Friday 17 October 2014 9:37 am

How to keep your cool in a job interview

A big job interview can be one of the most stressful things you will do in your professional life.

So much is riding on such a short amount of time. Your future earnings, your home and where it is, your lifestyle, how you and your family live and how your kids are educated – and of course your retirement. No pressure – just don't screw it up.

Being able to keep your cool and stay calm is vital. Expressing yourself clearly in a confident and relaxed way will give you the best chance of getting that life-changing job.

Here are some tips on how to keep your cool during a job interview:

Come prepared

Research the company, the industry, and the job role. Brainstorm possible questions and prepare your answers to them. Consider strong stories to back up your points. Write out some questions to ask your interviewer. Coming prepared to your interview is the key to feeling confident.

Arrive early

Get to your interview early and collect your thoughts. Go through your research and notes. Take a deep breath and concentrate on what is to come. Switch off your phone. Arriving late will cause you to become even more stressed and will give the wrong impression.

Have a conversation

Think of the interview as a conversation between two people, not an interrogation. This will make you feel more relaxed and confident. Remember that the interviewer wants you to do well; they are on your side.

Take your time

Do not rush to answer every question immediately. Take a few seconds to think about what you are going to say before answering. A good answer said slowly is better than a worse answer said quickly.

Don’t let mistakes trip you up

In a high pressure, high-stress situation like a job interview mistakes are inevitable. Interviewers understand this. If you make a mistake correct it immediately and move on, try to forget about it and carry on with the interview. A perfect interview is rare, if not impossible.

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