published Sunday, August 19th, 2012

How to stay positive before an interview

Most of us have been there, nervously anticipating an upcoming job interview. When we're nervous, our body language tends to give us away.

Signs take many forms. We may stammer, clench our fists, clear our throats, or tap our fingers. Certainly, during a job interview, we want to hide this telltale behavior. So what can we do to calm the jitters?

Brenda K. Raye, director of career services at Brown Mackie College ‹ North Canton, provides some answers. She understands the jitters from both sides of the table ‹ as a job candidate facing an important interview, and as an employer interviewing applicants who exhibit classic signs of nervousness.

Relax: "Be you," she tells those she coaches. "They already know you have the skills to perform the job. They got that from your résumé. Now they want to see your personality. Employers look for the best fit within the company or team." Know your work ethics: Raye typically asks those seeking employment to create a list of work ethics, like hard working, dependable and the ability to work with a team or individually.

Practice, practice, practice: Be prepared. Have your family give you practice interview questions.

Prepare your own questions: Once you have practiced answering interview questions, you will want to prepare to ask a few questions of your own. "Do not ask about salary or benefits," counsels Raye.

Give yourself credit: If you are still a little nervous after all of your practice and preparation, Raye offers this advice: "If you landed an interview in the first place, that alone should let you know you¹re doing a good job." ‹ ARAContent

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