How to calm nerves before an interview

Due to recent events, many people across the UK are facing the prospect of looking for work. So, we thought we’d gather our thoughts on how to calm nerves before interview.

Perhaps you’re well used to the interviewing process. Or maybe it’s been years since you’ve had to think about it. Either way, it’s natural to feel a little nervous. Remember, if you stumble on a few words or speak a tad too quickly at times, it’s entirely normal. But the calmer you are, the easier it will be to process questions and formulate the clear responses that show you’re a top candidate for the job.

With redundancy levels increasing, be aware that there may well be heightened competition for the roles you apply for. All the more reason to learn how to calm interview nerves and present the best version of yourself to potential employers.

Want to find out how to relax before interview time? Here’s what we know about managing nerves and supercharging your confidence.

10 top tips for calm and confident interviews

Thanks to Covid-19, your job interview might occur in person and at a distance, over video conference or on the phone. Here are our recommendations, whatever form it takes.

  • Keep a copy of your CV, the job description and any interview notes to hand in case you draw a blank.
  • If you’ve been asked to deliver a presentation, practice it on your own or with a friend before the real thing.
  • If you’re interviewing by video call, make sure your internet connection is sound and that you know how to work your microphone and camera. Shut out background noise and distractions where possible.
  • Limit your caffeine! It might usually be your best friend of a morning, but nerves plus too much coffee isn’t a good combination. Try swapping in a herbal tea or cold glass of water.
  • Suck on a mint beforehand – some folk swear by it for calming nerves and nausea.
  • Arrive – whether that’s at the workplace, in front of your Skype window or by your phone – in plenty of time. ‘Late’ is never a good first impression to make.
  • Do a quick final check of your appearance before the interviewer sees you. You don’t want that last-minute tea spill or rainstorm to affect your chances.
  • Breathe! It sounds obvious, but shallow breathing does nothing to relieve tension. Try a few rounds of breathing in for five seconds, holding for five, then breathing out for five or more.
  • Listen to some relaxing sounds before starting. There are plenty of clips to choose from on meditation apps like Insight Timer or sites like YouTube.
  • When it’s time to begin, focus on speaking at a measured pace. It’ll give you more time to think and make your answers easier to understand.

Don’t forget – you’re an interviewer too. Use your time at the end of the conversation to ask the questions that matter to you.

Face-to-face interviews might feel strange due to current restrictions, especially if you’ve been working from home since lockdown. Take all the usual precautions, follow the safety rules at the interviewing location and don’t be afraid to remind your interviewer about distancing if they appear to have forgotten.

Lastly, note that nearly everyone has had an interview that didn’t go to plan. If that happens, don’t be disheartened. Learn from it and move on, knowing that the next one is bound to be better!

Start your search right

Now you’ve got the tools to calm interview nerves, you’re ready to talk jobs. Call us to chat on 01225 313130 or browse our current listings.