Landing an interview for your dream job can be incredibly exciting, but also nerve-wracking. Pre-interview nerves are completely normal and indeed, expected. It’s important to remain confident on the outside. Here are some tips on how to remain calm during interviews.
First of all, make sure to tell yourself to breath and relax. Repeat. Being anxious before an interview is inevitable and it’s important to acknowledge it. Tell yourself that it will be okay and that you will nail it.
As well as this, pay attention to your body language. Be sure to make and maintain eye contact, sit up straight and to resist the urge to fidget. Speak slowly and think about your answers. It’s absolutely okay, and in fact it’s recommended, to pause for thought.
Focus on the positives of the interview. For example, make sure to tell yourself that you were invited to the interview for a reason. The employer already likes you and can see you fitting in with the company. Even if you don’t get the job, the interview is a great experience and an opportunity to get better.
Secondly, prepare for the interview. Once you’ve prepared and practised answers for the interview, you will be able to minimise the awkward moments or impulsive answers. This being said, you won’t be able to predict every question so it’s important to not panic when something you haven’t prepared comes up.
The more you have rehearsed in advanced, the better. You will have fewer occasions of “winging it” and will feel more relaxed as a result.
Next, remember that an interview is not an interrogation. It is a conversation between you and the employer. They will be assessing your suitability for the job and the company through your skills and experience. Despite the fact that most questions will be based around this, the bond between you both is also important.
While maintaining your professionalism, it’s good to be light-hearted and compatible with the person you are speaking to. Don’t rattle off your answers word for word, but make them conversational and anecdotal. Move from point to point naturally.
It’s good to chat with the employer but be sure to keep it entirely professional. Do not give them any unnecessary personal or intimate details.
Remember that those interviewing you are humans too. Don’t think of them as their official title or as someone who wants to quiz you. Don't let them intimidate you. Chances are they are nervous too and want to make a good impression on you.
More often than not, interviewers will be aware of the anxiety or stress felt by the candidates. They will be used to one or two minor slip-ups and probably won’t think too much about it as they know that you too are only human.
Finally, take it easy on the caffeine. While some people drink coffee to perk them up, it’s not a good idea to depend on it for your interview. Drinking a couple of cups of coffee could have a negative effect on you and have you feeling even jittery than you did before.
Caffeine can make you physically shake, and can also increase your heart rate. This means that you may sweat more and no one wants to shake a sweaty palm.
Have an early night before the interview instead. This way you will be naturally rested and energised and won’t depend on coffee to get you going.
Next, check out this list of common interview mistakes to avoid!