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How to Calm those Interview Nerves

On28/ 11 /17

Interview nerves can affect the best of us. Sometimes, the thought of an interview alone can be enough to cause those familiar butterflies in the stomach.

Whilst it's natural to feel nervous, severe nerves can easily spoil your chances of success.

However, there are a few tricks of the trade to keep those nerves in check. Try the following 5 tips to help keep your composure and perform at your best.

1. Be Prepared

Thorough preparation is one of the best strategies to keep the nerves at bay. This means going through interview questions and researching the company and the position in detail. You can start by exploring common interview questions such as "what's is your current salary?" or "what's your greatest accomplishment?" to come up with the best possible answers beforehand.

Of course, you want to keep it sounding natural so use your time to formulate ideas rather than learning all your answers by rote. However, preparation will give you less chance of being caught out.

2. Plan Ahead

On the day of your interview, the less you have to think about, the more likely you are to remain confident and be able to focus on the task at hand.

Firstly, allow enough time and make sure you know where you're going – if practical you could even test out the route beforehand. Secondly, prepare your interview clothes in advance, making sure they’re clean and ironed.

Last but certainly not least, give yourself enough time to eat properly rather than just grabbing a coffee on the way – you don't want your stomach rumbling throughout the meeting.

3. Do a Dry Run

They say that practice makes perfect, and doing a dry run can be invaluable.

Your recruitment consultant may be able to run through a few questions with you. However, even practicing with a family member or friends can help. Even, if they aren't able to give you feedback on your answers, it will get you into the swing of answering questions on the spot.

4. Slow it Down

Remember to breathe. When we get asked a difficult question, the temptation is to answer straight away with the first idea that comes into our head. Instead, pause and buy yourself some time.

Equally, try to slow down your speech. If you speak too quickly, it can sound jumbled and be hard to follow. So concentrate on slowing it all down and making sure you articulate your words. A simple strategy is to breathe in for three seconds before you start speaking.

4. Listen

When we suffer from nerves, we often forget to listen. Unfortunately, this makes it almost impossible to answer questions as well as we'd like.

So, when someone is speaking, try to keep your attention on them and listen to each question fully before you start trying to formulate an answer.

5. Keep Things in Perspective

It's important to keep things in perspective and to remember there are always other jobs out there.

Sometimes, we are so eager to get a job that we place far too much pressure on ourselves. This can actually prevent us from performing at our best. So, try to treat each interview as a learning experience.

At the end of the day, interviewers understand that candidates can suffer from nerves. So just do the best you can. You will find that your confidence builds along with your match practice.

For more interview tips, why not explore all the posts in our interview series on our blog? You can also find advice in our dedicated CV and Interview area.

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