Oh no, another college interview.

You finished your personal statement. You submitted your application. You even sent in the scores from your latest battle with the SAT. Now, you’re outside the door of the dean’s office waiting for the next college interview.

Of course, the best way to reduce stress before an interview is to come prepared:

• Practice potential questions with a friend the day before,
• Get a good night’s sleep, and
• Bring copies of your updated resume.

Unfortunately, even with these preparations, you might still feel stressed.

Here are some tips to help you de-stress and find your calm before your interview.

1. Four. Seven. Eight.

The numbers 4-7-8 refer to a simple breathing technique: inhale for 4 seconds, hold it for 7, and exhale for 8 seconds. Make sure to breathe in through your nose and out through your mouth.

This exercise will help you to relax and de-stress. If you know another breathing exercise, feel free to use it.

2. Listen to something calming.

If you have headphones with you, try listening to some calming music. Perhaps you have something on your phone or you can stream a playlist.

You might even try downloading a meditation app. Listening to a calming voice can help you to focus on your breathing even more effectively. Plus, many meditations take less than 10 minutes. Headspace and Omvana both have free tracks available.


3. Power pose for 2 minutes.

Take on and hold a power pose for 2 minutes. A power pose is any pose where you make yourself big. For example, spread out your legs and put your hands on your hips.

By taking on this kind of high-power posture, you will actually increase your levels of testosterone (a confidence hormone) and decrease your levels of cortisol (a stress hormone). The result is that by putting your body in a powerful, confident position, you can actually make yourself feel more powerful and confident. That can help you to de-stress and also to perform better at your interview.

Social psychologist Amy Cuddy talks more in-depth about the science behind power poses in this excellent TED talk.

4. Eat a light snack.

The stress of interviewing can make you hungry, and hungry people don’t think clearly. Although a large lunch might make you queasy, a light snack can help you feel more at ease.

If you can plan ahead, some people claim that eating a banana helps to calm their nerves. However, nuts or crackers might be easier to find in a vending machine if you didn’t bring anything with you.

5. Think positively.

Remind yourself that you were invited to interview, so you have probably already impressed the school with your resume. hey want you to be a good fit– they are on your side.

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