THOUGHT PIECE the carling team
10 Tips To Deal With Job Interview Nerves
Interview nerves are an issue that often plagues job candidates in the drinks industry and in fact across all sectors. But are nerves always a bad thing? The simple and straightforward answer to that question is “NO!” Ask any performer, whether they’re an actor or an athlete and they’ll soon tell you that without their pre-performance adrenalin rush they’d underperform time after time. That said, the problem with nerves in any situation is when they start to take over. In this article we’d like to share with you a few tips and techniques for dealing with job interview nerves:
- Get to know your body. Nervousness manifests itself in different ways in different people. It may be that your hands shake; you might become sweaty or your voice might wobble. Either way, it’s important that you are aware of how your body reacts in a nervous situation. Being able to deal with and manage visible and audible signs of nerves starts by being aware of them.
- Embrace your nerves. It’s important to be a little bit nervous to perform at your best, so when your nerves come, don’t try to push them away; embrace them and use them to your advantage. It might be that you find this notion odd, but once you recognise your nerves as your friend and not your enemy, you’ll soon be able to use them positively to boost your interview performance. There’s lots of information online about embracing nerves and if you have the budget or need, you could even think about availing of some coaching to help you.
- Be prepared. One of the best ways to put your nerves to bed is to know that there is no more preparation you can do to improve your performance. Putting in the time required to prepare for your interview won’t only help you stand out as a great candidate, it’ll help you put your nerves into context and to use them as your ally.
- Do all you can to make your interview experience easier. Things like imagining you’ll sleep in on the day, or that you’ll arrive late will only serve to heighten the power of your nerves. Setting two alarms and if needs be asking a friend or family member to give you an early morning call will reassure you on the sleeping in issue. When it comes to arriving late for interview, you can set your mind at ease on this point by practicing the journey well ahead of the day of your interview. If it’s not possible to practice the journey because of distance or logistics, then making sure you are fully familiar with the route and how long it will take as well as being aware of any peculiarities regarding your destination will help (i.e. will there be any security procedures or site safety to go through before you are allowed on site?).
- Look after yourself. Eating well, exercising, getting enough sleep and filling your lungs with oxygen is what keeps your body efficient and in a state of calm. If you are feeling nervous about a forthcoming interview, pay particular attention to your body and make sure you give it good fuel and don’t over-stimulate it with alcohol or coffee, which will only serve to make the situation worse. If at all possible, make sure you get a good night’s sleep the night before so you’re nice and fresh for your interview.
- Practice calming techniques. Deep breathing, visualization, meditation and even laughing will help calm your body. Finding the right method of relaxation and calming for you might take time, but if you make the effort, you’ll find it and it will be a really valuable life (as well as interview) tool. This is something you should seek out well ahead of time, so you can pull your technique easily and effectively out of your sleeve on the day.
- Stand while you wait. Although pacing back and forth can make you feel even more nervous, standing, rather than sitting while you wait to be called is a good way of keeping nerves at bay.
- Pause and breathe. One of the effects of nerves is that we tend to rush our responses to interview questions and this should be avoided at all costs. Take time when asked a question to pause and breathe. This won’t only help you seem more professional, it’ll help you get your nerves into context and your thoughts into order so you can respond in the way that you planned to.
- Get your interview in perspective. Sometimes when you’re job hunting you can end up feeling that everything rests on the outcome of your next interview. While you might really, really want the job that you’ve been called to interview for, you need to get the whole event into perspective. No one is going to die if you don’t get the job; interviews are rarely even close to any life and death situation, so try not to forget that.
- Be yourself. Smiling and sounding confident at interview is a great way to hide your nerves and use them to your advantage. Take time to make sure you’re sitting comfortably; look your interviewers in the eye and send off positive body messages. This way, even if you are nervous no one will ever know.