How To Beat Interview Nerves

pexels-photo-70292It’s totally normal to be nervous before an interview. The problem is that a shaky voice, sweaty palms and shifting in your seat are almost guaranteed, in combination, to torpedo your chances of winning that job. It’s no wonder that many of us are desperate to find a way to remove all nerves and anxiety before a big interview.

The first thing to remember though is that nerves aren’t always a bad thing. Experienced public speakers can often use nervousness to their advantage: a bit of nervous energy can be harnessed to make you a more compelling and passionate speaker. A bit of adrenaline can also help you think on your feet.

But if your nerves manifest themselves differently: super-speed speech, total panic, and an inability to think of or remember anything relevant, then these tips should help.

  1. Breath deeply. It may sound obvious, but it’s very easy to forget to do this in stressful situations. Just before an interview, slow your heartbeat and your body’s stress response with some deep, slow breaths.
  2. Concentrate on what’s good in your life. Studies have suggested that people going into stressful situations cope better after having written about the good things in their life. Certainly, reminding yourself of your family, friends, successes and passions is going to give you a little confidence and perspective.
  3. Practice mindfulness. The benefits of mindfulness and meditation have been much talked about. Making mindfulness part of your daily routine gives you a big advantage in coping with stressful situations.
  4. Listen carefully. In stressful situations it can be easy to forget to listen properly. But if you concentrate on what your interviewer is asking or saying, your nerves will start to disappear and you’ll be able to give your answer proper thought. Don’t be scared of leaving a small pause while you think – this will make you appear thoughtful and confident, while giving you time to formulate your answer.
  5. Smile. Research has suggested that smiling, even if forced, lifts your mood and reduces stress.  It will also hide your nerves and make you appear relaxed, positive and – crucially! – employable.  
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