Tips to calm the pre-interview jitters


Nerves affect everyone. It doesn’t matter who you are, if you’re doing something important that could ultimately make a change in your life it’s only natural that you will feel nervous. The job interview is one of the things in life that cause people to feel the most nervous. Some nerves are good. They can keep you on the ball and therefore make you perform better, but the problem arises when you let this anxiety get the best of you. It’s essential that you do not let this overcome you and affect your performance. And in fact there are plenty of ways that you can shake off these nerves and make sure you perform to the best of your ability.

So what are they?

Something which I’ve spoken about a lot regarding interview tips is preparation. Preparation is the key to a great interview and it is preparation that can really help to calm those pre-interview jitters. If you know what you are going to talk about and have practiced your interview technique then you will be able to feel a lot better about going into an interview. Know about the company you are interviewing with, know exactly the role which you are applying for and look up some interview tips to get used to the general style. In this day and age with a search engine like Google and a professional network like LinkedIn you really have no excuse not to do your research. However, be cautious because you don’t want to sound over-prepared to the point where you are essentially just reciting phrases that you’ve learnt off by heart.

Another thing which comes under the umbrella of preparation is having a dress-rehearsal. Ask a friend or family member to stage a mock interview with you so you can practice answering questions and having a free-flowing interview. If you want you can even put your suit on to create a stronger illusion of a business environment. Talking through what you’re going to say is extremely helpful as others can offer you advice and make you more confident.

Now, something which does not necessarily refer to the job interview and applies to how to get rid of nerves in any situation is learning how to not over-analyze a situation. Simply put, you need to get out of your head! It is impossible to know exactly how an interview is going to play out, just as it’s impossible to know how life will, what’s important is being able to accept that as a fact. Wondering endlessly about what’s going to happen is only going to prove counter-productive and doesn’t get you anywhere. Yes you should prepare but don’t just focus on the job interview. Distract yourself with other activities, listen to music, do anything to take your mind off the interview for a while and you will feel better. Of course some people like to listen to music to get “pumped up” before an interview and that’s fine too. Identify what you do to make yourself feel confident and do it before the interview.

Another thing you can try to do is replace the feeling of nervousness with the feeling of excitement. The two emotions are incredibly closely linked and therefore can be interchangeable. Think about the great opportunity that you’ve got. By doing this you can make yourself feel positive and confident about the potential job in front of you. That will help you give confident answers in the interview.

Finally, make sure you use your common sense and prevent unnecessary problems. For example, know the route to the office where you’re interviewing. You want to know how long it takes and give yourself a little extra time. After all, there’s no harm in getting there a little bit early. In all honesty, it’s the simple things that can help the most. Plan what you’re going to wear, have a good night’s sleep beforehand and make sure you eat a good breakfast.

If you remember this and don’t let your nerves get the best of you then you have a great chance of giving it the best you’ve got and getting yourself that job. So squash those nerves!

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