In this guide, we will discuss how not to be nervous for an interview, a few tips and tricks on how to be successful at an interview without letting your nerves control you.
How not to be nervous for an interview?
We have all felt nervous for an interview.
The day before is the most nerve-wracking but it is just normal to feel that way when we are facing “uncertainty”, being under pressure and a new situation, no matter how many times we have been to interviews in the past.
Subsequently, the real question is, How not to be nervous for an interview?
Here we will mention a few tips on how to handle the interview jitters and stress.
Let’s imagine you have already started with the basics, you have studied all the possible interview questions from every website or YouTube video and you have researched everything there is to know about the company (e.g. mission, vision, what they do, etc.).
Going forward, here are the top 10 best tips to not be nervous for an interview.
- Physical activity
By physical activity we don’t mean you have to kill yourself at the gym or have an intense workout session.
Just walking around your neighbourhood for about 20 to 30 mins will help, but if you feel like it, you could also go for a run to release some endorphins and boost your mood.
If you don’t have much time though, taking 5 to 10 minutes to walk around the building or the place you are having the interview at will do.
- Meditate and remember to breathe
It has been suggested by researchers and scientists that mindful meditation has many benefits and one of them if training your mind to be in the present moment, letting you manage your anxiety more effectively.
Good news are, you do not require any equipment or elaborated procedures to meditate so you can actually do it anywhere and anytime of the day, however, experts recommend mediating first thing in the morning when your mind is rested and fresh.
- Prepare your outfit and what you will take with you the night before
Yes, we all have been there last minute thinking what to wear and how we can make a good impression with our outfit asking ourselves, “How can we look more professional?” Or Does my outfit scream ‘I am the one, hire me’?”.
Well, to avoid feeding into your anxiety by thinking what to wear the day of your interview, try to plan it in advance the night before.
That way you don’t have to worry about it and have more time to think about other important things like how will you get there or what will be the best transportation method or route.
In addition, prepare your bag or portfolio with everything you need such as a notepad and a pen or any business cards you may have.
However, try not to take too many things with that you don’t actually need, just take the essentials.
- Plan something to do after the interview
It is important to plan something after your interview.
It could be walking down the street to grab a coffee with a friend or a few drinks at a local bar.
This will avoid you going home straight from the interview and keep overthinking about how it went, if they will hire you or if you said something you were not supposed to.
By doing this you will keep yourself busy and get home to have a nice and relaxing evening before going to bed.
- Have something to eat before your interview
Remember to have something to eat before your interview, whether it is your breakfast or lunch.
Going on an empty stomach will only increase your anxiety and won’t let you think straight and answer according to best of your abilities.
Also, this does not mean you need to have a buffet or eat until you feel dizzy or about to faint.
Just try to eat something that will make you feel full and with enough energy to go through the interview.
- Call a friend
If you are feeling too nervous before your interview, you could try phoning or texting a friend for some support but remember to call someone that you know will encourage you, will have some positive statements and can probably make you feel ready to tackle anything life throws at you.
Calling the right person will make all the difference before going to your interview.
- Remember it is just a conversation
According to Alyse Kalish from ‘The Muse’ it is necessary to “remind yourself that you’re not jumping out of an airplane, or battling a shark.
You’re facing one, maybe two people, and having a nice conversation about your career.”
Putting so much effort into your interview will make you look desperate and unprofessional.
Remember that if they called you in the first place is because they have read your resume, like your professional profile and see potential in you, so just make sure you let them know about what skills you have that can help you fulfil your duties at the current job.
- Don’t speak too fast and show your hands
When we are too nervous, we don’t even realize, but we tend to speak too fast.
If this happens the interviewer most likely won’t understand what you are saying and will ask you to repeat yourself or will ask you to slow down.
Breathe in through your nose deeply and slowly for a count of three, and repeat it as many times as you need to start feeling relaxed and release the tension.
In addition, as Robin Kermode from ‘The Guardian’ explains “It has been proved that we are much more likely to get a job if we have our hands visible on the table in front of us rather than hiding our under the table.
Showing our hands is a sign of honesty.”
- Get there early
If you have planned your trip ahead and you know how you are going to get there, make sure you do it on time.
We know there could be traffic or an unexpected accident along the way, so make sure you plan in advance and arrive with plenty of time.
