Job Interview Nerves
Job interviews can be exciting, but also nerve-wracking! And while having a few jitters right before your interview is completely normal, you will want to make sure that your nervous energy doesn’t prevent you from presenting your best self to the company.
Common nervous behaviors include:
- Overthinking – this can often make it impossible for you to clearly communicate during the interview because you are inside your own head thinking in circles.
- Fidgeting – when you channel your nervous energy into your fingers or your feet and start to fidget. This can be distracting to whoever is interviewing you and can make it seem like you aren’t confident in yourself.
- Stammering – using phrases such as “um” or “uh” too often can look unpolished and uncertain.
- Lack of Eye Contact – sometimes when you are nervous, you avoid looking directly at someone. This can be a huge issue when interviewing. Your potential employer wants to see a confident person and eye contact is key to showcasing that!
So how do you ease job interview nerves?
One of the most important ways to ease your nerves is to prepare for the interview. This may seem like an obvious answer, but it can easily be overlooked.
Tips for preparation
- Research the company – you don’t need to write a book about the company or create a huge excel spreadsheet, but it is a great idea to do a quick google search. Read the latest few articles and blog posts from the company. This will also potentially give you things to talk about because you know their latest news.
- Review the job description carefully – you applied for the job, but did you read all of their expectations? Take a moment to review what they are looking for in a candidate. Consider what questions they may ask based on the description. Practice formulating your answers.
- Who will you be interviewing with – if possible, do some light digging as to who will be interviewing you. Look them up on LinkedIn so you can understand their title and what they do within the company. Perhaps you may find some common ground. That’s a great way to build rapport up front!
- Where is the interview taking place – If the interview is taking place on Zoom, make sure your computer is fully charged and that everything you need is ready ie – notepad, pen, no distractions, etc. In our #1 LinkedIn Learning e-course, Executive Presence on Video Calls, we talk a lot about creating a mini-studio for video calls and how to look as professional as possible! If the interview is at an office, be sure to map your route so that you can get into the office without stressing about traffic and parking.
When is the last time you had an interview? Maybe it was a few days ago or perhaps it was years ago. Wherever you are on your interview journey, practice answering common questions will go a long way. This includes questions such as:
- Tell me about yourself?
- What made you interested in this role?
You can also practice asking the questions that you would like to ask during the interview and making sure they don’t sound long winded.
Practice saying the answers and asking the questions aloud. This will help you remember them when the time comes.
3. Stay Positive
You were chosen to be interviewed for a great reason – so be sure to lean into positive self-talk rather than negative!
Mental barriers about your resume, your experience or lack thereof, can all affect how you perform during your interview. In our e-course, The Art Of Communicating, we talk a lot about how to break mental barriers and how to overcome them so you become successful.
Kick those mental barriers to the curb and remember that this company wouldn’t be interviewing you if they didn’t think you had the potential to be great at the job!
4. Get In The Right Head Space
There are many ways to get into the right headspace. Make sure to give yourself enough time to get ready before the nterview. Even if this means getting up thirty minutes earlier than normal.
Just like your finals in college, you will want to give yourself enough time to eat breakfast, use the restroom, have a cup of coffee, or go on a short walk.
A few other tips for creating the right headspace:
- Breathe – take a few deep breaths to calm your system. Meditation apps are great for this!
- Listen to music – you may want to pump yourself up like Dwight from the Office, or you may want to listen to smooth jazz to calm your mind. The key is to listen to music that will put you in the best headspace to perform at your very highest communications level.
- Stretch your head and neck – we often hold a lot of tension in these areas so a quick stretch can help relieve stress.
- Close your eyes and envision yourself impressing everyone your meet.
Yes, a job interview can be very nerve-wracking, but by following these tips you will be on your way to having a nerve-free interview!
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