Preparing for an Interview When You’re Genuinely Nervous


When an ideal job opportunity is on the line, it is natural to be nervous before an interview. Unfortunately, despite this understandable anxiety, employers expect interviewees to be composed and exhibit confidence. Candidates should consider following best practices to minimize anxieties and enable proper preparation before a big interview.

Related Post: The Key to Exhibiting Confidence in an Interview

Do Your Homework

Research the job description and company thoroughly before going into the interview. Review the corporate website and social pages, and run an internet search to find articles and company reviews. Note any highlights and questions that arise during your research, to reference during the interview.

Review and research yourself as well. The hiring manager spent time evaluating your resume and examining your presence on the internet. You want to walk into the interview, knowing your resume inside and out and prepared to discuss anything that they could have come across during their research.

Do your best to anticipate questions that the hiring manager might ask and prepare well thought out responses. Review the job description and compare it to your experience and education. Correlate what you have accomplished to what they are seeking. You want each response to explain why you are the best fit for the job. Even if the questions are not the same, the preparation should enable you to think quickly and to provide comprehensive and concise answers.

Related Post: Ace Your Next Interview by Preparing Ahead of Time

Get Ready to Shine

While rehearsing answers is a great way to prepare for an interview, conducting mock interviews is even better. Give your mock interviewer the questions that you anticipate, but encourage them to go off-script if anything comes to mind. This will truly test your ability to think on your feet and respond with poise and confidence.

Prepare your interview attire ahead of time, and dress appropriately. For example, if you are meeting in an office, a suit might be ideal. However, if you are meeting on a job site, business casual might be appropriate. To avoid any last-minute wardrobe snafus, try on your clothes ahead of time to ensure that they fit well and do not need to be cleaned or tailored. It might be prudent to have a backup shirt or outfit ready, as well. Even a small wardrobe malfunction can impact your nerves or become a distraction during an interview. It’s simply better to be safe than sorry.

Make sure to relax and take care of yourself the day before the interview. Exercise, eat nutritious meals and do your best to get a good night’s sleep. This will help to ensure that you show up to the interview as your best mental and physical self.

Related Post: 5 Ways to Calm Your Nerves Before an Interview

Take Care of the Basics

Have your printed materials ready and organized before you go to bed the night before. Bring multiple copies of the resume that you submitted. If you customized your resume to the job, bring your master copy as well. This ensures that you have a complete reference regarding past experiences.

Plot your route to the interview site and give yourself plenty of time to get there — plan for unforeseen issues. If you arrive extremely early, avoid walking through the door until about 10-15 minutes ahead of time to avoid awkward situations. Do not show up late. If you have an abundance of time to kill, drive to a nearby location. If you’re hungry, consider a light snack, but avoid foods and drinks that could elicit negative reactions (such as onions, garlic, coffee or carbonated beverages). It may also calm your nerves to meditate momentarily. On the opposite end of the spectrum, you might find it beneficial to listen to a song that pumps-you-up as you drive back to the interview location.

Related Post: 3 Ways to Stay Calm During Your First Interview

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