Picture this: you worked very hard for over four years to get your college degree. You worked the same job for the entire duration of your college career, but now it’s time to move on and start your career.

How do you prepare and show up confident after not experiencing an interview for so many years? Here are some tips on how to nail your interview with confidence. 

Breathe in, breathe out

Interviews are always stressful, especially after not job searching for a few years. In stressful situations, blood flows away from your brain which can cause you to panic.  Breathing is one, easy way to remain calm and collected in these situations. Try taking deep breaths, in through the nose and out through the mouth before walking in the interview room. This will help you to ground yourself and bring some oxygen back to your brain before your interview.

Rehearse, rehearse, rehearse

In most cases, interviewers ask very similar, common questions that you can easily prepare for. Here is a list of 50 common interview questions that you can sift through as you practice. Targeted questions, specifically about the company you are interviewing for, are not covered. So make sure you do your research to be prepared for those questions. It may help to have a friend or someone you trust act as the interviewer so you can have some practical experience. Also, when answering these questions, make sure you answer honestly. Lying about your skills and qualities to get the job will not get you very far.

Positive thoughts go a long way

The header says it best. In order to have the best interview possible, you have to believe in yourself. If you do not believe in yourself, your interviewer will not believe in you either. The night before, and even the day of, say a few positive affirmations to get yourself in the zone. “I am qualified for this position,” “I am a good fit for the company and its needs,” and “I am worthy of this position” are a few things you can say to yourself to get in the zone. Remember, believing in yourself is very helpful to convince your interviewer to believe in you!

Strong handshakes, eye contact, and good posture are key

Body language is the first way an interviewer will evaluate you. If you walk in with your head down, slouched, and looking around rather than at the interviewer, they will automatically be a bit more harsh in their assessment of you. Walk in with confidence; look straight ahead, chest up (but not so much to the point that it looks exaggerated), and maintain natural eye contact with the interviewer. When you greet them, be sure to have a firm handshake to show that you mean business. Though, keep in mind that in the wake of COVID, some interviewers may not appreciate a handshake. It may be best to follow their suit. If they don’t extend their hand, make a respectful gesture with a slight bow of the head.

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