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How to Calm Interview Nerves

Your hard work has paid off: You’ve got an interview for a great new job! Congrats!

But as soon as you agree to a time for the big day, your pulse starts to race and butterflies set up shop in your stomach. Even people who’ve been working for years and are established in their career get a little nervous before a big meeting or interview.

Pre-interview nerves are normal and understandable, but let them get out of control and your whole meeting could be derailed. Here’s how to keep them under control.

Prepare to dazzle.

If your nerves are kicking in before the interview — whether it’s hours or days — divert that energy into preparation. Research the company, learn about the position, see who the company’s competitors are, the biggest challenges facing the industry and areas for growth or opportunity. Go in prepared to discuss what you’ve learned and you’ll impress your interviewer by having done your homework.

Get some fresh air.

Take some time before the big meeting to go outside and clear your head. A short walk can do wonders! Don’t think about anything in particular, just appreciate the world around you, breathe deeply and try to recenter yourself. If your interview is in person, take a walk either before you leave for the interview or get there a few minutes early and take a short walk around the property. If it’s virtual, walk around your block or building, leaving yourself enough time to get situated and settled.

Address those fidgety fingers.

So many people play with their hands or pick at fingers when they’re nervous. Try to get that nervous energy out before the interview starts. If that doesn’t work, put something small in your lap as you sit down for the interview, provided your lap will be covered, to give your hands something to do while you’re talking. Even something simple like twiddling your thumbs can help direct that energy while you’re talking and, no doubt, impressing your potential new boss.

Remember that this is just a conversation.

The person you’re going to be talking with is a person. Guess what: So are you! It’ll just be the two of you, in a room, talking about the job. That’s all an interview is. It’s not the biggest make-or-break moment of your life; it’s just people conversing and getting to know each other a little better. That doesn’t sound scary at all, does it?

Try to STOP worrying.

Where there’s a will, there’s an acronym to help you find your way. In this case, it’s STOP: Stop what you’re doing and focus; Take a few deep breaths; Observe what you’re feeling and what’s happening internally and why you’re feeling nervous; and Proceed with the intention of using those observations into your actions. This is a simple technique to help you center yourself and remember where you are and why you’re there, before going in and talking with your interviewer. It’s also a reminder that you’re in control of what you do and how you act.

You wouldn’t have been called in for an interview if you weren’t qualified and capable of doing the job. You’re in the room, having the meeting, because you can do this! Give yourself a little pep-talk and get ready to knock their socks off!


Consider job searching with Sterling Personnel!

If you’re looking for more advice or new opportunities, call Sterling Personnel. We partner with great companies looking for someone just like you! Give us a call and let’s help you find a new job.