How to Beat Your Nerves During a Job Interview

By Corey Hastings

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Despite how prepared you may be, for some of us the pre-job interview jitters are inevitable. When they kick in, it can be hard to keep calm. Instead of focusing on the task ahead, your brain plays tricks, shifting your focus to sweaty palms and a tense jaw. So how do you combat the rising anxiety?

To nail the interview, you must be just as prepared to deal with your nerves as you are to discuss your resume. The first step? Understanding that nerves are a natural response to big events. Remember, you’re not alone! It’s safe to assume that almost everyone has experienced similar pre-interview nerves. Once you’ve accepted that nerves happen, follow the 4 steps below and you’ll say sayonara to those jitters for good.

Plan and practice

Practice makes perfect, right? The best way to crush your anxiety is to be fully prepared for your interview, and this includes staging a faux-interview to ensure you have all your ducks in a row. Be sure you have the job description almost memorized, prepare a list of answers to questions you might be asked, and make sure you’ve done as much research about the company as you can. Then, rehearse each of these points so you know exactly what tone you want to present.

It also helps to plan out what you’re going to wear as doing this the day-of will only heighten your jitters. Be sure you have the exact address plugged into your GPS, and keep the phone number of your contact handy incase anything extraneous comes up.

Arrive early

Traffic, Google Map errors, parking, oh my! There are a lot of things that might get you into trouble if you’re running late to a job interview, so leave early to give yourself a buffer. Once you’ve successfully paid your parking meter and checked in with the concierge, you’ll have time to sit back, relax and visualize a successful interview ahead. And remember to always accept a glass of water if offered.

Think of it as a conversation

Instead of thinking of it as “the big interview,” think of it as a simple conversation. By doing so, you’ll be able to take some of that built up pressure off your shoulders. Remember, you were chosen to come in for a reason. If you’re accurately represented in all the material you’ve sent over prior (hopefully you are!), then you have nothing to hide. As you prepare for the interview, remind yourself that this is just a conversation between two people who are working to get to know one another. You’ll notice a flow and rapport start to establish, which will help ease your mind and allow you to better focus.

Don’t forget your manners

Nerves can often make us forget even the simplest of things, like manners. But no one wants to hire a rude employee, even if it isn’t intentional. To some it may seem trivial, but saying “please” and “thank you” will go a long way. And don’t forget to follow up your interview with a thank you email or note, this extra dash of courtesy will also act as a reminder to the interviewee of your conversation.

Ready to start interviewing? Submit your resume to SS&C today.