Job interviews-we all have to go on them, unless you’ve been lucky enough to either: (A) come into a wealthy inheritance, or (B) win the lottery. And like most, I just haven’t been quite lucky enough to experience either. So, job interviews have been an imminent and inevitable, yet stressful, process for me. However, over the years I have developed a few tricks that have helped me fine-tune my own interview skills and boost my confidence to walk into any interview!

1.) Make sure your interview clothes are pressed and interview-ready the night before. Simply put: there is just not enough time in the morning for you to eat a healthy breakfast, practice sample interview questions, and freak out about what you are going to wear. (This should also be applied to mapping your route to the interview; it would be wise to plan this out the night before). Our goal is a stress-free interview process, preparation included.

2.) Bring a notebook (and pen of course). And actually use it. I started doing it a while back after I read it online somewhere, (don’t ask me where), and it really helps. Bringing a notebook makes you feel more in control of the room, especially in cases of multiple interviewers, which can be very intimidating. I know it’s going to sound cheesy, but, having a notebook also gave me a sense of empowerment, like I could possibly conduct the interview myself, in which case, I would totally be at ease if I had to.

3.) This one really ties into #2, so be sure to bring that notebook!

Write down questions you have the day before, (benefits, pay, PTO, etc.) because if you’re like me and are sometimes prone to forget under pressure, this will only be of benefit to you. Additionally, make note of any job descriptions/duties that strike you as intriguing or odd. Chances are, when you are contemplating your offer from them later on, you will need your notes to refresh your memory of what the job would actually entail; there may also be some job details missing from their job posting that you may have made note of during the interview.

4.) Let them ‘court’ you as much as you are ‘courting’ them. Yes, you should have a clear understanding that you are, in fact, interviewing for their company. However, you have to want to work for them too! Think about your salary requirements before the interview and stick to them when you go in. Don’t let anyone talk you down into an offer you don’t really want. There is always a polite and professional way to negotiate your terms. Also, any special job perks they have to offer are good to take note of here too.

5.) So, if all the above fails and you forget that trusty notebook and pen the day of, to calm your nerves, I have found a simple trick that usually works for me. I hold something small, like a paperclip during the interview. (I like to twirl mine, outside of the employer’s view of course, in between my fingers to help ease my nerves).

Now I know these tips may seem simple, but, simple goes a long way in my book and is necessary when building your confident, interview-ready self.  Each step you take should only bring you closer to successfully mastering any interview and landing that perfect job!