If you're human, you will get nervous, it's completely natural and if anything, shows that you care. There is a fine line where nerves can start to affect your ability to perform but hopefully the following steps can help you to reach a point where you are in control, and your nerves are not controlling you.
Firstly, try not to drink your weight in caffeine before heading to an interview! If you’re prone to the nervous shakes you don't want to enhance them and go into overdrive.
The key element in combating nerves is preparation. Ensuring you are prepared by gaining as much knowledge as possible regarding your prospective job will result in confidence and comfort, which will ultimately combat nerves. Read over the job description! If you require more information or are unclear regarding certain elements, have questions ready. It is almost a certainty that before an interview is complete you will be asked if you have any questions, use this time wisely as this will show that you have researched and really are interested in pursuing the opportunity.
It may be easier said than done but make sure to relax the night before, in order to get enough rest, so you can function at full capacity. You may be able to rally to a point but if you're tired and lethargic it will only hinder you. Therefore attempt to be well rested and you will definitely feel the benefit.
Once you have the job role down to a tee and questions ready to iron out any uncertainties, next prepare any documentation you may need. Dust off your certificates and carry them in a folder keeping them nice and crisp. Have your clothes ready to go the night before, maybe even two nights before. There is nothing worse than getting ready for an interview and realizing that your shirt has a questionable stain near the collar, or your skirt shows slightly too much leg. You want as much confidence as possible and if you feel good this will show. Obviously smart attire is necessary, but I would say to try and stay true to your own aesthetic as much as possible. If you feel uncomfortable in what you’re wearing, causing you to constantly pull and re-arrange your clothes, this is just another worry occupying your mind, which could be avoided. The goal is to have everything ready to go for the next day keeping stress levels as low as possible, in which case, all you have to do is put on your nicely laid out clothes, brush your teeth, grab your bag and go.
Another tip I’ve felt has come in handy and kept at the forefront of my mind, is to think of the interview as a conversation opposed to an interrogation. This is an opportunity for the interviewer to get to know you and vice versa, so try to relax and converse with them so your positive attributes take centre stage instead of your nerves.
Always remember you have applied for the job because you know you are a good candidate. As cheesy as this sounds it is the truth, and you have been invited to interview as the employer has also seen this. So draw on your strengths and don't overthink. Be you and not what you think you should be, as it may evident this is what you are trying to do and cause some distrust in your abilities
If you aren't successful in this venture this will only add to your experience by building up confidence and an ability to control your nerves for the next opportunity, and trust me there will be one. These steps are obviously not an exhaustive list in combating nerves but they will certainly help. The more you believe in yourself, the more chance the employer has to see that you are right for the job. It is expected for candidates to be nervous, but don't allow yourself to be intimidated. Take some deep breaths, have a gulp of your de-caffeinated coffee and go get yourself a new job.
Published by Pascale Lespeare