Interview nerves are the worst. Anyone who struggles with interview nerves will be able to tell you this. Sometimes these nerves can mean that we’re not performing at our best or stumbling over our words which doesn’t leave the best impression when first meeting a prospective employer.

So many people feel pre-interview nerves and, unfortunately, they are completely normal. There are so many reasons why we feel nervous before an interview. The pressure they put upon us, being in formal situations, lack of experience or just the fear of the unknown. While knowing the reason doesn’t stop you from being nervous, knowing why your mind and body react to these situations will help you.

An interview is much like a performance, just on a smaller scale. When we are about to do something that feels like an interview, nervousness can take over. This means that we begin to prepare for a fight or flight situation which is our brains way of preparing us to defend ourselves. To do this, the brain floods the body with adrenaline which increases our blood pressure and presents as either anxiousness or pure excitement.

If you know that you have interview anxiety, there are things you can do to overcome nervousness during an interview. Here are our top tips on how to avoid being nervous in an interview:

Review your prep to calm interview nerves

Read through any answers you’ve planned, points you want to raise, or research you’ve done about the company. Keep refreshing your memory of this so that you can feel as prepared as possible. On the day, the nerves might still present but as the interview progresses you should begin to feel more comfortable because of the studying you’ve done to prepare.

Spend time soothing yourself

Try positive affirmations, mindfulness or breathing techniques prior to the interview to calm yourself and give you a confidence boost. You can also continue this throughout the interview. While we don’t recommend reciting positive affirmations at random points during the interview, you can keep reminding yourself of your affirmations and/or doing subtle breathing techniques between interview questions to remain calm.

Understand your triggers

This option isn’t easy for everyone and for some it’ll feel impossible. If you can identify which parts of an interview triggers your nerves then you can prepare yourself for as many different questions and/or scenarios as possible. By doing this, you’ll be giving yourself a wide range of pre-prepared tools to help you through.

Make the company aware you struggle with interview nerves

If you know that nerves and/or anxiety is something you struggle with prior to an interview, you can let the company know. This can just be dropped into conversation when you’re being offered your interview time or as a separate conversation if you feel that’s easier for you.

Don’t put too much pressure on yourself

This is a hard one when you really want the job or know that this opportunity is going to define your career. Just remind yourself that you’ve done all the preparation and revising you can before the interview and if it doesn’t work out, there’s nothing more you could have done. Sometimes job opportunities can seem like they come around once in a blue moon but keep looking and you’ll realise that there’s much more out there than this one job.

Think of it as a conversation

Taking an interview back to it’s most basic form means thinking of it as a conversation. Usually, an interview is a few people having a discussion which happens everyday in different setting across the world. Yes, there are more formalities to the conversation than usual but it’s still just a conversation.

Interviewing is a hard process and something that most of us hate doing. However, the more exposure you have to interviews, the more you become used to them and begin to understand that it’s actually a time to show your skills, experience and expertise. Not every interview will be a winner but every interview you do have gets you one step further from feeling nervous and one step closer to feeling excitement.

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