I don't have any special tips for not getting nervous. Acknowledging it, taking deep breaths, and having someone around to talk through your nervousness with before the interview seem like some steps you can take. You could also mention it at the beginning about the interview, just a brief, "I'm feeling quite nervous, so please forgive me if I misspeak," could make sense? It might help calm you down and help them understand. But I don't know.
It's hard right, and it doesn't get any easier. As someone who went through faculty job interviews, I will tell you that the nerves don't lessen. I've had a ton of interviews in my life between a ton of jobs, graduate school and now faculty positions. I've picked up a few tricks which may help you out.
1. Like someone else said, the interviewers want you to do well. They aren't looking for reasons that you'll fail. They want to let people in.
2. No one, and I mean absolutely no one, cares about you more than you care about yourself. I guarantee that you think the interviewers think way worse about you than they actually do.
3. You will ALWAYS do better if you are confident. ALWAYS. In every part of your life. Not over confident, but confident. And, thankfully, confidence is a self-feeding instrument. The more confident you act (regardless of how you feel) the more confident you will feel. That being said, this isn't exactly easy to act confident when you are feeling really really not confident, but hopefully the other tips I'm offering will give you just enough confidence to start the confidence chain.
4. You will not, no matter how great you are, bat a thousand. What that means is that you are going to fail. There will be schools that you don't get offers from. Once you realize that, life becomes much much easier. Maybe you didn't get an offer because you weren't good enough. Maybe you didn't get an offer because someone else was a better fit for any number of reasons that you can't control. No matter what, accepting that there is a place for you, and that you won't fit in everywhere will give you the confidence you need to do well in your interviews. This can be helped significantly with my next tip.
5. Know who you are and what your strengths and weaknesses are. Know where you actually fit. Most people are not good fits for Stanford or Chicago. Be realistic about that, it will keep you from being too disappointed when Harvard doesn't call you for an interview. Obviously, there will be schools where you think you are a perfect fit, but still won't get an interview or offer from them. At that point, I refer you back to point 4. It's going to suck and it's going to hurt when you don't get that dream school offer from the school you thought you were perfect for. Don't let my tone suggest that you shouldn't grieve when you don't get what you thought would be perfect. By all means grieve, feel your feels, but then pick yourself up.
6. The biggest tip I can give you is to act confident, until you are confident. I can't stress enough how important that really is. It will get you through so much in your life. Absolutely do not lie, but be confident that you belong in a PhD program. Good luck.
Til now I always got by on my own
I never really cared until I met you...
Thank you guys for the advice. Going back to the main point regarding admission chance, I get a feeling that schools are interviewing more people this year, at least the schools I'm applying to. Most said their shortlists had 10-15 people (for Quant Marketing), so the admission rate is much lower than 50% even after shortlisted.
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