When you go for interviews do you feel nervous? Worried? Anxious? Shaking like a jelly? Or are you more calm, confident and collected, so much so, you get mistaken for being a statue? Getting pre-interview jitters is very common, but what if you find the anticipation of attending interviews terrifying?
Below are some tips to help you:
If I said that tomorrow afternoon you have been invited to attend an interview what are the initial thoughts that run through your head? If you’re thinking ‘Oh no, I am going to mess up’ or another statement where you are catastrophising, note to yourself what having that kind of thought does to your body. Does it make you feel tense? How does it make you feel? Now, imagine a time where you felt confident and trust in yourself that you are able to do it, notice the difference in your body and how you feel.
When we get tensed and anxious it could be seen through our body language and as body language can make up to 55% of communication in certain contexts, 38% tone of voice and 7% actual words according to studies by Albert Mehrabain, then it can be helpful to notice what thoughts you have and choose another thought that is more empowering that you can also believe to be true. For example rather than ‘”I will mess up” choosing “It’s okay to feel nervous, and I will do my best” notice if there is a shift towards feeling more at ease.
There are hundreds of interview questions but the core areas recruiters want to know are:
- Can you do the job?
- Will you do the job?
- Are you a good organisational fit?
On the day of the interview
Are you still breathing? Just about? Yes, I thought so. If you are still feeling nervous and panicky the one thing you can always go back to is your breath. Breathing exercises can help to calm you down and keep you focussed on the present. Inhale for one breath and release, then inhale for two breaths and release, and keep going with the counts until you reach ten. If this breathing exercise is too much for you, another one to try is to inhale for three seconds, hold for two seconds, then exhale for three seconds and repeat. When we get anxious or stressed our breathing tends to quicken and it can be uncomfortable, so breathing techniques can help to relax.
One of the best piece of advice I can give you about managing your nerves is in addition to preparation, interviews is about knowing yourself and learning to speak about yourself comfortably. You don’t have to try to be someone else, in fact, how boring would that be for the recruiter if all the candidates were a replica of the same person? What I encourage is to focus on being the best version of yourself and let that shine through!