How to Manage Your Nerves During an Interview
It’s fair to say that most people experience some pre-interview jitters. If you get butterflies in your stomach, sweaty palms, and feel like a bundle of nerves before and during an interview – you’re not alone. Even the most confident people amongst us can feel the heat of a job interview. It can be a daunting experience, meeting strangers and having to demonstrate your abilities without coming across as too arrogant.
The importance of job interviews is ramped up even further if you have multiple interview ‘stages’ to pass. It can seem like a long road to bagging that next big job. However, the following interview hacks can help professionals of all ages and experience levels to make their mark. There are certain things you can do to manage your nerves and look confident (even if you don’t feel confident). Check out these top tips.
First and foremost, concentrate on your interview preparation
Failing to prepare is preparing to fail. At least that’s what the famous proverb says. Use your innate ability to research and plan and make sure you know exactly what to expect on the day of your interview. Research your prospective employer, practice the first few sentences you plan to say, plan and calculate how you’ll get to the office so that you have five minutes to relax before your interview. Having done plenty of preparation, you’ll be able to stay calm and focused on the task at hand. You can walk into that interview with your head held high, knowing you are fully prepared.
If you are shy, use your personality to your advantage
You might not be aware of it, but a shy personality can be used to a candidate’s advantage during an interview. You’ll immediately come across to your interviewer as someone that is grounded and humble. Your reserved demeanour and preference for using real facts and figures to describe your career successes thus far will demonstrate a methodical applicant that’s honest and transparent.
Try to make a good impression from the word go
They say that most job interviews, ranging from client-facing roles through to specialist IT positions, are determined by the first and last minute of discussion. Primarily, you’ll want to start on a high note, walking in with an enthusiastic smile and confident handshake, even if you are feeling tense and uptight inside. Your interviewer will immediately label you as someone that is friendly and warm, to set the tone for the rest of the interview.
Focus on matching your interviewer’s tone
Speaking of tone, it’s important to keep a close eye on how your interviewer acts throughout your interview. The last thing you want is to come across to them as standoffish or disinterested. To make sure you aren’t tarred with the wrong brush, try and mirror your interviewer’s body language. If they are expressive, try to make some gestures of your own. If they are humorous, don’t be afraid to follow suit. By staying on a level with your interviewer, you’re far more likely to hit the right notes.
Make your personality type work for you
If you consider yourself at either end of the personality spectrum, it can be tricky to feel entirely at ease with being yourself in an interview. Some will try and pretend to be assertive and outgoing and others will pretend to be more shy and retiring. In reality, you are only making life harder. It’s so important to be yourself.
Instead, try and find a way to weave your nature into the conversation or into a response to your interviewer’s question. You might want to explain how you’ve overcome your specific approach to meet challenges and objectives in your previous job roles; it’s a sign of personal growth and development!
With this interview advice, we hope that you’ll be empowered to ace your next job interview, whichever end of the personality spectrum you are at, and avoid succumbing to nervousness at the final hurdle, bagging you a job on the next rung of your career ladder.