Chapter 4 – Overcoming Interview Nerves

Many people who have an interview coming up will get nervous. Some people will unfortunately experience uncontrollable nerves. It is only natural to feel nervous before an interview, but there are a number of things that you can do to get over these nerves. To begin with, lets take a look at a few of the more common pre-interview anxieties:

  • Feeling generally nervous and anxious
  • Sweaty hands and palms
  • Trembling voice
  • Sore head
  • Aching muscles
  • Dry mouth
  • Increased heart beat
  • Shaky hands

I can remember taking my driving test at the age of 17 and feeling a few of the above symptoms. In the build up to the test I had worried myself so much that eventually I thought, “What’s the point in all of this? It’s only a driving test, who cares if I fail?” I had seriously reached the point where I didn’t really care anymore whether I passed or failed. Now this is probably going to sound stupid, but this change in attitude actually worked in my favour. I performed a lot better during the driving test, simply because inside I had stopped caring, and therefore the nerves went out of the window. Now I am not saying that you shouldn’t care about your interview, because that would be silly. But what I am saying is that you can only do so much research and you can only do so many mock interviews. Once you have done sufficient preparation for the interview, and you will know when that time has come, then it is pointless worrying anymore about it. Do your research, do your preparation, and then go into the interview feeling free, calm and relaxed, and trust me, you will perform a whole lot better!

Mock interviews

Before I attend any interview I will always carry out a few mock interviews. This basically involves getting friend or relative to sit down and ask me the anticipated interview questions under formal conditions. In fact, I even put on my suit during the mock interview to make it as realistic as possible. I have found over the years that this approach works extremely well in allowing me to improve my confidence, so make sure you try it!

Visualising the interview before you attend it

This is a great method that works for many people. Before you attend the interview, try and visualise the entire process. Sit down in your favourite armchair and close your eyes. Think about driving to the interview with plenty of time to spare. You arrive early at the interview venue and sit in the car park composing yourself and reading the job description. When you walk into the interview room you are standing tall, smiling and feeling relaxed and confident. You introduce yourself in a polite manner and shake the hands of each panel member. They immediately warm to you and your responses to the questions are both positive and inspiring. At the end of the interview you feel confident that you have done your absolute best and there is a strong possibility that you will be successful.The above method is a fantastic way of focusing yourself prior to any interview. If you try to visualise the entire process being successful before the event starts, then this will put you in the correct frame of mind.