Next to getting a job offer, being invited to an interview is the most exciting step in the job-hunting process! If you’ve been searching for weeks or maybe even months, getting that call gives you an excellent reason to celebrate.

But the thrill of victory could quickly be replaced by the panic of reality when you will need to face a hiring manager who holds your future in the palm of their hands — or so it seems. Your interview is still days away, and your palms are sweating already. What will you be like when you walk into that office?

You’re not alone with these feelings. Nearly everyone is intimidated to some degree by a job interview. Maybe you can’t mitigate all the symptoms of anxiety, but you can take some steps to make it look like you have.

Concentrate on your breathing

While you’re waiting outside the interview office, take a minute or two to do some deep breathing. The most effective method is to take a deep breath through your nose and slowly release it through your mouth. If you repeat this at least three times while concentrating on centering your thoughts, you should be able to achieve a relaxed state of mind.

Control your tendency to fidget

Fidgeting tells the interviewer that you are nervous, so make an effort not to do it. One trick is to keep your hands on your lap to keep you from tapping the table or twirling your hair. Some people shake their legs when they get nervous. If you are one of them, put some pressure on your legs as a reminder to keep it to a minimum. If you’re like most people, you’re not even aware that you fidget, so do a mock interview with a friend and practice controlling any fidgeting you discover.

Make eye contact

If you want to convince an interviewer that you are confident, one of the best ways to do it is to maintain natural eye contact throughout the interview. You will appear to be engaged, which will make you seem self-assured.  One trick to remind yourself to make eye contact is to focus on one of the interviewer’s eyes.

While eye contact is essential, you don’t want to come across as creepy, so take an occasional break and look down at your resume

Keep positive thoughts in your mind

Keep telling yourself that you deserve to be at this interview because you are a serious candidate. Use positive thoughts like this to mentally promote yourself before the meeting. It can calm you enough to allow you to approach the interview with a surge of self-assurance and poise.

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