You’re shaky, sweaty and there are knots in your stomach. You’re trying to concentrate but your mind won’t focus. Yes, that job interview is tomorrow and you’re nerves are well and truly jangled.
It’s not easy to quell job interview jitters, but with a little extra prep work you can turn into a much cooler, calmer and more collected candidate.
The evening before — or the morning of the interview if you have time — try the following yoga sequence. It consists of power poses that make you feel grounded and strong while expanding the body to increase confidence. By stretching you dissolve any tension and focusing on the breath has a naturally calming effect.
Before you start, warm up with shoulders rolls, neck rolls and a gentle forward bend. Now stand on a non-slip surface or yoga mat with the feet together and begin to pay attention to your breath. Keep this focus throughout your practice.
Exhale and bend the right knee. Stack the right knee above the right ankle — pressing into the outer edge of the right foot helps you to do this. Now engage the left leg and press into the foot, especially the outer edge, rooting into the ground.
Raise the arms to shoulder height. Stretch the fingers out, away from the body, and feel your arms grow a little longer. Relax the shoulders away from the ears and turn your head to the right, to look over the fingers of your right hand.
Press into the soles of the feet as you inhale and soften the body as you exhale.
4. WIDE-LEGGED FORWARD BEND: Turn the toes forward and soften the knees. Fold forward, taking your hands to the ground if possible. Relax the neck and soften the gaze.
Now repeat this sequence on the other side. These are strong postures that work the legs hard, so only hold them for as long as feels comfortable for your body.
A calming breathing exercise is an essential tool to practice after this sequence and also just before the interview. Simply sit comfortably and close the eyes or soften the gaze. Focus on your breath and feel it ebb and flow. Start to inhale for a count of four and exhale for a count of four. When this feels comfortable, extend your exhale to a count of six or maybe eight, depending on your breath. Do this for as many rounds as you like to help calm your nervous system and ease anxiety.
Now go for it! And remember, a few nerves are only natural…
Health Yourself column, published in the Irish Daily Mail, February 6, 2018