I always used to struggle with awful nerves particularly before and during interviews and it meant I was missing out on many opportunities. I had to train myself to control these nerves to stop them from taking over. This took a while to do but here are a few of the things that I learned along the way.
Preparation is one of the best things for reducing nerves before and during an interview. Ensuring that I was fully prepared for questions and scenarios that may arise helped in a massive way. There are a few key things that I think are the most important things to prepare for:
- Researching the company, the job and the market – there is no point in applying for a job that you know nothing or very little about and turning up to the interview with a small amount of information. Visiting the company website, reading any relevant publications and generally keeping a look and listen out for things that can help you is the best start. Turning up unprepared will just make your nerves worse.
- Finding what format the interview will be in can help you to prepare for that type of questioning. I once turned up to an interview and was required to do a presentation that I was not at all prepared for. Needless to say my nerves got the better of me and I didn’t do well at all.
- Find out what you will need to bring to the interview. Often a portfolio of previous work will be required. Turning up without this could make nerves worse and generally looks bad on you.
- Double checking the time and date to ensure you have them right is highly important, it’s difficult for anyone to keep calm when they’ve got the time wrong. Calling the day befo
re to confirm the interview can ensure no-one’s time is wasted. Allow yourself plenty of time to arrive at the interview early and you can make a good first impression. Running late for an interview always caused me even more stress and made me more nervous than usual.
Panicking on the morning of your interview about what to wear does nothing to help nerves. Pick an appropriate outfit in advance of the interview. Try it on, ensure it is comfortable and fits well. Clothing should be smart, it is always better to be over dressed than under dressed in an interview situation. Ensure tops are not too low, skirts are not too short and clothing is not too tight, otherwise you run the risk of being dressed inappropriately.
Think about what the worst that can happen would be. The probability of that happening is likely to be low and even if something does happen no-one is perfect and the interviewer is human. Compose yourself and continue. If you don’t get the job you can learn from what happened and avoid it the next time.
If your nerves are really difficult and these techniques do not help then it may be worth visiting your health care provider who could suggest an appropriate course of action.
Most important of all relax and be yourself! Do you have any tips for keeping calm for interviews?
Photo credit: iStockphoto
About the author: Charlotte Watson, contributing on behalf of Nicoll Curtain, specializes in the advantages of utilizing an IT recruitment agency as well as landing IT jobs in London.
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All great thoughts on coping with interview nerves. I have found practicing in the mirror and talk alot has helped me prepare. But one thing that I’ve always remembered to help calm the nerves — they must already like me if they scheduled an interview. So smile and show they they are right!
While I don’t really get nervous about what to wear (as a guy I have a good suit that I wear with a simple shirt and tie) I do believe in researching in advance. Getting to know a company, even their address (so you don’t get lost en route to the interview) is worth brushing up on.