How to Overcome Nervousness During an Interview
Interviewing for a job can be an undeniably stressful situation. In many ways, the interview is like public speaking or performing, so a certain degree of nervousness is to be expected, especially if this is a job you dream of having. However, high-strung nerves can hinder you from presenting yourself at your true capacity, so if you suffer from extreme nervousness during interviews, here are some helpful tips for overcoming it and feeling very successful at the end.
- Be well-prepared. For many candidates, the fear of not being able to answer the interviewer’s questions adequately can put them in an internal state of panic. The best way to combat this is to go into the interview well-prepared for practically any question that might be thrown your way. Do thorough research on the company, managers, and the job description so you have a clear understanding of what they will be looking for in the best qualified candidates. With that information, you can craft and rehearse clear explanations of how your skills and experience are a great fit for the position itself and the culture of the company, using specific examples whenever possible.
- Practice ahead of time. Spending some quality time going over those answers and explanations you’ve prepared will make them feel much more comfortable when coming out of your mouth during the interview. If you practice in front of a mirror, you will also get a clear picture of what your presentation will look like to the person on the other side of the desk. This way you will gain confidence that you are making the kind of impression you really want to.
- Engage in some relaxation exercises. Whether that entails physical exercise of some sort, taking long and deep breaths, listening to calming music, or reading a good book, it’s important to force your mind and body to release any stress that has built up. Feeling relaxed will enhance your confidence and energy, both of which are crucial for a successful interview.
- Be encouraged. Whether you give a pep talk to yourself or receive it from someone else, being reminded of your abilities and this wonderful opportunity can go a long way to quelling anxiety. If you are working with a recruiter, he or she should be speaking with you shortly before your interview to make sure the final details are in place and that you feel prepared and confident.
- Arrive at your destination early. There’s nothing that will spike your stress levels like being late to an interview, so give yourself plenty of time to arrive early. Spend those few extra minutes before the interview making sure you have everything you need and going over your resume and notes one final time.
- Focus on each person in the room individually. During panel interviews, the feeling of speaking in front of a group of people is often the biggest source of nervousness for candidates. By narrowing your focus down to one person at a time, changing that focus every few seconds, you can combat the sensation of “stage fright,” as it were.
- View yourself as the benefactor. When you change your perspective from “They are doing me a favor by considering me for this position” to “I can really be of service to them with their employment needs,” you will discover an extra boost of confidence in feeling like you have the upper hand. Now, you need to be careful that you never come across as arrogant, because that can be an instant deal breaker. Instead, communicate your desire to be a real asset to their company, and you will not only feel less nervous but you will also gain their respect and approval.
This is not an exhaustive list of tips for overcoming nervousness during interviews, but I hope that they do give you more confidence and help you present yourself at your best. Take a look at our website for more interviewing tips, and if you are in the property and casualty insurance industry, we would love to assist you in your next job search.