Job interviews have a lot on the line, so it's only natural to feel some nerves, especially when talking to the hiring manager. Some nervous energy is okay, but sometimes nerves get the better of us and hurt our performance in an interview.
Acting naturally and answering interview questions the way you want can become difficult with growing anxiety. Interview nerves are just part of the package, but there are ways of dealing with them.
Interview anxiety can derail your chances of securing a job if they are too intense, even when you're a perfectly good candidate. If you have experienced any nervousness before a job interview, then you're in the right place. The following article will go through some tips to help you control your nerves so you don't risk jeopardizing your interview.
Slow it Down
For many people, being nervous leads to speaking faster in interview situations. When we speak too fast, we can miss important details and come across as hurried and unclear.
Make sure to take deep breaths before the interview to slow down your heart rate a bit. You have plenty of time to prepare, so this method will help to calm your mind and body.
Starting your job interview calmly and assuredly will communicate confidence and will allow you to concentrate on the content of your words, not the speed. This is something that a person with great anxiety should do in the event that they're very uneasy. You can even practice breathing exercises until you start feeling better.
Try to Keep Your Voice Steady
If you thought speaking too quickly was a dead giveaway that you're nervous and apprehensive, then having a shaky voice is certainly going to let the interviewer know. Warm-up your voice beforehand and speak to someone to ease your nerves. Interviews require a lot of talking, so if you go into the job interview having not spoken for hours, your anxiety or nerves are more likely to get the better of you.
Stand Up While Waiting
Before an interview, you're often given the opportunity to sit down in a waiting room. If there's any space to do so, stand instead. As the famous specialist and author Tamar Chansky recommends, it's a very minor thing but standing makes you appear more confident, which will also ease your nerves because it is a power pose.
The first impression the interviewer may have of you will be standing with good posture rather than having difficulty getting up. It will hardly make or break the interview but it can help you get off to a good start and combat your interview anxiety.
Pay Attention to Your Posture
Your sitting position will help you speak clearly as well as displaying confidence in its own right to the person conducting your interview. Slouching back in your chair is obviously a big no-no for several reasons. Sit slightly forward and upright and display the sort of confident body language you think the interviewer will want to see.
Confident body language makes you feel more confident as a result. After all, "fake it 'til you make it" has some substance to it.
Show your Hands
Hands communicate a lot of things, mainly trustworthiness. Being able to see someone's hands makes us implicitly more likely to trust someone and believe they are genuine.
Conversely, hiding your hands has the opposite effect. Place your hands on the table and show the interview you can be trusted and that you're not just telling a story so that the company will hire you.
Take an Interest in Them
It's easy to get anxious and consumed in yourself. Becoming so self-conscious that all you talk about is yourself is not a good look. Your thoughts should also be on them, not just your skills and experience. Remember to take opportunities to ask questions of the interviewer and the role.
Someone who is genuinely interested in other things besides themselves will come across well to an interviewer. This also has the additional benefit of taking the spotlight off you for a minute.
You can still highlight all of your experience, skills, and even tell a joke you like to lighten the mood, but don't forget to show interest in the company. The last thing you want is to sound like an advertisement.
When talking is made more difficult through nerves, listening should be comparatively easy. However, when people are anxious, they focus on themselves too much and stop paying attention to what others are saying. In an interview situation, you want to pay close attention to the questions you're being asked so you do not answer the wrong ones or go off on a tangent.
Being calm and considered in how you respond to a question, will show that you are an attentive listener. That won't be possible if you weren't fully engaging with what was being said during the job interview.
Speak as Naturally as Possible
It's tempting to put on a bit of a voice to make you sound more well-spoken, but resist the temptation. You can still impress the job interviewer by carefully choosing your words. There's no need to adapt your accent and you'll be able to give better answers if you concentrate on what you're saying, not how you're saying it.
Perhaps the number one tip to ease your job interview apprehension is to just be yourself. By doing so you'll appear more relaxed, genuine, and confident. You've made it as far as the job interview phase so you've clearly done something right.
There is no need to worry. Interview nerves are perfectly natural but make sure to be confident in your own ability and others will buy into what you say, too!