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How to beat job interview stress
Deeksha Singh
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August 26, 2008

A job interview is a vital step towards finding a job which is in alignment with an individual's career aspirations. Most people focus on starting early, planning intelligently, and making good use of their broad-based skills, especially those related to research, analysis, and communication in order to choose the right job.

However, what are often overlooked are the techniques to overcome the pre-interview stress which can act as a dampener. Here are some tips to ease out any interview related stress and anxiety and put forward a calm and confident image before the recruiter.

Leave early for the interview

Often the most common reason for stress is arriving late or just in time for the interview. This aggravates the anxiety levels of most people and impacts their performance. Leave for the interview early and target to reach the venue at least 20 minutes before the schedule, so you can have plenty of time to get lost, get back on track, crawl through traffic jams, fix a flat tyre etc. You'll want to have a few moments to fill out any necessary forms, compose yourself, and make a quick, last-minute grooming trip to the restroom as well.

Practice with your friends / family

Practice interview several times with someone before the interview. Encourage them to ask off-the-wall questions. The questions will differ from those in the interview. However the mind games you play, out loud, will prepare you for most questions you may face. Take opportunities to interview for positions even if you are not really interested in the position. The practice experience will prepare you for the interview when you really want the position.

Focus on an intended outcome

Decide at the beginning what is the most important aspect of the job offering that you are aiming at so you have a reason for your focus.

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Trying to focus on a general wish list like salary, perks, profile, position etc will sometimes dull your vision dull your vision, causing you to become frustrated and confused. You can always modify your direction later.

Connect with peers at the interview

It's a good idea to exchange pleasantries with peers who are there for the interview. It helps to learn about their professional background and aspirations. You will be surprised to learn that most candidates have similar apprehensions before the interview. Some informal discussions will help you evaluate your competition and also relax your nerves.

Keep a tab on your diet

"I am addicted to coffee and have anywhere between 6�8 cups a day in order to keep myself awake," says 23-year-old Sujata Krishnan, who works in a call centre. I end up feeling dreadful the next day and this has impacted my performance in interviews in the past". 

Throw out the cola & caffeine from your routine at least a couple of days before the interview and replace it with fruits. Else, go for the champion drink -- water. It will flush out all toxins and keep you charged throughout the day.

What and when you eat can make a big difference to the way you cope with stress. Don't skip meals -- particularly breakfast -- or rush to finish them. Try to maintain a well-balanced, healthy diet. It's a good idea to carry some fruits that you can munch on your way to the interview site.

Keep your options open

You will feel less nervous and anxious of you have applied for several jobs. This will enable you to relax during the interview and not treat it like an 'end of life' event. Start enjoying your interviews. Look forward to going to interviews; look forward to speaking; getting to know people and learning more about professional interviews. Every interview you go to should be a learning experience. It is no big deal if you don't get a few jobs as long as you are learning from the experience.

I know these ideas may seem basic, but simple ideas get results -- if you do them. Remember, whatever you can do to helpyourself feel good will give you an edge over the other candidates and make a positive impact during the interview.

Deeksha Singh is a Managing Partner at WCH Training Solutions, a New Delhi [Images] based Training & Consulting firm. She can be reached at

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