Conquering those interview nerves

The date, time and location are in your diary. You have prepared your outfit, planned your journey, researched the company and planned your answers to key questions. As the day gets nearer you start to have butterflies in your tummy  as you imagine meeting the interviewers for the first time, shaking hands and being shown to your seat , ready for the first question………

The truth is that everyone gets a little bit nervous around interviews.

Why is this? Well, I would maintain that an interview is a kind of performance. And although we are  keen to give our very best on the day, the problem is there is always an element of unpredictability that gets to most people. You can prepare thoroughly, but on the day you never know exactly what questions you are going to be asked.

So what are some of the things you can do to get those nerves under control and look confident on the day?


Probably one of the most nerve -wracking moments is when you are sitting in reception waiting to be called in. You start to feel a flutter of nerves in your stomach………

One of the best things you can do is to breathe deeply from your abdomen. Breathing high in the chest is connected with feelings of panic, so it’s better to move the breath further down the body. Breathe slowly and deeply; in for a count of three and out for a count of five.  This will slow everything down and bring feelings of calm rather than overwhelm.

Body language

Just as our thoughts and feelings can influence our body language, so body language can also  influence how we are thinking and feeling. One technique is to imagine being pulled up by a golden thread attached to the top of your head. This helps improve posture, making us appear and feel more confident and upright.

Act ‘as if’ you were …….

If you find nerves getting a hold, imagine how someone you know and admire would react in this situation. It could be someone you know through work, a friend or even a famous person who always appears calm and confident no matter what the situation. See and hear them in your mind’s eye and copy their body language:  their posture, their voice, what they say and how they stand. Imagine stepping into their shoes.

See an interview as a meeting

Remember that just as your interviewers are assessing you, you are also assessing them. You will be deciding- do I want to work with these people?  For this company? Is the job right for me?   If you see the interview more as a meeting of equals than a one way assessment of you, you are likely to feel more confident.

What’s the worst that can happen?

Although we all hope to be the chosen candidate, the fact is that you’re likely to be one of several candidates, and the reality is that all will be rejected except one. Of course, it’s important to go into the process with a positive attitude, but we must also be prepared to come to terms with the possibility of rejection.  But really is that so bad? Naturally, it’s disappointing but the truth is that there are many jobs out there that you’ll be suited to. Getting a rejection is part of the process, so be realistic about it to avoid being too devastated if you’re not chosen this time. There will be other opportunities.


And finally there are unconventional techniques such as imagining the interviewer with rabbits’ ears……

And don’t forget that the interviewer could be just as nervous as you!

It’s about preparing as best you can and then going with the flow.


If you feel I can be of any help in preparing for your next interview, please get in touch via the contact page.