How to overcome interview nerves
Interviewing is a nerve-wracking business. I've never met anyone who actually likes attending interviews, they're fundamentally a necessary evil on the path to securing your dream job. A bit like exams get you qualified or childbirth results in a baby, the interview is the unpleasant bit you have to go through first… almost like the test to ensure you're up to the challenge (given my choice I would rather attend 100 interviews than go through labour again, but that's a different topic entirely).
Although it's scary, here are my five top tips for overcoming interview nerves:
- Prepare yourself. Ensure you have done some research and you know your CV well and make a list of questions to ask (and if you're not sure of what to ask, see my previous blog post here).
- Fake it 'til you make it – stick on a smile and firm up your handshake. Pretend you're not nervous and your brain should follow soon enough… and even if the nerves stay, by appearing cheerful and in control they'll never know that you're shaking underneath.
- Plan your route and make sure you leave home or work on time. Even better, set off half an hour earlier than required and have a coffee nearby beforehand. There's nothing like being late to make you even more nervous so be early (but don't go along to the interview anymore than 10 minutes early though).
- Remind yourself why you're an excellent candidate. The fact that they have selected you for interview shows that you have at least some (if not all) of the skills to do the job. Remind yourself of your accomplishments and achievements; realise you have much to bring to the table. Now go in and show them that.
- Remember – it's not the be all and end all. It's just an interview; fail or succeed, your life won't end and even if you aren't successful, it's no reflection on you as a person. Have fun, chalk it up to life experience and give it your best shot… but keep it in perspective, too.
If you need any more in-depth advice on the above, please contact us for information and prices on our 1:1 interview coaching