Are you one of the many who suffer from job interview nerves? Do you know what the signs you should look for ? What are the best techniques you can use to keep calm during a job interview?

Most of us will experience a degree of nervousness approaching a job interview.  It’s natural to feel a little nervous.  It demonstrates you are taking the job interview process seriously.  It may be nervous excitement, which can add some positive energy to your performance.

However, it’s not beneficial when the nerves take over.  If you don’t settle in the first few minutes that’s when it becomes a problem and it may negatively affect your performance.  Recognising interview nerves will help you to address the issue and keep calm.

Interviewers like to meet candidates that are excited and genuinely interested in the job and the company.  So, it’s important to get the balance between being laid back or letting the nerves take over.

Use self-reflection and analysis to recognise job interview nerves

Try to understand the reasons why you might be feeling nervous.  Is it because you don’t feel you have prepared adequately?  Do you believe you are capable of doing the job?  Is it your past experiences that are influencing your belief?  Could it be a fear of failure?  Or is it, previous feedback or rejection?

Self-reflection is a very powerful development tool.  Before you can address your nerves, you really need to know why you might be nervous.  As already mentioned, being a little nervous is a good thing.  It will keep you alert and engaged during the interview.  If your nervousness is based on previous experience, then review your performance.  Try to identify ways of improving the delivery of your answers.

Preparation and practise can overcome interview nerves

It’s so important to write up some examples to share during the interview and practise going through the answers.  Practising talking through the answers will help you to keep concise and remember the important facts you want to communicate.

It’s not supposed to be a script for you to memorise.  That won’t come across genuine.  You want the conversation to flow naturally.

Giving yourself time to practise will increase your confidence at presenting the information during an interview.

When it comes to interviews getting the balance in terms of sharing information is key.  Not sharing enough information won’t help a recruiter understand your capability.

Sharing too much and talking too much can also damage the rapport.  Practise keeping  answers concise and sharing the most relevant information only.  Recruiters do not need to know every minute detail.

Focus on your strengths to calm interview nerves

With most things in life your mindset is really important.  If you focus on being nervous you are likely to be thinking about being nervous and increase these feelings.

The skill is changing your focus and visualising being confident and performing well.  It really does work to focus on the desired outcome rather than focus on what you don’t want!

As with the above point, take time to go through all the information on the job description.  If you directly match the skills, experience and knowledge that’s great.  If you don’t, consider your transferable skills.

Concentrate on preparing examples that showcase your strengths and competencies.  Turn weaknesses into opportunities to learn and develop.

Using structured conversation to deal with interview nerves

Remember a good interview should be a two-way process.  It’s just as much a chance for you to assess whether the job is right for you.

So, think about the interview as a structured conversation.  It may help to change the way you view the entire process.

Good interviewers want to get the best out of you on the day.  It’s not to their advantage if you are unduly nervous and that’s why they will aim to put you at ease.

Recruiters will understand most candidates will be a little nervous.  It’s part of their role to get you settled.  They will achieve this by first building rapport.

The recruiter will spend about 5 to 10 minutes at the beginning of the interview talking you through the process and keeping the conversation light.

Again, good recruiters don’t launch straight into structured questions.  They need to very quickly manage your expectations and get you prepared for the interview.  It’s in their interest too, that you are comfortable and are given the best opportunity to demonstrate your ability.

Use the services of an Interview Coach to learn techniques that overcome job interview nerves

If you are getting to interviews then losing out on jobs because of nerves, you need to address the issue. Using the services of a good professional interview coach is one of the best ways of dealing with job interview nerves.

Let’s face it, there is masses of information available on the internet.  Some is excellent, others are just not recommended.  However, there is nothing that is written specifically for you and your own unique circumstances.

Working with an interview coach gives you the opportunity to get that one-to-one attention.  You can work together to identify the personal problems that are limiting your interview success.