How to deal with interview nerves

Job interviews are stressful situations, so it’s only natural to be nervous. The stakes are high and you want nothing more than to make a good impression. The key to performing well in an interview is how you handle your anxiety.

Prepare, prepare, prepare

It may seem obvious, but the more preparation you do for an interview, the more confident you will feel. Preparing and researching as much as possible in advance ensures you know your stuff and won’t get caught off-guard by a tricky question that could knock your confidence. Knowing you’re well-prepared will naturally boost your self-confidence.

Get plenty of rest

Having a good night’s sleep will help your mind function at its best. Try to get to bed early the night before your interview. If nerves keep you awake, try to distract yourself with something relaxing and comforting like reading your favourite book. Busying your mind with something enjoyable to focus on will reduce tension and help you drift off to sleep.

 Practice

Ask someone to roleplay an interview scenario with you so you can get used to responding to questions. The questions asked may not be the same as the ones you’ll face in the real thing, but answer them anyway, it’ll get you used to thinking on your feet. Feedback from your pretend interviewer will also help to perfect your approach so that you come across in the best possible light when it’s time for the real deal.

Visualise your success

In the run up to your interview, use visualisation techniques to imagine your interview going perfectly. Visualising the things you hope to achieve is proven to help you accomplish your goals.

Adopt the power pose

Before your interview (and in private) stand up straight, legs apart, with your hands on your hips. That’s the power pose. Adopting this stance even for a minute will do wonders for your self-confidence. The pose is assertive, confident and dominant – and it actually tricks your brain into believing you are too! It sounds pretty primal but it works.

Be aware of your body language

During your interview, be conscious of what your body is doing. It’s easy to nervously tap your foot or fingers as nervous energy courses through your body and you may not even realise you’re doing it. Take a second to be aware of what your body is doing and how you’re presenting yourself, and if you are displaying outwardly nervous behaviour, try to stop yourself until your interview is over.

Slow down and BREATHE

When we get nervous we tend to talk faster in an attempt to get our point across as quickly as possible so it can all be over. When you’re about to speak, take a deep breath and pace your speech. After all, you’re just having a conversation with another human being, so try to relax and enjoy the chat and you’ll immediately appear confident, even if inside your heart is actually racing.

All of these tips are designed to help you manage your interview nerves and anxiety, not to stamp it out altogether. Everyone gets nervous, even if they don’t appear to – and remember, the interviewer asked to meet you because they liked your application, so just be yourself (and don’t forget to breathe).