Controlling job interview nerves

Top tips for keeping calm

You’ve been given an interview for the job – well done. They’ve probably seen something they like in you or in your CV, so surely there’s nothing to worry about, right? Unfortunately that’s not the case for everyone and when you turn up on the day it’s almost inevitable that the nerves will kick in once you arrive for the interview.

Combate your nerves in an interview

You may have had problems sleeping the night before, you may be experiencing dry mouth, shortness of breath, cold or sweaty hands or a cloudy head, but it’s important to point out that all of these things are completely normal – and you’ll probably not be the only person feeling this way whilst waiting for your interview. Nerves are a natural response to being in an unfamiliar situation but, as with any situation where you’re not practiced, there are things that you can do before the event to lessen them.

There isn’t a quick fix to  removing your nerves but here are a few tips to control them in preparation the day.

  1. Think about why you were invited for the interview – You must have the right skills or something about you to have got to this point so reflect on this and think about what you can bring to the company.

  2. Rehearse – You might not know exactly what the interviewers are going to ask you but you can rehearse all the important things that you’d like to say beforehand regarding your skills and experience. Go through your answers with a friend, a relative or your partner. You could even get them to throw in some questions to practice off-the-cuff responses. Saying these things out-loud will help you make the connection when that killer question comes up on the day. It’s worth bearing in mind thought that this is a conversation so watch that you aren’t just throwing buzz-words at them. 

  3. Breathe – Your heart rate will be fairly high so try learning some breathing exercises which can help clear your mind and slow your heart rate. These can be good in preparation or even help in the moment.

  4. Eat Right – Eating right is important in general but there are some foods that you may want to avoid the night before your interview. Specifically ones that linger on the breath or make you feel bloated. Drinking the night before should probably be avoided too, it might calm your nerves but will make things much worse the next day.

  5. Exercise – Exercise is a great way of releasing the extra energy within your body. A heavy workout might be good but even something as simple as a good walk or run can help get your head into gear for the day.

  6. Sleep well – This may be difficult if you’re nervous, but if you’ve put the previous things in place you’ll be in a much better position to get a good night’s sleep. Although it’s not just about getting rest the night before – think about the week before, so your body has chance to get into a good cycle.

  7. Prepare what you will wear to the job interview – Once you have this sorted out, you can tick it off the list and feel more in control of the situation. Why don’t you review our advice for finding a winning outfit. 

Ultimately, remember that nerves are normal and sometimes difficult to control. However, the more preparation you put in for your interview up front, the better position you're likely to put yourself in on the day.

First Response Interview Tip:

There is no need to be worried or get nervous. As long as you are yourself everything will be alright. We just want to make sure that we share the same values and are right for each other. If we do, happy days! If not, we are sure you will get better suited working environment.

Good luck!

Follow us on LinkedIn

< Back to blog | Previous: What to ask in a job interview>