No matter how hard you try, if you feel nervous about a job interview, it's virtually impossible to conceal your anxiety -- your compulsive face-touching is a dead giveaway.

The key to conveying confidence when you're in the hot seat, then, is to keep calm and carry on.

Easy, right?

Well, if you employ some of these strategies for remaining calm during a job interview, it could be.

Here are 11 strategies for banishing your job interview jitters.

Research the company and practice common interview questions

"Nothing eliminates stress and provides more confidence than proper preparation for an interview," Amanda Augustine, a career-advice expert for TopResume, tells Business Insider.

First, research the company you're interviewing with, the interview process there, and what kind of questions the company likes to ask using sites like Glassdoor. Then, practice answering these questions and other common interview questions like "Tell me about yourself" and "Tell me about a time when ..." The key is to practice but not memorize your answers, Augustine says.

Vicky Oliver, author of "301 Smart Answers to Tough Interview Questions," also suggests coming to the interview prepared with reasons why you would be a great addition to the company, what problems you can help the company solve, and how your past experience and the company's current mission dovetail.

"All too often, interview preparation is an after thought," says J.T. O'Donnell, the founder of career-advice site and author of "Careerealism: The Smart Approach to a Satisfying Career."

"Winging it doesn't make you look real," O'Donnell notes. "It makes you look like you didn't care enough to want the job."

Prepare for the worst

As they say, the best defense is a good offense, and knowing in advance how you'd handle an awkward interview scenario can mean the difference between letting your nerves get the best of you and handling the pressure with grace.

Preparing for the worst-case scenario is a strategy Dale Carnegie recommended in his 1948 book, "How to Stop Worrying and Start Living," based on an anecdote from Willis Carrier, the founder of the modern air-conditioning industry.

Carrier told Carnegie, "When we force ourselves to face the worst and accept it mentally, we then eliminate all these vague imaginings and put ourselves in a position in which we are able to concentrate on our problem."

Here are a couple awkward interview scenarios you can prepare for:

• Not knowing the answer to a question during a job interview

If this happens, Oliver suggests trying to answer the question the best you can and using your thank you email to fill out the answer more.

• Being asked questions you don't want to answer

"You want to be authentic, but you also need to sell yourself," Oliver says. Say you were asked why you were let go from your last job: "Be honest, but still paint it in the best light," Oliver suggests. The key is to focus on the positive and talk about lessons you learned from the job.

Do a dry run

A week before your interview, Augustine suggests commuting to the location of your interview during the same time of day you are scheduled to become comfortable with the route and budget your travel time appropriately.

If this isn't possible, apps like Google Maps and Waze can help you account for traffic or travel delays.

When in doubt, give yourself at least 30 minutes buffer time so you don't show up late because of an unexpected commuting snafu, Augustine says. Just be sure if you arrive at least 15 minutes before your interview to wait in your car or in a café around the corner, since arriving too early canleave a sour taste in your interviewers mouth.

Snack strategically

Augustine suggests cutting your caffeine intake in half the day of your interview to keep the jitters at bay and filling up on foods that are natural beta blockers like bananas, almonds, oatmeal, and pomegranate juice. These foods can help lower your blood pressure, lessen your anxiety, and reduce your heart rate.


Rosemary Haefner, chief human-resources officer for CareerBuilder, suggests developing a pre-interview routine that helps you stay calm, collected, and optimistic. One routine could include working out before an interview.

"Exercise is a great way to burn off nervous energy so you don't bound into the interview room overly enthusiastic," Augustine says. "As an added bonus, the extra endorphins will help boost your mood and provide a positive state of mind."

For some inspiration, Mark Balfe-Taylor, the director of yoga atTruFusionshared with Business Insider some yoga poses that will get your heart pumping and help relax your overactive mind.


"You don't have to be a yogi to reap the benefits of meditation before a crucial interview," Augustine says. "Meditation can be as simple as closing your eyes for a minute, taking a few slow, deep breaths, and visualizing yourself crushing the interview."

Strike a power pose

Just before your interview, you might try ducking into the bathroom and striking what Harvard psychologist Amy Cuddy dubbed a power pose.

Cuddy describes power poses as expansive and open stances where you take up a lot of space and hold your arms and legs away from your body.

When you expand your body, Cuddy previously told Business Insider, "your mind starts to feel more confident and powerful -- it starts to see those challenging situations not as threats but as opportunities."

Give yourself a pep talk

Pep talks are fairly common in the locker room, but they can also be great just before heading into a job interview. Just be sure you're not within earshot of anyone while you're saying your piece.

Various research points to the power of "self-talk" and suggests using your first name or the pronoun "you" instead of "I" can make it easier to deal with stressful experiences.

Admit you're nervous

If you're nervous before an interview, pretending not to be can actually make things worse.

According to recent research out of Harvard, once activated, a state of arousal, as when someone is anxious, is difficult to control.

And other research out of Boston University suggests that hiding your feelings of anxiety from observers, which researchers call suppression, can actually lead to an increase in feelings of anxiety and heart rate.

Some experts take this research a step further and even advise admitting to interviewers your nervousness. As Business Insider previously reported, a moderately observable amount of nervousness can signal passion to others without hurting your performance.

Reframe your nervousness as excitement

Harvard researchers suggest reframing your anxiety as excitement, rather than trying to calm down, since anxiety and excitement are both states of high arousal.

Anxious study participants who announced that they felt excited during public speaking engagements were perceived by the audience as more persuasive and competent, as previously reported by Business Insider.

Stop obsessing over what you'll say next

One major flaw people make while trying to ensure a good first impression during an interview is trying too hard to appear interesting, while disregarding what the other person has to say, Dr. Lillian Glass, behavior analyst, body language expert, and author of "The Body Language of Liarspreviously told Business Insider.

"Focus on being interested, not interesting," Glass suggested. She said this will make navigating the discussion much easier, since you have less of a chance getting lost in your own thoughts.

This story first appeared on Business Insider