The Panic Room – Make it or Break it

The Panic Room | Walter Yeo



The panic room, otherwise known as the waiting or holding room. It is a simple engineering construction, often with nothing but four walls, an unassuming coffee table and a couple of chairs littered to fill up the space. However, this mediocre setting of a room can somehow send even the most well-prepared interviewees into a frenzy of emotions where they lost track of their thoughts and sometimes control of their conduct. It is no wonder, we call it the panic room.

Therefore, it is important for every interviewee to prepare themselves to face this dreaded room and compose themselves before any interview. These are simple tips that everyone can do to calm themselves and collect their thoughts to make a lasting impression.

#1 Keep Calm, Don’t Panic

This seems like one of those “duh” pieces of advice but it nevertheless has to be said. Many people do not realize how contagious panic truly is. All it takes is for one person to start freaking out, worrying about whether or not he or she forgot to bring an important document, when the document is probably sitting in his folder. However, when this panic is expressed physically with a simple “oh shucks, I forgot …” and suddenly everyone else in the room checks their bag to make sure they did not forget something either. Panic is contagious, so do not let it affect you. You must remember to keep calm otherwise everything you prepared for will go to waste.


#2 Do You Own Thing

This is a supplementary piece of advice – the only way to keep calm and not panic is to do your own thing. This differs from person to person and so you will need to take some time prior to the interview to figure out what keeps you calm. For some people, it may be listening to their favorite music for others it may be reading a book. The idea is to find that something which calms your nerves and do it. Many holding or waiting rooms do not have restrictions on what you may or may not do. If that is the case, feel free to do whatever it is which helps you to compose yourself. In the event that there are restrictions, close your eyes, take a deep breath and mentally prepare yourself.

#3 Stop Five Minutes Before

There comes a point where you have prepared so much and everything else is no longer in your control. The sooner you realize this, the irony is the better prepared you will be. This is what we call the ‘Five-Minute Mark’ before the interview. At this stage, there is very little which you can do to exponentially improve your interview performance. In other words, there is more value in you to stop whatever it is that you are doing and begin to compose yourself. Stop five minutes before the interview time and just take a breather. This will not only keep you together but give you time to collect your thoughts and formulate your thematic approach.interview2-638x300

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