I suffer terribly from interview nerves. Can you give me some tips on how to overcome these?
As I’m sure you’re aware, it’s perfectly natural to be anxious before and during a job interview – it’d be slightly concerning if you weren’t! However, I do appreciate that acute nervousness can occur and can potentially affect your performance in an interview. Here are a few tips to help you.
- Remember there’s a reason you’ve been chosen for this interview. The person or people you’re meeting already know your background and think you’re a potentially good fit for their company.
- Make sure you’re well prepared – see this month’s feature on preparing for an interview here.
- On the day, make sure you’ve eaten something and make sure you arrive with time to spare – if you have time for a calming walk round the block beforehand, so much the better.
- Breathe slowly. During the interview, don’t be afraid to pause briefly after a question and take a breath, or say “That’s an interesting question,” to give yourself time to formulate your answer.
- Confident body language can genuinely make you feel more confident – it can reduce your cortisol (stress hormone) level. Sit towards the front of the chair rather than leaning back, keep your shoulders down. Smile – smiling itself can reduce stress.
- Above all, remember that this is not a one-sided meeting – it is also an opportunity for you to find out as much as you can about the company, so have some questions prepared, listen and be engaged.
Best of luck! And if you need a friendly word of encouragement from a recruiter, you know where we are!