Achieve post-interview calm

So it's happened. You've stepped into the interview room, faced the questions and hopefully found that everything went a lot better than you might have feared!

But even after an interview, some of us find we're still nervous and anxious. In a sense, this is more than understandable. You've been focused on preparing for the interview for some time, and now you're finding it hard to reach a level of calmness in its wake.

Take a breath

It's over! Pat yourself on the back. You might have to rush back to your current place of work, pick the kids up from school or get the train home, but if at all possible, now's a great time for a treat.

Get yourself a hot chocolate in the nearest cafe, let your thoughts return to normal and remind yourself that taking part in an interview is a great achievement – no matter what the outcome.

Later in the evening you might want to give yourself an evening off the job hunt. Pamper yourself with a nice bath, or a TV box set – whatever you fancy. The point is, you've been through a potentially nerve wracking experience, but you've done your best, and deserve a rest! 

Don't beat yourself up

At about this time even interviewees who feel like the atmosphere in the room was right and they performed well can start to question how things went. Perhaps you're now realising you could have given better examples to that one question for example.

Usually, the best thing to do now though is to remind yourself that these issues are a result of your state of mind at the moment. Let the thoughts go and you should find that, after a good night's sleep, they are no longer a problem.

If something stays with you, and really seems like a problem – like you've not told the employer something they really should know that would make a difference to your prospects – there may be times when getting in touch to make the point is appropriate. But seek authoritative advice on this, first.

Look ahead

You're going to be anxious to hear how it all went – but remember that putting all your hopes on the outcome of one interview isn't always the best thing to do, if this will make you really disappointed afterwards.

It's often a good idea to think about looking into new things to apply for in the time between an interview and hearing about the result. Even if you don't want to apply at this stage, the activity will remind you that, yes, there are other things out there, and that, for now at least, the job search continues. It isn't just about the job you've just met someone about.

Consider lessons

Usually, it's best to wait until you hear whether you've been offered the job or not before you consider what the interview has taught you. Always request feedback if you feel it would help, although remember that some employers will not give a great deal, and it won't always be useful.

Many of the variables impacting how an interview goes will not be things you can control on the day, but if you think you could have made a better impression, consider why this is, so you can take action on it next time.

Meanwhile, feedback may give you an idea of further experience you could get to give you a better chance of getting the same sort of job next time.

The job hunt is a learning experience, and you can get a lot out of it from this point of view.