The job search is different for each person, but there is one common factor that everyone shares – the interview. Whether these conversations take place over the phone, Skype/FaceTime, text or in person, an interview is usually required at some point(s) during the application process.

Since these are essentially your first look at a company (and the company’s first look at you), it is easy and completely normal, to feel nervous, especially if you really want the job. Some nerves are beneficial, but if you’re too nervous your interview performance could suffer. How and where do you draw the line between “good nervous” and “overly-nervous/anxious”?

An article for PayScale provides tips for job seekers to get over their interview nerves and give off the best first impression possible (and hopefully get hired!). Three of the tips mentioned stood out to me, so I wanted to share them with our readers. Read the full article here.

Polish Your Elevator Pitch

Two words used frequently in networking are “elevator pitch,” but what exactly does that mean? According to UC Davis, “an elevator pitch is a clear, brief message or ‘commercial’ about you. It communicates who you are, what you’re looking for and how you can benefit a company or organization.” As our article “Common Interview Questions and How To Answer Them” mentioned, one of the most common and popular ways to start an interview is by asking the question “so tell me about yourself?” This is the time to deliver your elevator pitch!

By practicing this 30-60 second pitch before the interview, you’ll be able to answer this question with relative ease and make a good first impression! Be sure to adjust how you’d fit for each opportunity, just like you would a cover letter and resume.

Learn Everything You Can About The Interviewer

In preparing for the interview, you have probably scoured the internet for any and all information about the company and role. Maybe you looked up reviews from past interviewers, or the company profile on LinkedIn. Have you thought about doing research on the person or people you will be interviewing with?

By doing so you can find any recent industry news they have been involved in, learn more about their background, how they got to their current position and maybe even find some commonalities to kickstart conversation. Another reason to research the person interviewing you is that they have certainly done the same for you. Which leads to the next point…

Clean Up Your Social Media Presence

According to a study done by our friends over at CareerBuilder, 70 percent of employers are using social media to screen applicants. This can be done by deleting pictures of you partying, other inappropriate pictures, politically-sensitive material, etc. While the “Internet is forever,” cleaning up your presence is usually a good start. In the future, being aware of your online brand is something to be considered. A good rule of thumb is that if you question whether or not to post something, you probably shouldn’t.

Wrap Up

Interviews can be a nerve wracking experience, especially if you really want the job. While some nerves are good and will keep you on your toes, being too nervous can be detrimental to your interview experience. Managing your nerves during these stressful events is key to performing your best and hopefully helping you land the job. By incorporating these three tips (and more) into your interview preparation, you should be able to calm your nerves and make an excellent first impression.

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