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Don’t Sweat It: How To Not Be Nervous In An Interview

Banish anxiety and learn how not to be nervous in a job interview with this useful guide.
by Rob Gillham | Aug 22 2022

Getting the last-minute jitters before meeting a prospective employer is perfectly natural and is a good sign that you are motivated to succeed. However, sometimes an overwhelming wave of fear and anxiety can ruin your chances of getting your dream role. If you want to learn how not to be nervous in an interview, then this article has the essential tips and advice you need to succeed. 

Why does a job interview cause anxiety? 

If you can tell a joke around the kitchen table, then you can tell it during a job interview. Nevertheless, nerves and pressure often cause us to act differently in an interview situation. Our bodies seem to behave strangely, and our voices don’t sound like they usually do. It is natural for us to want the whole uncomfortable experience over as soon as possible if we don’t feel or sound like our normal selves.

The nervous system responds naturally to perceived threats, whether they are real or imagined. Physical reactions caused by the stress response may include rapid breathing or heartbeat, pale or flushed skin, clamminess, and trembling.

Despite the fact that these responses are involuntary, they can trigger feelings of nervousness even when there is no danger. It is, fortunately, possible to ease your nerves before an interview by using several techniques and practices.

How Not To Be Nervous Before An Interview

1. Get Moving 

Studies have shown that exercising releases positive neurochemicals, and being outdoors promotes mental wellness. This means that any kind of physical activity can greatly reduce nervousness and anxiety. To help clear your mind, take a 15-minute walk before your interview, or take five minutes to walk around the building before entering.

2. Get Another Perspective

We often repeat anxiety-inducing scenarios in our heads when we are nervous. Having a cheerful conversation with a friend or family member can greatly boost your confidence. Hearing a loved one’s compliments can ease nervousness since it is easier for you to listen to others’ positive words than your own.

3. Eat Something Beforehand

Before your interview, eat a good breakfast, so you have the energy you need. An empty stomach can make you feel stressed and anxious. You can improve your mood by choosing a food that you like.

4. Plan Ahead

By adhering to your schedule and following your plans, you will be more productive during the day. You should schedule your job interview in the morning if possible, so you are not stressed and waiting all day for it. 

Getting enough sleep the night before will help you be alert the next day. You will have something pleasant to look forward to after the interview if you plan to go somewhere fun or exciting.

5. Be Prepared

A lot of people get nervous before interviews due to the fear of the unknown, so preparing for the most common questions can help. Before your interview, do some research on the company, practice your responses to common questions, and prepare your resume and notes.

You should write down any questions you may have, specific details about yourself you would like the company to know, and any notes you would like to remember. In case your mind starts to wander during the interview, referencing your notes is a great way to regain focus.

It is also important to find out as much as you can about your interviewer. Is this person the hiring manager or the direct supervisor? Is it going to be a one-on-one meeting or a panel? Feeling calm and comfortable will be easier if you know what to expect.

6. Expect The Worst

No matter what your biggest fear is, there is always a way to overcome it. If you don’t know the answer, be proactive and learn how to cope with any situation. Having a plan in place will allow you to rest assured that even if the worst happens, you will be prepared.

7. Take Notes

Preparing for the worst is just as important as preparing for anything. As long as you have set up as much as you can, you won’t have to worry about anything. Make a note on your phone and write down everything you’ll need for the interview, including the building address, the hiring manager’s name, the time, and the three main points you’d like to emphasize. You’ll feel so confident once you pull that baby out just before you get called in.

8. Have A Plan For After The Interview 

A job interview may not be the highlight of your day, but a good way to avoid overthinking things is to plan something to do afterward. For example, get a takeaway, watch your favorite film or play a relaxing video game. You can look forward to something awesome when you’re done this way instead of being worried about how everything will go when you’re done.

How Not To Be Nervous During A Job Interview

Now you’ve followed the advice above, you should be all set to begin your interview with confidence. However, even the bravest of people can often overcome anxiety during an interview, especially if the questions asked are hard to answer. Don’t panic! Below you will find some useful advice on how to ease your stress in the middle of a job interview. 

1. Display Confidence 

It may sound like pseudoscience, but by making positive body signals, we can often overcome moments of anxiety. Make sure you practice active listening during your interview, which includes nonverbal cues such as nodding and smiling. By smiling, you can also induce a feeling of happiness in your mind, which will allow you to relax more.

2. Don’t Forget You Are Having A Dialogue 

You can also relieve stress by rephrasing how you think about an interview. Don’t let yourself get thrown under the bus during a job interview. The interview is a conversation, not an interrogation. It’s their job to figure out whether you’d be a good fit for the role, but it’s also your chance to decide whether you like the position and the company. Being curious and ready to ask questions can help create a more equal power dynamic.

3. Take A Deep Breath 

Whenever possible, pay attention to your breathing. Keeping your mind and emotions focused will help you keep your emotions in check. Taking a deep breath before speaking will prepare you for what you will say. The act of breathing helps you remain calm, and pausing before speaking gives you time to prepare a thoughtful and composed response.

4. When In Doubt STOP

An effective way to cope with stress is to use the STOP method. This technique involves the following steps:

Stop and focus on what you’re thinking instead of what you’re doing.

Take time to breathe deeply, as many times as you need to.

Observe and keep an eye on what’s happening inside your body. Consider your emotions, the thoughts that are running through your head, and why you are feeling these things.

Proceed and follow up on your observations with the intention of incorporating them into your next steps.

In the STOP method, you slow down and become aware of what you’re doing and what you’re feeling. Your actions and thoughts are under your control when you remember this.


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