It’s incredibly common and completely natural to be nervous about a job interview – there’s nothing like having all the attention and focus on you to really bring out the jitters. While there’re some people that can breeze through an interview without even breaking a sweat, for the rest of us mere mortals, job interviews are and always will be a nerve-wracking experience.
So how do you combat those feelings to ensure you come across well in an interview? We have some top tips to help you put your best foot forward and quell those shakes!
Getting lost or being late will only compound those butterflies, and likely throw you off even more. Make sure you’ve figured out where you need to go and how to get there well in advance. Give yourself plenty of time – but don’t show up too early. If you do have some time to kill before your interview starts, do it outside of the building where you can get some fresh air and relax a little. Speaking of air…
Take a deep breath
It sounds cliché but taking some deep breaths really do help. When we’re feeling nervous our heart rate goes up and it becomes harder to concentrate. Give yourself some quiet breathing space before arriving for your interview to help get yourself into the right mental space. If you can, take a short walk before your interview to release some of that nervous energy.
We can’t stress this enough, the more prepared you are before the interview the easier it will be. We have some tips on what kind of interview questions you can expect to be asked, so give yourself some time to think about how you’d answer them. You don’t want to sound scripted, but you also don’t want to be left floundering. Read the job description again, take a look at the organisation’s website. The more prepared you are, the better you’ll come across.
Switch your mindset
While you’ll be the one in the hot seat being asked questions, don’t forget that job interviews are as much about you finding the right fit as it is the employer finding theirs. Rather than thinking of it as an interview, which sounds scary and stressful, consider it as a conversation – something you do all the time! You’ve been invited to interview for a reason, and sometimes the ones interviewing you are just as nervous as you are! Smiling can naturally put everyone at ease, including yourself!
Put it in perspective
Sometimes the anticipation of an interview is actually worse than the experience itself. If you’re feeling nervous, just remind yourself that no matter what happens, once it’s over you’ll get to walk out that door and it will all be done. Stressing yourself out before it’s even happened is a good way to be your own worst enemy. While you’re waiting for your name to be called, feeling that impending dread, just remember: this’ll all be over soon!
Stop the shakes
A very common symptom of nerves is having your hands or voice shake. Sometimes no matter how prepared we are, when the time comes, we can’t help but have those pesky nerves manifest in a physical sense. One way to combat shaky hands is by keeping them under the table and out of sight – which is fine but can come across as a little robotic – hand gestures are a normal part of communicating, so if you avoid them completely you might come across a little strange. However did you know that by clenching other muscles in your body – legs, and bottom are the best, your hands are less likely to shake.
A shaking voice can be controlled by slowing your pace and taking breaths between questions. Doing some mouth exercises before your interview can also help to relax your vocal cords and allow your voice come across stronger. Just make sure you have a private space to do them in, so you don’t spook your perspective employer!
A good interviewer will help you feel at ease, but feeling nervous is perfectly normal. Try putting these tips into practice for your next interview and you’ll know you’ve put your best foot forward! You’ve got this!
Kirsty and Nikki