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5 Exercises You Can Do to Stay Calm Before a Job Interview

A positive mental state is important when heading into a job interview. You want to be calm, cool and collected. However, despite your best intentions, your mind and body don’t always cooperate. It’s easy to drift into anxiety and worry.

The good news is there are steps you can take to get your mental process back on track. 

Here are five exercises you can do to remain calm as you head into a job interview:

Directed Breathing

Nervousness creates a physiological response. You sweat. Your mouth gets dry. You may get a tight feeling in your stomach. It can all conspire to sink your interview performance.

However, while pre-interview jitters can manifest physically, you can affect your mood by taking control of your physical presence. You can work from the outside in.

Directed breathing can accomplish this. Close your eyes. Concentrate on your breathing. You might not have the time (or the inclination) for full-on meditation, but you can still take steps so you can show up to the interview confident and calm.

Control What You Can Control

You can’t will yourself to get a job. Ultimately, the decision will rest with other people. That fact alone can stir panic-grade levels of anxiety.

You can ease your nerves by making sure everything within your control is taken care of. Arrive on time. Dress for success. Bring all the items you need for a successful presentation, such as copies of your resume and your portfolio. By ensuring you’re ready and prepared, you limit the things that can spark negative thinking.

Don’t Focus on What You Can’t Control

You intuitively realize that some things are beyond your power to influence. Don’t let those issues get you rattled.

Plenty can go wrong in an interview, things you have no power over. You might arrive to discover your interview has been postponed, or the decision-making executive who was supposed to be in the meeting might have been called away to deal with an emergency.

Whatever the case, you must push ahead. Concentrate on the things under your control and react as best you can to everything else.

Positive Visualization

Expressing a positive mood is key to making a good first impression. An optimistic outlook makes it easier to get into the right mindset. Make that happen by imagining how well the interview will go.

Don’t go into the meeting fearing the worst, thinking about all the ways you could potentially embarrass yourself. Instead, picture how you will succeed; how you will impress the interviewers, and how you will land the job.

Practice Your Opening Elevator Pitch

Being prepared helps you gain confidence. If you feel your calm demeanor starting to waver ahead of the interview, redirect that nervous energy into something constructive by practicing your opening elevator pitch.


Pick out the highlights of your background that you want to focus on. If you concentrate on the attributes that make you the perfect fit for the position, those items will be at the front of your mind once the interview starts.


Practice Your Opening Elevator Pitch

Keeping the right mindset ahead of an interview is difficult; however, it gets easier when you know the position is perfect for you. Working with a top-ranked recruiter, like Recruiting in Motion, gives you the confidence to drive your career forward. Contact us today to learn more.

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