrated, eat a good meal, and get plenty of sleep the night before. These might seem like little things, but believe it or not, they’re also the things that go furthest towards giving you a good head start on your interview.

Once you get to the interview itself, take advantage of our tips on what to do during the interview. The basics like smiling, giving a firm handshake, and maintaining eye contact are the ones you’ll hear a lot, but there’s a reason for that, so be sure to take advantage of these tips as well!

Professional Skills to Set Yourself Up For Success

At the Professional Development Center of Glendale Community College, we’re Southern California’s headquarters for custom state-funded training. Over the past three decades, we’ve helped over 34,000 employees from thousands of companies.

We have a variety of classes coming up on subjects ranging from business math to Microsoft Office to management and team skills. Take a look at our full index of classes and sign up today! Have a question for us? We’d love to speak with you, so don’t hesitate to contact us any time.