Your big interview is close; anxiety is setting in. By the time you’re ready to commute to the interview, you’ll be one giant ball of stress. So how do you reduce job interview stress right before you shake hands with the interviewer?
To lessen your interview stress, here are seven things you can do during the drive to your next job interview…
1. Crank Up the AC
Interview stress has a way of fogging up our brains, making articulating what we’re thinking difficult. If you’re feeling groggy or sluggish, roll down the windows or crank up the air conditioning in your car even if it’s a chilly day. With some fresh air hitting your face, you’ll liven up in no time and be able to think more clearly. An additional advantage is that if you’re prone to sweating in stressful situations, the cold air will work to cool your body.
2. Listen to Some Music
Whether you’re feeling excited, overwhelmed, stressed or all of the above before the big job interview, music can lower stress levels immensely. The week of your interview, take the time to create a playlist with songs to calm you down and an upbeat one to get you pumped up. If you’re not into music, you can still take your mind off the interview stress. There are various podcasts you can listen to, including ones covering pop culture, food, and other lighthearted topics. Depending on your mood while driving to the interview, you’ll have plenty of options for your listening pleasure.
3. Snack Smartly
Before your interview, your stomach may feel like it’s in knots and it might be hard to eat. However, nothing is worse than being in the middle of a sentence with your future boss, only to be interrupted by your stomach gurgling its displeasure at finding itself on empty. Prior to your interview, find a healthy snack that won’t be messy and isn’t going to make your breath putrid. Fresh veggies, a protein-packed smoothie, a scone, or a muffin will work perfectly. Snacking smartly can help to wake you up and give your brain the fuel it needs to ace the interview. Just make sure it ends up in your stomach and not down the front of your suit or blouse. It may be best to pack another shirt just in case.
4. Go Zen
You might be lucky enough to have a yoga session right before your interview to release some stress, but why not bring the good vibes of the studio with you? With some essential oil room spray, relaxing music, and a positive mantra to repeat to yourself, you can focus on the drive while melting away interview stress. By the time you arrive at your interview, you’ll feel refreshed and have a positive outlook for your potential new employer.
5. Practice Your Smile and Posture
Driving can be tough on your back depending on how far you’re traveling, and even with a car cushion massager, you may start to feel anxious just because you’re stuck and can’t burn the nervous energy off. The good news is you can practice good posture and a warm smile anywhere. According to a recent study, candidates who smiled less were deemed more favorable for jobs considered to be serious and professional. However, candidates who smiled at the beginning and end of the interview faired better than candidates who smiled throughout the entire interview. So practice those award-winning smiles for when you first arrive and when you leave.
Great posture (shoulders down, head up, and back straight) works for any type of job interview and shows you are confident, poised, and ready to address anything that comes your way. Let your body language reflect your attitude about the job.
Bonus: Check Your Face and Breath
Stuck at what seems to be an extra long red light with only a mile or two to go? Take the time to flip down your mirror and give those pearly whites a once over. If you were snacking in the car, this part is especially important before you make your way into the interview. Having chia seeds from your smoothie stuck in your teeth won’t really win you any points. Make sure if you’re wearing makeup that nothing is smeared, and check your hair, especially if the windows were down or the AC was cranked up. In a professional way, make sure your looks are wow-worthy!
A certain degree of interview anxiety pumps up the adrenaline and allows you to be more focused. So don’t allow it to derail your chances of doing well in the interview. But at every opportunity, reduce job interview stress… even as you drive!
For this post, YouTern thanks Career Musings from our friends at Daisywright.com.
About the Author: Daisy Wright is an award winning career coach, certified executive leadership development coach, certified career management coach, author, and certified resume strategist who collaborates with executives, managers, and mid-level professionals in all aspects of their job search and career. With more than 15 years in the careers industry, she has what it takes to guide you in the “Wright” direction!