Everyone gets nervous at a job interview. If you didn’t get nervous, it would mean you didn’t care. The problem is that sometimes the nerves can affect your performance so you may appear lacking in energy or unenthusiastic or just plain terrified! So here are some crucial techniques to help you control your nerves.
This is something which many people neglect to do – and yet it makes a huge difference. Either get someone to ask you some specimen questions or ask yourself the question and then practice speaking the answers. A lot of nervous energy comes from fear of the unknown or fear that we are going to freeze or look stupid. So by practising answers aloud, it will start to feel more familiar and your confidence will grow.
Relaxation and Breathing
It is important to be as physically relaxed as possible before an interview as, not only will this help you to feel more confident, it will also project confidence to the interviewer.
So take a few minutes, either at home before you leave or find somewhere quiet at the interview venue. Roll your shoulders a few times, forwards and backwards, shake the tension out of your arms and hands, look in a mirror and smile to remind yourself to do it later!
Breathe in deeply through your nose to a count of four and then out through your mouth to a count of five. Make sure you are still physically relaxed. Try placing your hand on your stomach and think of breathing deeply (rather than shallow breathing in your chest).
Ask yourself this question: “How do I make myself nervous?” Now think about the answer. No one is making you nervous – you are doing that yourself. So how do you do it? Perhaps you imagine yourself going blank in the interview? Or going red and stammering? Our ability to make ourselves feel emotions by using our imagination is highly developed. It’s just a shame that so many of us imagine the worst case scenario! The result is it makes us really nervous, which then means we perform badly and end up fulfilling that worst case scenario. In order to break this cycle, imagine yourself in the interview with it all going really well. You are calm, relaxed and friendly. You are answering all the questions easily and in a structured way. You are feeling confident and in control. It helps to reinforce the scenario if you use all your senses. So imagine what it will look like, what it will sound like and what it will feel like.
You’re the solution to their problem
Someone conducting an interview has a problem. They have an empty role in their organisation – and you could be the solution to that problem. As you walk through the door rather than focusing on being judged, imagine that you are there to help them. Changing the way you think about the interview can have a huge impact on your confidence.