How to not be nervous during an interview? (Tips)

In this guide, we will discuss “How to not be nervous during an interview” and a few useful tips on how to cope with the interview jitters. Also, we will talk about how not to be nervous during a phone interview and how to not look nervous during an interview.

How to not be nervous for an interview?

If you wonder ‘How to not be nervous during an interview?’ here we discuss some of the most useful tips. First of all, we must say that being nervous before and during an interview is completely normal. When we feel under pressure or evaluated we tend to feel nervous or anxious. If you have been invited for an interview then you may be thinking about how it will go, what the outcome will be.

Here are some quick tips on How to not be nervous for an interview or how to overcome the interview jitters:

  • Monitor your tone of voice and pace. Sometimes when we are nervous, we are not aware that we could be talking too fast or too low or too loud.
  • Deep breathing is key. Take a few slow deep breaths before your interview, this will help you feel more relaxed.
  • Watch out for your body language. When we are nervous, our body language says more than our words.
  • Sit comfortably and try to make eye contact.
  • Show your hands and articulate it with your verbal communication.
  • Listen to the interviewer and follow instructions.
  • Be curious and ask questions.

In addition, consider reading a bit about the company, their mission, vision and what they do by going to their website. You could also read and prepare the most common questions during an interview. However, you are not required to memorize the questions and the answers, try to familiarize with them and think about what you will answer in each one of them.

Get everything ready the night before

Being nervous already for your interview is enough to put more pressure into it by selecting the clothes in a hurry the morning or evening of your interview day. This is why we strongly recommend getting everything ready the night before, such as the clothes that you would wear, if you need to iron a piece of clothing do it without having to rush, getting your portfolio ready (if you need one), a notepad with the questions you would like to ask and a good pen. 

Besides, have clarity on how you will get to the place of your interview, the name of the person that you need to ask for and their number in case you have questions. If you are taking the bus, check the routes or if someone will take you there then talk to them and confirm.  

Finally, if you are planning to cut your hair or trim your beard, do it the day before the interview. If you need to shave your legs or wash your hair then try doing it the night before so you won’t have to rush the next day trying to get everything ready. 

Be there a few minutes earlier than expected

If your interview is at 8:00 am then aim to be there at 7:45 am. Try to be there fifteen minutes before your actual appointment so you can make sure you have plenty of time if you can’t find the address or if an unexpected situation arises. 

You can announce yourself even if you are earlier than expected, this way they know you are there and that you arrived early. This will allow you to get familiar with the surroundings, interact with other people or simply do some breathing exercises.

Get excited!

We know that this sounds a bit crazy but in fact, it is extremely useful. Perhaps you haven’t thought about it consciously but being nervous and excited have more in common than you may think. Let’s think about it for a second.

When you receive good news or you are super happy about something you start to feel a lot of physiological reactions. How about when you are nervous? Have you noticed the similarities? Ok, so the idea is to think about getting excited for the interview when you are feeling nervous. Look yourself into the mirror before heading to your interview and say to yourself ‘I am excited!’. Subsequently, it will be beneficial to change the negative connotation being nervous has to a more positive perspective of the situation.

Focus on observing

Observing everything happening around you may be a great way to cope with your nerves and feel more relaxed. When we focus on the details, such as the way you are greeted by the receptionist, the colour of the walls, the design on the tiles, etc., it can help you keep the self-destructive voice away for a while. 

As indicated by Forbes Magazine, “The more closely you pay attention to the things going on around you, the less time and energy you’ll have leftover to get down on yourself.”

Take notes

Taking notes in your notepad can be a good idea since it can help combat your interview nerves. While the interviewer is talking you may write down the questions that may arise so you don’t interrupt them but still remember to make them at the end of the interview in the ‘questions’ section. This will also tell your interviewer that you were paying attention and how interested you are in getting this job.

Finally, taking notes has the purpose of keeping you focused on the conversation and not your nerves so you may want to bring a notepad and a pencil with you.

Focus on living the present moment

Have you noticed how we tend to think and ‘predict’ the future before it has even happened when we are nervous? Well, ‘predict’ is not accurate because we never have any certainty things will go as we think they will. Moreover, we tend to think about the worst things that could happen. However, we recommend focusing on living the present moment instead of thinking about the outcome since there are two possibilities and you are not certain which way it will eventually go unless stated by your interviewer.

How to not be nervous for a phone interview? 

Normally, before having a face to face interview, companies will like to screen their candidates and will make a short phone interview to get to know you and if you could be interested in the job position they offer. However, how can you go pass the phone interview jitters?

Going for a walk is a very good option here. If you have your phone interview and you are starting to feel very nervous then a bit of fresh air could work wonders but if you feel you need to release some energy, you could also try going for a run. 

In addition, try implementing the S.T.O.P method that is said to be a very good tip when trying to cope with a stressful situation. This is how it works (themuse.com):

  • Stop what you are doing and focus on your thoughts.
  • Take a few deep breaths. 
  • Observe what’s going on in your body, emotions, and mind, and why you’re feeling them.
  • Proceed to incorporate what you observed in your actions.

Normally, we tend to let our nerves take over but when using the S.T.O.P method, you are deliberately deciding to stop the cycle and take back control.

How to not look nervous during an interview?

We get, there is a lot of pressure when we are at an interview and we worry they might notice how sweaty we are or maybe if they can hear how loud our heart is beating. We are aware of all the physical reactions but it doesn’t mean others can notice it too unless it is too obvious. 

Also, we worry too much about causing a good impression, we want that job after all so this is another reason why we tend to get so nervous. However, consider that being in front of your interviewer means the company saw something in your CV that got their attention and that means you were selected among many other candidates for a face to face interview so believe in your skills and yourself.

Be proud of yourself no matter the outcome, you made it this far and not getting the job doesn’t mean you are a bad candidate or a failure. It is easy to criticize and beat ourselves up thinking about what we did wrong but the best thing to do is to say to yourself “Ok, I made it this far but didn’t get the position so what can I do differently next time?”. You could also try to get the feedback from your recruiter so you can make some adjustments and be ready for your next interview.

Why is this blog about How to not be nervous during an interview important?

As we have discussed, being nervous before an interview is completely normal. However, we have talked about a few tips and tricks on how to deal with your interview jitters.  There are basic tips such as monitoring your tone of voice and pace, making eye contact, watching out for your body language, etc. However, there are a few more pro-tips such as having everything ready the night before, arriving a few minutes earlier than expected, doing deep breathing exercises before your interview or getting excited instead of nervous. 

Finally, remember why you were invited to the interview in the first place, how the company saw something in you that could match the description of the job advertised and how you were selected as a top candidate among a few others. Trust your skills and trust yourself!

Please feel free to leave any comments or thoughts about the content of this article!

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References 

Ryan, L. (2017, Nov.) Ten Tips For People Who Get Nervous At Job Interviews. Retrieved from forbes.com.

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.

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