How to Calm Your Job Interview Nerves

Interviews are stressful things, and for anyone who has been in the workforce for any period of time this is a well realised fact.

Not only is the situation itself stressful, sitting in front of a person or group of people who are there to judge you on your merits, it’s also a situation that decides the fate of your future financial stability.

For those just leaving education and looking for their first role in the professional space, interview nerves can be at their highest.

Even if you are established in your field, interview nerves can still be very real.  Whether you have been specialising in your field for a year or a decade, going up in front of your peers and proving your potential can be a stressful prospect.

With that kind of pressure placed on you, interviews nerves are not only completely understandable but completely acceptable. As a professional you should be pushing yourself to get something bigger and better with every career move and with those ambitious moves comes a certain level of stress.

But what can you do to alleviate your nerves before your next important interview?

Job Interview Nerves

Do your Research

The best way to calm your interview nerves is to do your research. You may be a new prospect but you have skills. Research any company you’re applying to thoroughly and see how you potentially fit into their business. Research the role and the responsibilities so when you come into the interview, you can calmly present your skill set as perfect for the role.

Don’t pressure yourself

Whether you’re a school leaver or a professional, the steps you can take to minimise interview nerves are not a million miles apart from each other. Know what you have to offer your prospective employer, and what makes you a unique prospect. Accept the fact you may say things that don’t please the employer; but remember you don’t have to be the perfect candidate. You just have to be the right fit for the organisation, and bring the right set of skills and values to the table.


As they always say, practice makes perfect. Here however, it’s simply a way to alleviate the nerves you may have when walking into an interview, and talking about certain topics for the first time. If you’ve practised the routine before, you’re bound to feel more confident.

If you’re set to give a presentation, practice in the comfort of your own home. If it’s a face to face interview, practice some routine questions and your preplanned answers with a friend or family member. The simple matter of having talked these through before will help calm your nerves when the big moment comes, as you’ll be far more used to the idea.

Build your confidence

Be aware that your own confidence will inspire confidence in others, so if you can manage to portray conviction in what you have to say, and show that you have self-belief, then a recruiter is much more likely to believe in you as well.

Through practising your routines, and assuring yourself that you are the right fit for the position in question, you can remain confident when your interview comes around. If you can identify what you know or what you have done that sets you apart from the pack, you can walk into that interview with minimal levels of stress.

Know that interviewers will understand your nerves

With many recruiters, they realise candidates may have interview nerves, and that they may stumble on a few of the questions in the early stages of the interview. If this happens during your interview, then be safe in the knowledge that it’s all okay, and there’s no need to panic.

Concentrate on ensuring you find yourself back into the flow of things, and maintain your control. If you have prepared well, and are confident in your abilities, you have nothing to worry about.

Utilise breathing exercises

If you suddenly feel very nervous, then a breathing exercise can put a stop to that. If you are under strain, breathing often becomes much more shallow, and starves your brain of oxygen which helps it function. This is never a good thing when you’re up for your job interview.

However, if you take deep breaths before you enter the interview room, you can rid yourself of any last minute nerves. Simply inhale through your nose, filling your lungs completely, and hold it for three seconds. Then, exhale through your mouth, and concentrate on exhaling all the air that was taken in. If you repeat this for three or four breaths, you will have a lot more oxygen to starve off the flight and fight mechanism that could be detrimental to your interview performance.

Find other ways to relax

Are you the type of person who will still be reading up tips, guides, or company information until you walk into the job interview itself? Instead of cramming information into your brand 20 minutes before your interview, try relaxing.

Listen to some music before you walk into the building, have a glass of water, or perhaps merely sit down and calm down for 5 minutes. Whatever helps you relax. If you can calm yourself down rather than working yourself up into a panic before the interview begins, you’re much more likely to appear calm and collected throughout the interview itself.

For more tips ahead of your next job interview, read our free information available here.

What We Offer

We have extensive experience in private, public and NFP sectors and whatever your position as a professional, we will be able to help you better define what it is you offer and what it is you can bring to any employer.

As well as helping you get rid of your interview nerves, we are also experienced career, personal and executive coaches. We can work with you to identify aspects in your personal or professional life that are holding you back and trough expert coaching we can help you decide where you need to be heading, personally and professionally, to reach your fullest potential. Get in touch for more information.

Add a Comment

Your email address will not be published.