In addition, arriving early (not too early though) will speak highly of you and will let them know you are a punctual and responsible candidate that most likely will display the same behavior once hired.
Also, it can help you get familiar with the environment or the place so you can start feeling less anxious about being in a new and unfamiliar place.
- Be yourself
Forget any scripts or elaborate introductions, just be yourself, answer the questions they are asking, talk about your experience, your skills, achievements, what you can bring to the table (which differentiates you from other) and don’t forget to give your interviewee a big smile.
In addition, use your notepad to jot down any questions you may that can occur to you while the interviewer is speaking or even as you are speaking, try not to interrupt and leave them for the end of the interview.
This will make a good impression since it denotes that you are interested and you are able to be proactive.
Why is this blog about how not to be nervous for an interview important?
We have talked about how not to be nervous for an interview and more so how to cope with pre-interview anxiety.
However, remember it is completely normal to feel nervous when you are facing a new situation such as a music audition. it is just a matter of perspective and how to handle it so avoid fighting with your anxiety, instead embrace it and take the best out of it.
In addition, make sure you do your homework and prepare for your interview, plan in advance your clothes, what you would bring to the interview, try to meditate (there are plenty of guided meditations out there), remember to breathe, have a nice (natural) conversation, smile and be yourself!
Please feel free to leave any comments or thoughts about the content of this article!
Side Note: I have tried and tested various products and services to help with my anxiety and depression. See my top recommendations here, as well as a full list of all products and services our team has tested for various mental health conditions and general wellness.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about how not to be nervous for an interview
How can I calm my nerves before an interview?
Tips on how to calm your nerves before an interview:
Be prepared, do some research about the company, what they do, why you are the best candidate, why they should hire you, etc.
Decide what to wear ahead of time.
Keep yourself occupied before the interview by picking up your outfit or reading about the company.
Practice power poses and encouraging statements.
Arrive with plenty of time to spare.
Put things into perspective.
How do I stay calm during an interview?
If you want to stay calm during an interview here are some tips that may be helpful:
Be prepared and plan ahead.
Practice or rehearse the most common interview questions they may ask and your answers.
Just be yourself and avoid thinking about the outcome.
Arrive early and get familiar with your surroundings.
Think about your interview as a conversation with someone you already know.
Remain positive and confident.
How do you fight nerves in an interview?
You should not fight nerves in an interview, on the contrary, embrace what you are feeling.
When we are not certain about how things may turn out then we get nervous so it really helps if you believe in yourself and your skills, specially because if they called you for an interview is because they are really interested in what you can bring to the table.
Additionally, remember to take deep breaths before going in, this will help you reduce your anxiety levels.
Should you tell your interviewer you are nervous?
Avoid saying you are nervous because your interviewer may be looking into how prepared and confident you seem, and it could also be part of the characteristics of your job role.
Instead of saying “I’m nervous” say, “I am excited”, this will show your interviewer you are really interested about getting the position and will give them the impression you are in control over the situation.
Can nerves ruin interview?
Yes, nerves can ruin your interview. Specially if your anxiety is severe and you tend to freeze or “blank out” when you feel under pressure.
Learning how to manage your anxiety is not easy but not impossible either. Just need to remain positive, persevere, prepare and don’t letting your nerves take the worst out of you.
- Why You?: 101 Interview Questions You’ll Never Fear Again
- Get Ahead in Your New Job: How to Make an Impact in the First 100 Days
- How to Get Hired: An Insider’s Guide to Applications, Interviews and Getting the Job of Your Dreams
- The Interview Expert: How to get the job you want
- How to Manage Interview Skills: How to be successful in your chosen career
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- Anxiety Weighted Blankets are by far the number 1 thing every person who suffers from anxiety should at least try. Anxiety Blankets may improve your sleep, allow you to fall asleep faster and you can even carry them around when chilling at home.
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Kalish, A. (n.d.) 12 Different Ways to Calm Your Interview Nerves (Because You’ve Got This). Retrieved from Themuse.com.
Kermode, R. (2014, May.) Cheeky Tips: 10 weird ways to beat interview nerves. Retrieved from Theguardian.com.
Ryan, L. (2017, Nov.) Ten Tips For People Who Get Nervous At Job Interviews. Retrieved from Forbes.com.