You’ve heard all the normal things before.
Make sure you’re dressed nice. Print out extra copies of your resume. Make sure you know everything about the company you’re applying for. Be ready for any question.
But there’s another side to preparing for a work experience interview, and it comes down to taking care of yourself.
When someone is under a lot of pressure and feel they have to get everything right, they are more likely to have a brain choke and perform worse than usual.
That’s why an important part of getting ready for an interview is preparing your mind to hold up under the stress.
Take a look at these five tips that will help you feel confident in yourself and ace that work experience interview.
Your brain actually thinks better when you exercise. You don’t have to be doing anything super strenuous either. When you get your body moving, you increase the blood flow throughout your entire body, including your brain.
Blood carries oxygen, so more blood flow to the brain means your brain can perform better.
So working out before your interview can make you more alert. Of course, going to the gym right before your interview may be impractical (you don’t want to show up sweaty and smelly). But don’t think of your pre-interview exercise as a workout.
Instead, think of the small things you can do that will get your body moving. Do a few sit-ups when you wake up. If your interview isn’t first thing in the morning, go for a walk beforehand.
If it is first thing in the morning and you don’t live too far away, consider walking to your interview. (You should only do this if the weather is nice and you won’t be walking through a lot of dirt or mud. You don’t want to arrive at the interview with filthy shoes and messy hair).
2. Eat Right and Sleep Right
You may think the night before the interview is a good time to stay up late and cram in some last minute study questions. If anything, you should go to bed earlier than you normally would the night before your interview.
Good sleep is directly correlated to good performance. When you get a full night of sleep, you’re more likely to be alert the next morning. This means you will perform better during your interview and leave a good impression on potential employers.
The same can be said with eating and drinking right.
You may feel nervous the day before your interview, or the morning of, but you need to keep eating and drinking like normal. First of all, you don’t want to skip breakfast and have to talk over your growling stomach.
And not drinking enough water can make you dehydrated. When you get dehydrated, you’ll feel tired and sluggish.
3. Deep Breathing
Depending on what job you’re applying for, some interview process can be long and involved, some may even require things like drug tests (learn more). Practice some deep breathing exercises.
The way you breath is actually connected to your emotional state. When people start panicking, their breaths get shorter and faster. When we are calm, our breaths are slow and steady.
So calming our breathing when we feel nervous can help calm our mind as well.
You should learn and practice breathing exercises in the days leading up to your work experience interview. They are especially good to do when you’re sitting in the lobby of a company building waiting for your name to be called.
Here is a good breathing exercise that will help calm both your mind and your body when you’re feeling worked up.
Sit up straight, preferably somewhere comfortable, and close your eyes.
Inhale a breath for two counts (through your nose). Hold it for one count. Then release it for four counts (through your nose). Hold breath out for one count and repeat.
The breaths should be slow and gentle. You can extend the counts if the breaths feel too small or rushed. For example, you can breathe in for four counts and out for six counts.
If holding your breath makes you uncomfortable, you’re holding it for too long. Remember, this is supposed to relax you, not make breathing stressful.
Just find a length that is calming for you and breath like that for as much as five minutes. You’ll notice the difference.
4. Listen to Your Favorite Music
Listening to music can make you feel energized or motivated. Listen to it in the car on the way to your interview or as you’re getting ready before you leave the house.
If music isn’t really your thing, you can get the same effect listening to a motivational speech or podcast.
When you find something you like, use it to energize and calm your mind and body in the days leading up to your interview.
5. Strike a Power Pose
Standing in a power pose can influence the cortisol levels in our brain and make us more successful, even in situations in which we don’t feel confident.
A power pose is standing in a way that shows confidence. You could stand with your hands on your hips or with your fists in the air or sit with your hands behind her head and your ankle cross over your knee.
Try some of these poses the morning of your interview. If you can, do them right before you walk into the interview room. And make sure you stay in the pose for at least a minute. It won’t help much if you only hold it for a few seconds.
Conquer Your Work Experience Interview
Don’t let the pressure of a work experience interview and your nervous thoughts get the better of you. Instead of spending all your time focusing on finding the right answers to possible interview questions, take some time to prepare your mind and body.
You’ll feel a lot more confident with an alert mind.
Before you settle into your new job, make sure you don’t have any bad habits that will hurt your productivity.