Interviews are one of those life situations where it’s normal to feel nervous. If anything, nerves are a good sign, as they signify you care about the result of the interview and want to do well. However, when the worry and stress get a bit too much, you risk lacking confidence and not being able to be yourself during an interview. So with this in mind, how can you minimise your nerves so they don’t have an effect on your performance?
Contrary to preconceptions, meditating is not exclusive to Buddhism. Meditation and also mindfulness have proven affects to help people reduce stress, experience mental clarity and improve focus – so much so that they are now NHS recommended practises. If stress reduces your mental ability, being substantially worried in an interview could hamper your performance. Luckily, meditation is one stress reducing technique that requires no equipment, money or effort. 15 to 20 minutes per day is all you need to notice a difference. You can meditate on the tube, bus or even at your desk.
Most of the worries that occur around interview are a result of fear that things could go wrong such as forgetting important information, saying the wrong thing or even getting lost on the way. However, it is often the worry that these things may happen which causes problems, rather than the actual likelihood they will happen (which is slim). As a result simply thinking positively about the interview as a whole can have a huge effect on how feel and consequently how you do. If you find your mind focusing on what can go wrong, draw it away from these thoughts and focus on something else. Also, imagine the interview in your head as a positive experience. You arrive on time, the interviewer is friendly, your answers role off the tongue and they ask the questions which you have prepared answers for. Imagining this scenario and allowing yourself to believe things will go smoothly will have an impact on how you handle your nerves during the interview.
There’s nothing wrong or unusual about being nervous for an interview as it only goes to reiterate that you really want the job. Sometimes accepting your worries and remembering why they are there can help tackle them somewhat. Tell yourself it’s OK to feel this way, it’s a perfectly normal reaction to a pressured situation. These thoughts can help to disempower the nerves a bit and make your worries seem less scary. Similarly, take notice of how you have reacted to the nerves – whether these are physical sensations, emotional feelings or both. Paying attention to how you feel can make the sensations seem less unusual if they occur again. Just don’t obsess or allow yourself to dwell on the worries – accept they exist and then let your mind drift over to other normal thoughts.
It’s important to keep in mind that if you are a good fit for the role, a factor such as being nervous isn’t going to hold you back from getting it. Relax, smile and remember to be confident.