It’s normal to get nervous before a job interview, but experts agree that there’s one thing you should do to help combat nerves.
You sent off the killer CV. The interview has been arranged. And your lucky outfit is ironed and hanging in the wardrobe, ready to be worn on the big day. You’re qualified for the job, there’s no question about your passion for the industry and you’ve practised interview questions to your own reflection in the mirror for the past week.
So, what’s with the pre-job interview nerves?
Pretty much everyone experiences them, regardless of the candidate and role. But those feelings of self-doubt, apprehension and anxiety can leave you feeling like you’re going to mess the whole thing up. But fear not, as we’ve talked with four careers experts for tips on how to handle nerves.
And there was one big tip that came out on top…
Charlotte Davies, Careers Expert at LinkedIn
“Interviews can be stressful and feeling nervous is completely normal, but there are some tried and tested ways we’ve seen LinkedIn members share on the platform to help you calm your nerves.
“It’s obvious but don’t take it for granted: preparation is key. Do your research – with enough time – on the company, the job, and who is interviewing you; be sure to take a look at their LinkedIn profile so you can gain an understanding of their past experiences. Knowing more about your interviewer’s background before you meet them can really help to put you at ease.
“Employers tell us that interviews really help them feel whether prospective employees are a good fit for their company culture. So don’t be afraid to just be yourself - if the interview doesn’t feel quite right, chances are you won’t be accepting the position anyway.
“Be confident in your skills and your ability. Remind yourself that you have been chosen for the interview because of your personality and experience.”
Jo Cresswell, careers expert at Glassdoor
“Preparation is your biggest ally when it comes to keeping your cool in an interview. Use resources like Glassdoor to understand the experience of others who have interviewed at the company, this will give you an idea of what to expect during the interview – for example, what stages you will go through, what questions you might be asked, who you might meet – and help you prepare as thoroughly as possible.
“Interviewers appreciate that nerves are natural. When you’re in the interview itself, remember to breathe, speak slowly and pause where you need to.”
Lee Biggins, founder and CEO of CV-Library
“Nerves are good: channel your nervous energy into adrenaline; the two are highly similar and it will enhance your interview performance.
“Prepare for curveball questions: if you’re worrying that you won’t give a good answer in the interview, be proactive and prepare. You can handle anything if you plan ahead.
“Plan a fun activity for afterwards: arrange to meet a friend afterwards and treat yourself. That way, you have something to focus on instead of your nerves.”
Victoria McLean, career consultant and founder and CEO of CityCV.co.uk
“The only way to dispel nerves for any type of interview is to be exceptionally well prepared. Do as much research as possible into the role and company concerned and rehearse your answers to the questions you’re likely to be asked.
“I really can’t emphasise this point enough. Being prepared gives you the confidence to express your value and that you will excel in the role – and that’s what all interviewers are essentially looking for. Your CV & LinkedIn convinced them you can do the job on paper but your self-assuring and compelling demeanour will ensure you stand out from your competition and seal the deal.”
Just in case you missed it: the one thing you can do for yourself to curb those nerves is prepare, prepare, prepare.
And definitely treat yourself to something nice afterwards, even if it’s just a slice of cake or a long, hot bath at home.
Because next up is the most antagonising part: waiting to hear the hiring manager’s decision.