By Laurie J. Roy

Okay, you’ve just been ushered into the interview…how do you calm your nerves. I found an easy way to calm my nerves while giving me something to concentrate on during the interview. I call this The Five Senses.

    1) See – Remember to maintain excellent eye contact during the interview. Don’t stare…just keep a sincere look of interest on your face while your potential employer starts the discussion. Effective eye contact is a sure key to a successful job interview.

    2) Hear – Listen to what your interviewer is saying to you…how is he/she asking and answering your questions? Does he/she seem bored, energized, interested, pre-occupied, etc.? Keep your ears open for anything. You never know what you can find out when you listen!

    3) Smell – Sometimes we can be so self-aware that we ignore the obvious. When planning for an important interview, I always try to smell clean but not overpowering. Refrain from heavy perfumes or colognes because the smell may actually be distracting to the interviewer or even you.

    4) Taste – Plan to have fresh breath for an interview. Never chew gum in an interview…it is singularly the most distracting thing you can do! Quickly chew a sugar free breath mint before you walk into the building. A sprig of parsley is an easy way to freshen while at the lunch table. Another quick fixer is to keep a toothbrush and toothpaste or dental floss for use after lunch. Remember, the key is to have the employer focus on YOU, not your teeth, breath, body odor, or other distracting body language.

    5) Touch – When entering and exiting a room for an interview, always have a confident and firm handshake. This finishes up the body language package that everyone speaks. A weak handshake will always translate into a weak candidate. Women…don’t wear jewelry that may inadvertently be squeezed in a firm handshake (that one kills me); Men…be sure not to squeeze a woman’s hand to show your masculinity, because WE HATE THAT!! Just remember to offer a firm and confident handshake while maintaining that excellent eye contact. The rest will take care of itself.

Remembering these simple analogies should help you to maintain your composure during the nail biting interview.