Skills and Support
Skills and Support
Learn how to effectively conquer your interview nerves
Interview nerves can cripple anyone, which in turn can prevent you from getting the job. Luckily, there are numerous ways in which you can calm your nerves before and during the interview. Here are our top 10 interview tips for how to relieve stress:
Firstly, know your CV – like the back of your hand; a lot of interviewers will go through your CV during the meeting.
Secondly, research! Research potential interview questions that may be asked and prepare appropriate answers. Research the company; their goals, what they do, what products/services they offer, how many people work there etc. Research their social media accounts and see what presence they have online.
Finally, make sure you get a good night’s sleep, don’t be up all night worrying or cramming in research.
Give yourself plenty of time to get to the interview; arrive 10 minutes early. Rushing and running late will only make you more nervous and anxious.
Don’t rush through the interview. A lot of people speak faster when they're nervous; a good way to conquer this is by taking appropriate punctuation pauses and using hand gestures to help communicate your words.
Did you know that eating a banana or chewing gum can help calm your nerves? Bananas have high levels of tryptophan, which turn into serotonin, a neurotransmitter that helps to improve your mood, thus lowering stress levels. Research suggests that chewing gum can also reduce anxiety. Just make sure you aren’t chomping away during the interview.
Although the brain is an incredible organ that’s at the heart of the central nervous system, it can be easily fooled. ‘Fake it until you make it’; let this become your mantra during the interview. Trick your brain into thinking you’re confident or that you’ll get the job and your brain will believe it, thus allowing you to relax during the interview.
Exercise is beneficial in a variety of ways, such as: reducing the risk of multiple diseases, encouraging weight loss, increasing energy levels, and helping with sleep quality. Exercise can also improve your mood and lower stress levels, which is why you should walk to the interview, or get off a few stops before – and walk from there, because it’ll help you relax more.
Listening to music has been proven to reduce stress, especially slow and classical music, because it absorbs your attention, preventing your mind from wandering. Alternatively, try listening to happy and upbeat songs; these can also help boost your mood.
Relying on your senses can help to calm your interview nerves. The sense of smell can trigger powerful memories that can positively affect your hormones, brain chemistry and stress levels. Lavender has been used for a long time as a herb for relieving: stress, anxiety, depression and insomnia; so put some under your pillow to help you sleep the night before.
Drinking water will prevent your mouth from being dry. But did you know that dropping cold water on your wrists and behind your earlobes can help calm your entire body too? This is because of the major arteries that are underneath the skin, so cooling these areas with cold water can reduce stress.
Whilst waiting for the interview to begin, you’re likely to feel very nervous. Breathing techniques can help calm you; try the 4-7-8 breathing technique. Take a deep, slow breath and count to 4 as you breathe in. Hold your breath for 7 seconds and then breathe out completely whilst you count to 8. Repeat the steps until your mind is only focusing on breathing.
If you make the interviewer feel comfortable, they’re more likely to perceive you better. To make the interviewer comfortable you can: make small talk before the formal interview starts, accept what is offered (e.g. water) and mirror their body language, these actions can help build a bond and reinforce an understanding between you and them.