January 10, 2014, 5:14 PM — Career expert Carol Vecchio says there is a way to save yourself and your job chances if you feel them sliding south during the interview.
"Take a deep breath, shoo those pests away (you can even set up a physical cue for yourself ahead of time, like briefly brushing your pant leg or skirt), and remember to shift your attention back to the present moment," she notes. "The fear creeps in when your focus is somewhere else."
It's normal for your nerves to flare during an interview and Vecchio tells Career Attraction it's usually when you are not focusing on the interviewer, but yourself.
"The nervousness arises when your attention is all on yourself. Shift it back onto the other person," she adds. "Remember, the goal is to build this relationship and learn about whether this position is the right fit for you. The goal isn’t about being a perfect interviewee."
Instead of being the "perfect" interviewee, Vecchio says your goal should be to connect to the interviewer on a personal level and create an experience that's more like a casual conversation than a formal Q&A.
"You know the typical interview cadence: they ask, you answer, they ask, you answer until you hear, 'Do you have any questions?' Then you ask, they answer, you ask, they answer until there are no more questions to ask or you run out of time," she notes. "Instead, create a new rhythm to the conversation: they ask, you answer…and then you ask something related to what they asked. Break up the typical pattern. Intersperse your questions throughout.
Click below for more advice on landing and interview and how to bring it back on track if it's floundering.