Six ways to tame nerves before a job interview

Published 4:04 pm Wednesday, June 21, 2023

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Interviews are an integral component of the hiring process. According to Zippia, the average corporate job opening garners 250 résumés. Among those, only four to six people are likely to be interviewed.

With such competition for jobs, landing an interview is an opportunity to be cherished.

Furthermore, candidates should do their best to ensure interviews go as smoothly and effectively as possible. Nerves can derail an interview. Nervous energy is a byproduct of humans’ “flight or fight” response in stressful situations. Adrenaline builds up in the body and that can make for a nervous interview. The following anxiety-taming tips can help anyone remain calm, cool and collected during an interview.

Humor can diffuse nervous feelings. Rather than stewing on the upcoming interview, watch a funny movie or listen to some standup comedy to help you laugh and lighten up.

Anxiety can creep in if you’re running late for an interview. Leave plenty of time to get there when interviewing in person. You don’t want to stroll in sweaty and out of breath because you just ran from the subway station or parking lot. For remote interviews, ensure that meeting links are working properly and that you understand how to use the conferencing application in advance of the interview.

Prepare for the interview and conduct a trial run with a friend or family member. Research commonly asked interview questions but be prepared to answer more job-specific queries as well. Preparation can help you feel less nervous and more in control.

Figure out which relaxation method works for you and employ it. Some find taking a short stroll outside enjoying nature clears their mind, while others prefer deep breathing and meditation. Some people may feel more relaxed after an exercise session. Build these coping mechanisms into your schedule on the day of an interview.

An interview is a conversation and not an interrogation. Certainly you are selling yourself to the recruiter, but the company also has to sell itself to you. Interviews are two-way streets to determine if the employer-employee dynamic is the right fit. Remembering that you are on somewhat equal footing can make the interview less nerve-wracking.

While waiting to be called into the interview, speak with others, such as the receptionist, other employees walking by or even people in the elevator. Small conversations can shift your focus from internal thoughts to external stimuli.