(MoneyWatch) Few people actually like job interviewing. It's nerve-wracking trying to show your "best" self to a perfect stranger. You're trying to prove you're the man or woman for the job and that you can handle stressful situations like this one. That's not easy, but there are some ways to pull yourself together and feel more confident.
Even if you're getting butterflies during your next interview, here are five ways to at least look less nervous.
Prepare solid talking points. It's always best to over-prepare for possible questions by not only researching the company and the person interviewing you, but also by preparing answers and practicing those responses. "Review the skills and experiences requested in the job announcement and have two to three examples of how you have demonstrated each one," said Distinguished Toastmaster and career consultant Jennifer Blanck. "This will strengthen your answers and allow you to show how your experience is relevant to the job or organization for which you're interviewing."
Remember: It's a two-way street. This is a conversation, not an interrogation. "Don't forget that you're not the only one being interviewed -- you're also interviewing the organization," Blanck said. Remembering that this is a back and forth discussion, where you can -- and should -- ask questions as well as answer them, can help you feel more comfortable.
Just breathe. Before you walk into your interview, take a few deep breaths, the kind that force your abdomen in and out. "Your body will relax a notch. You want to avoid upper chest breathing, as it tends to just move your stress upward to your face," said John Molidor, co-author, with Barbara Parus, of "Crazy Good Interviewing."
Stop the negative thoughts. If you go into an interview picking apart your outfit or imperfect responses, you're only hurting your chances of coming off as calm and collected. "Turn off your negative self-talk and then create a different self-talk message, like, 'I am here to share to the best of my ability and that is all I can really do,' " said Molidor.
Work it out. Putting in some gym time the morning of your interview can help you get rid of any nervous tension, said Heather McNab, author of "What Top Professionals Need To Know About Answering Job Interview Questions." "Exercise helps calm your nervous system and tends to reduce the intensity of physical manifestations of stress such as fidgeting." Another way to stop fidgeting without realizing it? Video yourself practicing your interview, so you know what issues you need to work on.