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Ways to Calm Your Job Interview Nerves

Ways to Calm Your Job Interview Nerves

Sometimes I have to admit that I get more than my fair share of enjoyment in writing articles such as this. Some of the things I read on the net about how to calm your nerves really make me think.

I wonder if the people who write these have ever conducted an interview, or even if they have been to one?

Or perhaps they are discussing interviews in another galaxy?

I really do wonder what sort of companies they have been to see.

Anyway, let’s take a look at the best way to calm your nerves in a job interview to make sure you ace it the first time and get your dream job!

ways to calm your job interview nerves

You will Be Nervous

Yes, you will. You should be glad you are. That means that you are a member of the human race. Not a robot. It is normal to be nervous because you want to succeed. Nothing wrong with that.

But how do you handle it so you can perform at your best? Well, let’s start with something quite important.

It’s Not Brain Surgery

You are not walking into a life-and-death situation. It is an interview. Are you going to walk out the door after you have finished and go for a coffee? Of course, you are.

So, let’s start from there. This is a positive situation. It may be something you have chosen to do to improve yourself. You are to be applauded for that. It is always good to be looking for ways to make your life and those you are responsible for better.

A positive approach…

Now about this interview. Let’s see if we can’t make you approach it positively, rather than filling up with every possible reason why you should be nervous that you might have read elsewhere.

The Interviewer

If it is their first interview, then they are going to be more nervous than you are. But we shall assume that they are experienced.

They will be expecting you to be nervous; they will have seen it all before. Any interviewer worth their salt is not going to make life difficult for you and increase your nerves. They are going to want to see you at your best. How can they make a judgment if you aren’t? So let’s look at the appointment and the time preceding it first.

When Does Your Interview Begin?

The answer to that is the night before. Get an early night and enough rest. A night out on the town may not be such a good idea. You need to be prepared for the next day, both mentally and physically.

Setting Out From Home

Make sure you’ve got everything you need. If there are examples of previous work, you need to show them then ensure it is neatly presented and can be safely carried. Leave plenty of time to get there. Being late isn’t a good start. If you are using public transport make sure you know the times.

Finally, make sure you are prepared for any bad weather. Arriving like a drowned rat won’t impress many people. A quality umbrella like the Lilyxin Premium Automatic Compact Umbrella Windproof might help.

Remaining as relaxed and calm as possible will not be helped by being disorganized as you prepare for your interview. Knowing that you have plenty of time to get there and you are ready will help you to feel unrushed. That will help to reduce any stress.

Arriving At Your Interview

If you have prepared properly, you should be early. Don’t be tempted to get some ‘liquid courage’ before you go in. The smell of alcohol really is not going to help your application.

I would also avoid tea and coffee at this stage. They tend to increase your metabolism. You want to be calm in your interview, not over-excited. Water or fruit juice are the best options if you want a drink.

way to calm your job interview nerve

Take a moment to think…

But now you are in the building, have seen the receptionist, and have been taken to where the interview will take place. This is probably the most stressful time. What can you do? Take a little time to think and consider the situation and why you feel nervous. Interviews and other situations where something is determined by the outcome can always be slightly nerve-racking.

It is worth spending a moment to consider how you got this far? That is probably one of two ways:

1 You Have Been Invited In Courtesy of Someone Who Knows You

That could be a previous colleague, or a friend or family member that currently works there. Either way, the company has contacted you and asked you to come in. That must count for something and should ease away a few of the nerves. They have approached you.

Someone obviously thinks you would be an asset to their company. Is there anything to be very nervous about here? I don’t think so. You should be thinking that as you walk in and shake the interviewer by the hand.

However, don’t go in full of bravado with the ‘look at me’ attitude that some have. Overconfidence can be just as bad as being consumed by nerves. They want you there, so relax and see what they have to say.

2 You Filled in an Application form or sent a CV.

So you applied to them, presumably for a good reason. Whatever the reason, you feel like you might want to be a part of this company. If it was an advertised position, then you probably aren’t the only applicant. You probably aren’t the only one they will interview either.

I would agree that this is a more tense situation. You are, in a sense, in competition with an unknown number of others. You applied because you want to get the job. But let me just remind you of a few things.

How many CVs or complete application forms do you think they would have got?

