Answered by Stephanie, Hiring Expert at Emerson, on Wednesday, March 18, 2015
Many people get nervous when interviewing and that nervousness can manifest in many different ways. Stuttering, overselling ourself, not connecting with the person conducting the interview...we want to make sure that we are presenting our best self to the interviewer and hope to be the final candidate selected; we want to "win" the job. Practice interviewing; you may 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 can see how your skills will benefit the company. Also remember: communication is not just verbal. We communicate in many different ways in the workplace today. If you have examples of your work that you can share (make sure that you are not sharing confidential information), provide those. A skilled recruiter will be able to see beyond the nerves.
When I decided to leave my previous employer, it had been a number of years since I had interviewed outside and I was nervous. Would I be able to "sell" myself? Inside my previous company, my accomplishments were known, but how would I translate that success to another company? My approach was to make sure that I interviewed at least once per month. I actually made it a New Year's resolution that year. I knew that I might not find a job every month that I was interested in AND qualified for, but I took advantage of every opportunity. Some phone screens, some face to face interviews (many of which I was not successful in), but also networking events and volunteer opportunities. With each successive interview, my confidence grew. I was still nervous, but I was able to manage the nerves better. When I found the job/company that was exactly what I was looking for in my next role, I was prepared and ultimately was offered (and accepted) the position.
Best of luck with your job search!