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Fircroft’s top tips for staying calm in an interview

Posted by: Bethany Lee
19/02/2020
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If you think you are the only person who gets nervous for an interview, then you’d be wrong. Everybody experiences some nerves before or during an interview. Often the nerves and pressure of an interview can make us act differently. Shaky hands, dry mouth or going a bit red in the face. 

There’s no denying that interviews are crucial in clinching most jobs — and beyond the initial burst of adrenaline, nerves won’t do you much good. 

Tips for staying calm in an interview

Below we’ve listed our top tips for beating those nerves and nailing that interview:

Be prepared

This may sound obvious, but often the best way to avoid those crazy nerves is to do your research. Research the organization. Know their products, what they do, and who their competitors are. If you know who is interviewing you research them too, take a look at their LinkedIn profile and learn about their roles within the company. Knowledge is power. The more you know, the more confident you'll be in responding to their questions on the day. 
Not only do you need to be prepared for what you expect will happen prepare for the worst. Whatever your biggest fear is, there’s always an answer for it. Worried about sweat patches? Pack a spare shirt and a can of deodorant. Worried about not having a good response to a tricky question? Be proactive and learn how to cover your tracks when you don’t know an answer. By thinking ahead, you can truly rest assured knowing that even if the worst happens, you’re more than ready to handle it.

Eat a Good Breakfast (or Lunch)

A great interview starts with a great meal. There is no set meal you should have; it all depends on you. You may prefer the healthy route, something full of those energy-boosting antioxidants. Or you may prefer indulging in your favorite comfort foods. There’s no right answer—just make it right for you (and make it food—no one can give solid interview answers when their stomach’s grumbling). 

Practice

Try not to memorize exact answers but outline points you want to make and think about the message you are wanting to get across. Ask a friend, family member, or mentor to play the role of the interviewer and conduct a mock interview with you. Critique your answers and ask your friend or family member to do the same. Like most things, the more you practice the better you become. Also consider videotaping your mock interview to observe your body language and facial expressions.

Tips for staying calm in an interview
Don't speak too fast

Nerves can make you speed up and talk far too quickly. While you're waiting for your interview, breathe in through your nose very slowly for a count of three. Then breathe out through your nose for a count of three. Repeat these three times. That should take you a total of 18 seconds. In that time, you will have significantly lowered your heart rate and when you speak, you'll find you won't rush. Remember to also make your replies concise as well, aiming for about 30 seconds per question unless a more in-depth answer is requested.

Listen

When we're crippled with fear and in full flight or fight mode, we find it hard to listen and often answer the wrong question. So, try to slow down your body's natural responses and listen – it will also help to make the other person feel special and show you value their question.

Stop yourself shaking

If you start to feel your hands shaking, try not to clamp them in your lap or cross your arms. Try to squeeze your buttocks or your thigh muscles. It's almost physically impossible to have shaky hands if your buttocks or your thigh muscles are clenched. This technique will help you feel and appear more confident.

Arrive early

There is nothing worse than knowing you are running late for an interview. It will really shake you if you know you are going to be late, so always arrive early. Travelling to an interview can be stressful. If you can, try doing a trial run before the day of your interview so you know exactly how long it takes and can plan accordingly. Rushing in 10 minutes late after running two miles isn't going to look good. 

Smile 

During an interview, make sure you keep things positive and stay enthusiastic. Stay upbeat and most importantly SMILE. 
It’s no secret smiling makes you feel more confident, even if you fake it, so what’s the harm in trying it?

Be yourself

If we are being ourselves when meeting other people, we will come across as relaxed, authentic and confident. Try to use words you usually use.
So, enjoy the interview and be proud of your achievements – you're already on the shortlist so they must think highly of you already. Remember to slow down, listen and be yourself. If you do that, you'll come across as relaxed, authentic and confident. Job done.

Job interview success

Although we can’t promise that these tips will banish interview nerves completely, they will hopefully calm your nerves and help you impress at your interview.

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