August 02, 2013, 4:47 PM — It's normal to be nervous heading into a big interview, but if your anxiety level is shifting from apprehensive to completely freaking out, check out motivational speaker and author Glenford Smith's tips for mastering the jitters.
Embrace your fear
Accept these feelings, they're routine. Smith advocates giving yourself a little pep talk, too: "Tell yourself that fear is natural and that you can handle whatever comes up in the interview."
The more you know about the company and its challenges going in, the better you'll feel.
This tip is tied to the latter. In your research on the organization, identify concrete ways you will help them succeed. The theme of your interview should not be why a company should give you a job, but rather how you will help them.
"This engenders a winning self-concept of a valuable contributor instead of a desperate job seeker," Smith says.
Rehearse your interview
Practice makes perfect. Or, at least, much better. You can run through traditional interview questions with family or friends if you want a true dress rehearsal, or at least practice your responses - out loud - to deliver sold, clear answers. Or, better yet, come armed with stories.
Visualize a successful interview
You hear this tip from top athletes and performers all the time. Why? Because it works. Down to the smallest detail, envision your interview step by step.
Get the basics right
It may be obvious, but bears repeating: Dress appropriately, be on time, etc.
One of the worst questions to ask in any interview is one that reveals you weren't listening. Listen up, understand the question and speak confidently. "Practice an attitude of self-assuredness and you'll maintain a mental state of confidence," Smith advises.