Let’s face it. For some people, just hearing the words “college interview” can be scary. It can feel like you’re starring in one of those cop shows where the subject’s being interrogated, sweating bullets while he tries to come up with the right answers.
Not your college interview. So don’t worry.
Okay, you say — you get that. You know the interviewer’s not your enemy. You’ve prepared for your college interview. But you still feel your mouth going dry. What do you do?
There are some easy-to-learn techniques that can help.
Here are 6 Tips to Combat Interview Nerves:
1. Arrive early. It will give you time to sit down, relax, take a look around, and get your bearings.
2. Take a short, brisk walk before your interview. Walk off the jitters. You’ll get rid of nervous energy and be less fidgety once you get inside.
3. Bring a bottle of water. Nerves can cause a dry mouth, so have water with you and take a sip when you need it.
4. Take a deep breath. Focusing on your breath can be very calming. Try this exercise: Breathe in on a slow count of four, hold it for four, and breathe out on a count of four.
5. Greet the interviewer with a smile and a handshake. Look him or her in the eye, smile, offer your hand, and say hello. You’re taking the initiative to start the interview on confident, friendly terms, and you’ll find it makes a difference.
6. Try “small talk” first. You don’t have to get down to big questions right away. You can ease into the interview with a bit of small talk — what you’ve seen of the campus, how the directions were easy to follow, even how the weather is. This will give you an extra few moments to ease into things.
Every interviewer understands about nerves. The trick is to be well prepared for your interview, and then to use the techniques that can help make you shine.
Sharon Epstein is a Writers Guild Award-winner and two-time Emmy Award nominee, teaching students around the world how to master interview skills, write resumes, and transform their goals, dreams and experiences into memorable college application essays. She works with students everywhere: in-person, by phone, FaceTime, Skype and email. Visit my website for more info. Connect on Google+, Pinterest and Twitter.