1. Prepare well
Don’t leave any gaps in your preparation as these can trigger anxiety. Enjoy the preparation phase as there is a lot to learn. Get familiar with the full recruitment lifecycle: research, networking, CV, cover letter, application, interview preparation & performance, and offer. Plan well, start your preparation early, and pay attention to every aspect leading up to the interview. Try not to rush things and don’t cut corners as every step adds to the success. If your preparation is comprehensive throughout the recruitment lifecycle, your anxiety will be naturally lower.
There is a great deal to learn as well during this process. You will come across new concepts, ideas, books, people, and blind spots. Be open, flexible, and enjoy the process. Take sufficient breaks to recharge and don’t forget to celebrate the mini success (no matter how small). This way the experience becomes pleasant and less stressful.
2. Remove peer pressure
What’s happening with your friends/peers/colleagues has no real existence for you. Learn from them, get inspired, and wish them luck. Focus on what you can do i.e., just give your best in every situation to steer your life where you want it to go. Your life is your making, and their life is theirs. Comparing yourself all the time will only damage your focus and before you know it, you end up living someone else’s life or emulating someone else’s success.
3. You chose to be in that interview
No one has put a gun to your head and forced you to attend the interview (I hope not). So, isn’t it a bit ridiculous to feel anxious about something that you genuinely want to do? You worry about everything that could go wrong or dread the fact that someone is evaluating you. Let go of these thoughts and emotions.
4. Feel grateful for the opportunity
Remember that so many people around you and in the world don’t get the opportunities that you have. All the good things we have are somehow easily forgotten. We get too busy worrying all the time. So, pause whenever you can and be thankful for all the fantastic things in life - education, safety, good health, family, friends, etc. It’s a great privilege and opportunity which millions around the world don’t have, unfortunately. The interview process is yet another opportunity given to you. Be grateful and enjoy it.
5. Take that chance
Remember that the interviewing company is giving you an opportunity. So, they deserve to see your best. Once you get the interview call, the ball is in your court now. The company is giving you a chance and it's yours to grab. So, in reciprocity, they deserve to see your best.
6. Gather information about the interviewer
If possible, through your research or networking try and find out more about the interviewer - their style, likes, hobbies, or anything that you could weave into your conversation. This could become a good conversation pivot. But be cautious to do this in a genuine way and only if you feel comfortable doing so. Or else you risk coming across as fake.
7. Eat something light
A light meal or fruits before the interview will keep you energetic and sharp. Don’t go into the interview with a full-loaded stomach. Keep yourself well hydrated.
8. Push yourself with music
Listen to some soothing music or watch something funny. It’s your personal choice but the right type of music has a profound impact on calming the human system. Explore this as an option to help calm the nerves and perhaps even fire up some adrenaline.
9. Clear your mind
Meditation used to be and still is my personal favorite indulgence before I enter any big situation. In fact, I now meditate daily, first thing in the morning. There are plenty of short (15-30mins) guided meditation videos available online and on apps. Try and experiment and settle on that which works for you, helps you relax and be in the moment. Make this a daily practice if you can.
Otherwise, going for a short walk in an open park (if possible, for you) before the interview could also do wonders to calm the nerves. Regular exercise must also become part of your routine and not just left to certain key days or moments in the week.