More than likely lots, but they picked you to come in.

How many shortlists did you have to negotiate before you got the invite in?

Again lots, but they chose you.

They Can See Something In You They Want

There is a reason they have asked you, and it isn’t to make up the numbers. There is something in your CV that attracted them to the point of inviting you in.

Is that a positive? Of course, it is. Do you feel good about that? Of course, you do, so go in there and take a deep breath and prove to them they are right to ask you.

Making your Entrance

We all know that first impressions can be very important. They always were when I interview candidates. You allow the candidate a few minutes to get over those inevitable ‘first few minutes nerves.’

A smile and a ‘thank you for seeing me’ won’t hurt. Neither will a positive handshake. Notice I say ‘positive,’ not firm. We sometimes see those whose inferiority complexes try to out handshake the other person. Sad, really, so don’t do it. A good appearance is also important and in certain positions more so. A classy briefcase will help, like this Tassia Luxury Leather Executive Case Attache Briefcase.

During The Interview

Any nerves you were feeling should largely disappear once it all gets started. The anticipation of what ‘might’ happen has now gone. It is happening, and to a certain extent, you have control over yourself.

There will still be a few flutters around, of course, but the interviewer will know that. And in the early stages, they are going to make a few allowances. Feel confident in yourself, don’t rush your answers, and just remember – they picked you. There has to be a reason.

ways to calm your job interview nerve

Preparation Techniques

You will read some things that ‘eminent’ professors have written about going to a private place and getting ready. Pretending for a few seconds you are Wonder Woman or Superman, adopting a pose and visualizing.

This is a job interview; it’s not D-Day. There is no combat or a need for superhuman powers, so there is no need for that level of ‘applied’ self-confidence. Unless you wrote Superman on your CV, then they have invited YOU, not him. This interview is the real world; it is not a comic book.

Body Language

This can have an effect not only on how you come across but on your mindset. It sometimes isn’t easy, but you do need to try and not to fidget or let your eyes wander around the room.

A good first impression and being as relaxed as you can during the interview will count in your favor. But so will how you leave it. You don’t see too many ‘experts’ talk about the end and how to close the interview, however…

The Last Things Are Often The Most Remembered

How the interview closes is important as it will be the last impression you leave them with. Here are few things you can do:

  • Once again, a positive handshake.
  • Thank them for their time.
  • Tell them it has been good to learn about the company and the available position.
  • If there is any other information that they might need, they shouldn’t hesitate to contact you.
  • You look forward to hearing from them in due course.
  • And… smile.

The interviewer is then likely to escort you to the front desk to hand in any pass you may have been given. You will probably have to sign out, so one last impressive professional statement would be using a nice pen, such as the quality yet affordable Parker IM Fountain Pen.

One Last Scenario At The Interview

That is, there may well be a second part to the interview. You may be taken along to meet the head of the department. Or they may come to the room to meet you. If that happens, you haven’t got to panic. That is something to be positive about. If you had been a non-starter, they probably wouldn’t have involved the departmental head. More things to be positive about.

Need More Interview Info And Advice?

Well, I’ve put together some great interview guides for advice on How To Answer What Are You Passionate About, Why We Should Hire You, Answering Tell Me About Yourself In Interview, my How Do You Handle Stress, Why Do You Want To Work Here, What Are You Most Proud Of. And of course, What Are Your Career Goals, How Would You Describe Yourself, as well as What Makes You Unique? in 2023.

If you’d like to do some additional research, these great books are available online. Take a look at Amazing Interview Answers: 44 Tough Job Interview Questions with 88 Winning Answers, Get That Job!: The Quick and Complete Guide to a Winning Interview, and maybe Hiring Squirrels: 12 Essential Interview Questions to Uncover Great Retail Sales Talent to help with your final preparation.

Or what about How to Answer Interview Questions: 101 Tough Interview Questions, and INTERVIEW with DESIRE and GET HIRED!: How to Ace the Interview, Sell Yourself & Get Your Dream Job also available online today.

Final Thoughts

It is always going to be stressful for most people. Situations where you care about the outcome always are. The trick is to see the positive in everything you can. If you can find the positives, then it will reduce the unknowns somewhat.

Something about you has impressed them, or you would not be there. That is something to feel good about in itself.

All the very best with your Interview!

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