It may be true that getting an interview is half the battle, but what about the interview itself? Nerves can often overwhelm you when you are placed in the position of interviewing for a long sought after job. Learning to control your nervous habits, tics or even a stutter is one of the most important job seeking skills you should master.
It is important to consider the psychology behind nerves during an interview. Often, so much seems to ride on an interview. Desperation for a job or simple longing for a change can make an interview seem like a life or death situation. Sit back, take a deep breath and recognize that it is nothing more than a simple conversation about who you are as a potential employee. No matter how desperate your work situation is, an interview is nothing more than a chance to sell yourself. If you interview poorly, the sun will still rise the next day. By removing some of the pressure a typical interview can generate, you will already begin to realize that some of your nervousness is dissipating.
Preparation comes next. The more prepared you are for an interview, the easier it will be for you. From dress and grooming to a careful review of the company website, preparing for an interview should be done precisely. Leave nothing to chance. Collect your interview attire several days in advance and carefully review it. Have a backup suit prepared as well. Make several copies of your resume and portfolio, if needed, and have them ready. Stow a copy in your briefcase and one in your trunk. Remove all of the potential headaches the interview day may bring. If you don’t have to rush about searching for your tie or your other shoe, you are more likely to arrive at the interview with all your nerves and wits about you.
Common sense plays a role here as well. Be sure to get a good night’s rest the night before, no matter how hard it is to sleep. Eat a well balanced meal an hour or so before the interview and take several practice drives to the interview locations. Being well rested, fed and knowing exactly where you are going is a giant step in the right direction.
If you suffer from a particular nervous tick, like sweating under pressure, prepare for that as well. Practice relaxation exercises that can be performed in the waiting room or place tissue in your pocket for wiping your hands with. Try to counter each nervous tick to remain calm.
Those that suffer from a stutter have it a bit harder, but even still there are things that can be done to make the interview go more smoothly. Practice saying common words and phrases that are likely to come up during the interview. Carefully note letter or sound combinations that cause you difficulty and find alternatives before the interview so you can use them instead of the words that give you difficulty.
Confidence plays a major role in landing a job. Don’t let your nerves get the best of you. Relax, breathe and be yourself. You’ll do great!