You’ve put your heart and soul into a job application, sent it off and you’ve been invited to attend an interview. That’s great news but for many people, like me, it’s super easy to sell yourself when filling out an application but when it comes to an interview, turn into a bumbling nervous wreck. From then it’s a bit of a continuous cycle – you know you’re nervous and this makes the anxiety worse and it’s sometimes hard to keep your cool.
7 Foolproof Tips for Dealing with Job Interview Nerves
1. Get Plenty of Sleep
Try and switch off the night before; go for a walk, have a relaxing bath, watch some Netflix and get an early night. Avoid staying up late going over and over what you’re going to say. Take time to switch off and get a good night’s sleep to leave you feeling refreshed and ready to take on the day.
2. Preparation is Key
Although you may want to hide and not even think about the interview, I personally find that making sure I’m well prepared is really helpful to calm my nerves. Whether it’s making sure you know where you’re going or that Zoom is set up properly on your laptop for a virtual interview. It’s good to make sure everything is set up ready to minimise what can go wrong on the day.
I also like to go over the job description and make some brief notes to read beforehand. This way you can go into the interview and feel like you know the job inside out, giving you that little boost of confidence.
3. Dress to Impress.
In terms of an outfit, you want to stick to something smart but you also want to make sure you feel comfortable. There’s nothing worse than being nervous whilst wearing an uncomfortable shirt or something you don’t particularly like. It gives you something else to worry about. I like to have a dedicated ‘interview outfit’ that makes me feel confident. Try putting together an outfit that’s professional and makes you feel like you can conquer the world. If you feel confident, you’re more likely to come across that way too.
4. Deep Breaths
I know that it’s cliché but it is proven that taking a few deep breaths or practicing meditation can really calm your nerves. If you can feel yourself getting anxious or panicked try some simple breathing exercises, like these recommended by the NHS and you should feel more relaxed and less jittery.
5. Plan a Fun Evening
I like to tackle my interview nerves by giving myself something to look forward to once it’s all over. Plan a fun activity or a cosy night in after your interview to reward yourself for getting through it. This will make it seem much less daunting and will help you relax afterwards.
6. Positive Thoughts
Try not to go into the interview thinking negative thoughts. Right before interviews I tend to start thinking, “I wont get the job”, “why am I doing this” and “I don’t want to do this”. If you’re thinking thoughts like this how can you expect to come across in a positive way? Instead, try some positive affirmations such as “I am good enough for this role”, “they have chosen to interview me so they think I’m good enough” and “I can do this”. After all, they have invited you to this interview so they obviously believe in your abilities and so should you!
7. Power Pose
When you feel nervous, it’s normal to want to feel as small and as invisible as possible but that won’t make you come across as confident in an interview. However you can trick your brain into thinking you feel confident. Before you leave the house or before your start your online interview, stand in front of a mirror and stretch your arms above your head or put your hands on your hips like wonder woman or any stance that makes you feel badass. As Maya Angelou said,
“Stand up straight, and realize who you are, that you tower over your circumstances.”
Remember to smile too – your body can’t tell the difference between a real and fake smile so will release endorphins even if you’re faking it. This will make you feel happier and more confident and tackle some of those pre-interview nerves.
If you’re feeling nervous before an interview, try these 7 steps and most importantly remember that you’ve got this and there’s nothing to be afraid of.
What are your top tips for combating pre-interview nerves?