Top 5 Tips For Interview Nerves

31/01/14

You have been confirmed for an interview! YES! You are happy and thrilled that you have been shortlisted from potentially hundreds of applicants - you are on cloud 9! All that hard work at University and all those years learning, now you have a 30 minute window to present yourself for your dream job!

Suddenly, you stop, you take a deep breath and then the feeling changes and you say to yourself…”Okay, now I need to prepare for the interview. I hope I perform well…I hope I get the job!”  A feeling of anxiousness and nervousness sets into place and then you are left thinking, wondering and hoping that you will do well at the interview and will be successful.

Feeling nervous and anxious before your interview is very normal. Within my experience of HR, recruitment and as an Internship Consultant, I have observed hundreds of candidates in an interview. I have come up with 5 top tips that can help you tackle those horrible interview nerves!

1. Preparation is key 

If you are only spending 15 – 20 minutes researching a company before your interview, you might as well not go to the interview. I would suggest a good hour or an hour and a half as a minimum. Preparing for your interview will not only build your confidence and knowledge of the company, it will also help you ease any concerns you may have of questions the interviewer might ask you. It will also show that you have a keen interest in the position and that you really have taken the time to understand the business. This is always really impressive as you will be able to quickly build common ground with the interviewer and it is easier to enter into a discussion about the business than to just hear the hiring interviewer tell you about the business.

2. Have a good rest  

The night before your interview, make sure that you have a good rest. Avoid having a late night to ensure you are active and fresh the next day. You will naturally feel more relaxed and at ease. This will also help with your nerves. If you are attending an interview after work or after class, make sure that you give yourself enough time to freshen up before your interview, and for example, go for a 10 minute walk in a nearby park just to clear your mind and focus on the interview. Try not to stress about things as this will show in your body language and your overall demeanour.

3. Prepare your journey

You’re stressed, nervous, running out of time, sweaty and then you get lost!  This is your worst nightmare come true! To avoid this situation, make sure that you are fully prepared. Being fully prepared means checking the transport timetables and printing out a paper map. You cannot just rely on google maps or your phone navigator (in case your phone does not have reception or runs out of battery). Aim to be at the location of your interview 30 minutes before. That way you will have plenty of time to grab a coffee and go through some last minute preparation.  A good time to arrive at the reception of your interview is 10 minutes before your interview time.

4. Know your strengths

Pick out at least 5 key strengths. You may not talk about all 5, but depending on the position and the feeling you get from the interviewer, from those 5 strengths you have, you can pick 3 that would fit with the role. Why 5? Well, I feel when you attend an interview, you naturally gain more knowledge of the role, so if you only prepare based on a job description or a job advertisement you may be limiting yourself and be unable to talk about other strengths that could come up in the interview. Having some “spare” key skills in your mind will help you confidently answer unexpected questions.

5. Smile and be positive

When people are nervous, they tend to forget to smile or think positively, which is normal. Remember, first impressions count and they count most when you are attending an interview! So it’s important that you remember to smile and think positively. You have come this far - there is a reason that your application stood out and why you were selected for interview. Even if you don’t get the job, you have had good practice, met new people from your industry and you have expanded your professional network.

Feel more prepared for your interview with help from our mentors. They will be able to assist you with preparation before the interview and follow up with you afterwards. Speak to one of our friendly mentors today and curb those pre interview nerves. 

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