6 Ways To Overcome Job Interview Jitters

Robin Schwartz

Robin Schwartz

Professional Human Resources (PHR) Certified

Interviews can be a nerve wracking experience for many job seekers, especially in a tough market. Interviews, like most things in life, are a skill that people can refine and improve over time.

Part of a successful interview is showing confidence in your skills. If you're susceptible to pre-interview jitters, that might be hard to do. Here are some tips to reduce the anxiety many feel when preparing for an interview.

1. Know Your Interviewer

You will be better prepared to answer certain interview questions if you are knowledgeable on the company itself. Feeling more prepared for the interview can go a long way in reducing your nerves.

Before agreeing to a phone, in-person or panel interview, make sure you're doing your due diligence and learning what you can about the company interviewing you. Interviewers want to know you're not just interested in a job but also interested in being a valued member of an organization as well.

Take the time before any interview to look at the company's website. Pay close attention to a mission statement or list of core values/beliefs if it's available. Conduct a Google search of the company as well to see any recent news articles.

Knowing all this information about the company should assist you in answering their questions on how and why you would be a good fit for them. If you feel better prepared to answer questions they give you, it should go a long way in reducing your nerves!

2. Prepare Your Materials

Be sure to bring a copy of your resume to refer to. Should your interviewers refer to specific statements or job duties, you can prevent looking flustered by having the materials in front of you.

Take the time to prepare a series of questions to ask during or at the end of your interview. Don't leave the interview without asking clarifying questions about the position and about the company. You should avoid asking questions about salary during an initial interview as negotiating salary should come later in the process. Having prepared questions available to you may help you to feel more in control of the direction of the interview.

3. Schedule Properly

If you know you get nervous before interviews, try to negotiate scheduling the interview at an earlier time of day. It's not unheard of to find yourself becoming more and more nervous as the day goes on if you have an interview towards the end of the day.

If you are not able to schedule an interview early in the day, make sure you keep yourself busy with unrelated tasks. Do all your preparation the day before the interview so it's not the entire focus of your day and you don't continue to work yourself up.

Give yourself plenty of time when scheduling interviews. Don't add to the stress of interview day by not leaving enough time to travel to and from the interview and other responsibilities. If you keep your day's schedule as stress free as possible, you should feel more relaxed in general.

4. Know Your Weaknesses

Be self-aware with areas you need improvement in. If you have a hard time making eye contact, practice in the mirror or with strangers in the days leading up to your interview.

If you tend to sweat when you're nervous, consider your interview wardrobe. While you should always ensure your interview clothes are professional, you can dress professionally without wearing bulky garments that that might make you feel less comfortable.

Consider interview questions that you have felt unprepared for in the past. If situational interview questions tend to trip you up, ask a friend or family member to ask you practice questions so you get more comfortable with them.

5. Practice Breathing

Breathe! While interviews should be important to you, they certainly shouldn't cause extreme anxiety. Practice breathing techniques to calm yourself. Create a mantra and repeat it to yourself as you wait to be called in to your meeting.

If simple breathing techniques don't seem to do the trick, scheduling some physical activity before your interview. Getting out of your head may do wonders for your jitters. Try to plan your interview in the late morning and go for a walk or to the gym prior. Obviously, you want to make sure you're not compressing your schedule so much that you now worry about making the interview on time!

6. Get Some Sleep!

Be good to yourself, your body and your mind by getting a good night's sleep the night before an interview. You'll feel more refreshed and collected when speaking to your interviewers.

Do not find yourself in a situation where you're so tired that you feel the need to rely on large amounts of caffeine to get you through the day. Too much caffeine can make you jittery and add to your nervousness!

Try to remind yourself that being asked in for an interview is a great accomplishment in itself. The company obviously has a great interest in you to take the time to speak with you personally, so relax and try to let your skills and experience do the talking!

About The Author

Robin Schwartz
LinkedIn

Robin Schwartz

Robin Schwartz is a PHR certified HR professional with a broad range of expertise including recruitment, performance management, employee relations and talent management. She leverages her years of experience in HR to bring functional change to organizational leadership and direction to management structures and employees. Robin aims to empower the employees and managers she works with by providing coaching and counseling services.

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