How To Handle Interview Nerves

Being invited for an interview is a personal win for recent graduates who are looking for a position of their dreams. Although it’s a good start, many young people suffer from anxiety and stress when it comes to the interview itself. Actually, having stress before an important event is a healthy response to the situation, and the best thing to do is to understand how to deal with your nerves.

Everything comes with experience, and the more interviews you have, the easier it is for you to handle interview nerves, but the best way out for graduates is preparation.

When you’re ready for the interview, you become more confident which helps to reduce nerves.

If you don’t want to freeze on the big day, follow these 7 tips to calm your interview nerves:

1.    Know Your Resume from A to Z

Many graduates don’t have all that much work experience, and as they want to stand out from the crowd, it’s tempting to embellish skills or capabilities that might be beneficial to a potential employer.

However, it’s very easy to get caught in a lie, and this can make you feel even more nervous.

To help with interview nerves simply tell the truth and you will come across in the best possible light and have no worry that you will be caught out in an embellishment.

Plus, have all the detail that is on your resume at the tip of your tongue. You should be ready to answer any questions about your background, education, experience, and skills. And the

2.    Be Prepared

Once you get an invitation for the job interview, try to get ready for it. If you want to work for a company, you need to know as much as you can about the company. So do your research: visit their website, try to understand their values and principles, learn about their competitors, and prepare an answer to this frequently asked question: “why do you want to work here”. You need to personalise your answer, whilst talking about the advantages of working for the company.

It can be stressful when you don’t know how to answer a question. If you can anticipate potential questions, you can prepare answers accordingly. During the interview if you don’t fully understand the question, ask your interviewer to clarify. Never press on with an answer if you haven’t understood. The way you answer a question says a lot about you. And an interviewer will be more impressed that you have the courage to say you don’t understand – a good trait to take forward into business life.

3.    Pay Attention to Your Image

There are a variety of interview types (telephone, video conference, in person etc), but the most common one you will face as a grad is a face-to-face interview, and this means your appearance matters. Although interviewers should evaluate your skills and experience, it’s human nature to assess people on what they look like – albeit subconsciously a lot of the time. If you are happy with your appearance you will feel more confident, so it’s a good idea to pay attention to grooming before going to the interview.

4.    Arrive on Time

The business environment is competitive, so it’s crucial that you arrive on time and show that you are a punctual person.

Once you know the scheduled meeting time, think about how you will travel to the interview and the time it will take. Ideally you would arrive about 10 mins before the interview time. Doing this shows the interviewer that you care about their time, and getting the role. Plus, if you show up late for an interview it has the potential to increase the level of nerves you feel and negatively affect your performance, not to mention the bad impression it leaves with the interviewer.

5.    Be Yourself

Establishing rapport is important in all walks of life, especially in business and at interviews. The best way to leave a good impression is to be yourself. When you are prepared, you know your strengths, and you are confident in your answers – your interviewer will feel it too.

Plus, if you have questions for your interviewer you should be prepared to ask them. It’s a strong sign that you’re interested in the company, your prospective position, the work environment, and job prospects that the company may offer. Moreover, if you’re not afraid of asking questions, it shows you feel comfortable and will be able to do the same in a business environment.

6.    Tips To Reduce Anxiety

Although anxiety is a natural reaction you may have over an upcoming event, and it’s hard to stop the worry – these 3 tips may help to reduce your anxiety:

  • Get enough sleep. A good sleep enhances well-being and helps your mind to cope with stress. Having enough sleep before an important meeting is important as it’s a way to stay energised. Try to sleep for 7-9 hours as that’s the optimal time to let your body relax and get ready for being productive the whole day.
  • Drink a cup of chamomile tea. Drinking tea is a common daily habit for many people, but it can be helpful for reducing anxiety if you chose the right tea. To overcome your nerves you may like to try chamomile tea. This herb includes glycine; an amino acid that relaxes nerves and acts as a mild sedative.
  • Think positively. If you can visualise a positive outcome, it will help you to stop the fear of failure.

7.    Your Life is Full of Opportunities

Being a graduate, you’re just starting your career path. It’s essential to remember that your life is full of opportunities, and everything that comes across your path is valuable experience. No matter what the result is, you will likely always learn something new and use your experience in the future.

Remember that recruiters won’t expect you to have much work experience, so they will be looking for enthusiasm, energy and positivity as well as skills.

The Wrap Up

Interviews can be extremely stressful situations. You will not be the first or last person to experience interview nerves. If you feel terribly anxious try to count to ten, breathe slowly and remember the interviewer will have been in your shoes in the past.

About post author

Lale Byquist is a media communications student who is interested in the digital marketing and writes articles on different topics. She runs website to help people get ready for speaking in public with confidence. Feel free to contact Lale at
Posted in Tools for Your Job Search