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Chances are you’re feeling slightly apprehensive about the big day, as every nightmare scenario plays out in your head:

’What if I forget everything I’ve ever learned in my entire life when I’m asked a question?’, ‘what if I trip on the way in and fall flat on my face’, ‘what if I get lost on the way there, lose one of my shoes and get rained on? ‘

Relax, breathe, and take your time

So you’ve arrived at an interview filled with nerves; your palms are sweaty, knees weak, arms are heavy – you may also have been listening to Eminem on the way, but we digress – to put it simply, interviews are a scary ordeal.

Anxiousness is inevitable, but it can be controlled with a few simple words – Breathe. Relax. And, Repeat.

Remember that you’ve been invited to an interview for a reason; you’ve obviously done something right, and good news, they already like you, so try not to dwell on the fact that you might not impress.

Slow your speech down, so you’re not speaking at a thousand words a minute, and take the time to think through your answers before you say them. Remember: pausing for thought is always a good idea.

Nail your interview answers

Many people make the mistake of trying to ’wing it’ when it comes to interviews.

However, even if you feel as though the ‘wild risk taker’ approach works best for you, struggling to respond to a question you haven’t prepared for won’t do anything for your stress levels and, more importantly, won’t get you the job.

Avoid awkward silences by preparing potential answers a few days in advance. That way you’ll have a clear, unstressed head to store all your newfound knowledge, and all you’ll have to worry about the night before will be a quick refresh and an early night.

Think of the interview as a conversation, not an interrogation

Interviews are often just as much about finding out whether you’re a good fit for the role as they are about skills and experience. And despite all the confusing questions that might come up, never underestimate the importance of compatibility.

With this in mind, try to act naturally. A professional attitude is important, but you also don’t want to come across like a robot reeling off memorised quotes. Try and remember at least five skills, or areas of experience you have that make you a right for the role, and weave them into your answers naturally. Remember: It’s a two-way conversation – not Question Time.

Just make sure you’re not too natural. A friendly chat to get to know each other is fine, but you probably shouldn’t be sharing intimate details about your soon-to-be ex just yet.

This blog first appeared on the Reed Website – http://www.reed.co.uk/career-advice/blog/2015/october/how-to-deal-with-stress-in-an-interview