After months of networking and sending out resumes, you finally get the email you’ve been waiting for: a company would like to interview you! While that should be exciting news, you might start to feel your nerves creeping in. After all, even the most seasoned candidate may get nervous during interviews. While you certainly can’t eliminate all of your anxiety, here are a few things you can do to help the interview process go as smoothly as possible.
Practice Makes Perfect
If you are nervous about an interview, it can help to do some preparation. Stephanie, a hiring expert from Emerson, says, “Practice interviewing; it can help you become less nervous. If you are concerned about being unprepared for a question that the recruiter may ask, make sure that you have carefully reviewed the job posting, studied the company and know how your skills will benefit the company. A skilled recruiter will be able to see beyond the nerves.”1 In addition to practicing answering common interview questions, doing some research on the company will allow you to give informed answers that are specific to the company you are interviewing with. By doing this, you can ensure you are completely prepared and ready to crush it at the interview!
Mind Your Body Language
How you present yourself during the interview will not only influence what the interviewer thinks of you but can also help you feel more confident. You’ll want to leave the best impression possible, and your nonverbal communication plays a role in that. Brittany, Hiring Expert from ManpowerGroup, says, “Many people experience various forms of anxiety during interviews that leave them feeling awkward and restless during the conversation. Maintain good posture; whether you are feeling it or not, sitting up straight and not crossing your arms will exude confidence. If you are unsure what to do with your hands during the interview and are nervous about fidgeting, try resting your portfolio and/or notepad of prepped questions on your lap with your hands rested on top or on the sides. You'll feel better holding something and it will not look awkward or out of place.”2
Take a Deep Breath
If you find yourself getting flustered mid-interview, don’t be afraid to take a moment to collect yourself. An interviewer would much rather you pause, take a deep breath, and give your answer than have you ramble on nervously while you try to think of your answer. Ashley, a hiring expert from Textron, says, “Personally, when I get nervous, I take a deep breath and then start. That deep breath helps me calm down and from there I can talk almost stutter-free.”3 Interviewers know that you may be nervous; after all, you’re only human. Remember, they invited you to interview for a reason; they obviously saw something in you that they liked.
Getting to the interview stage should be exciting, but it can also be stressful. By making sure you are prepared and comfortable, you’ll be able to impress your interviewer and get that job offer.