How To Deal With Job Interview Nerves

You have just received the good news. A potential employer wants to see you for a role that you are interested in.

On paper you look like you are the ideal candidate.

How are you feeling at this point?

Probably excited, apprehensive and perhaps just a little bit nervous.

The reality is that everyone going for a job interview is going to be nervous. If you don’t have that bit of nervousness you probably don’t really want the role and are just going through the motions.

Accept that being nervous goes with the territory when doing something challenging. Think about times in your life when you managed to do something that you thought would be impossible. Chances are your nerves were in overdrive.

Be as well prepared as you possibly can be. I’ve asked hundreds of people how long they spend preparing for interviews. The results of this informal research has been amazing. About 85-90% of people spend just a few hours preparing for a job interview. No wonder they are nervous and find it a struggle.

Recognise that employers are not looking for flawless perfection. The people who are interviewing you know what it is like to be the candidate. After all they probably had to go through exactly the same process to get appointed. Once in a while you will give what you consider to be a flawless interview. In my experience it is about as common as getting a balance sheet to balance in an accountancy exam. Not something you achieve very often.

Recognise that everything is not within your control. You can do a lot to give yourself the best chance of being the successful candidate but not everything is within your control. Accept this rather than worrying excessively about it.

Keep improving your performance. Ask for feedback after every interview and then act on the feedback. Small changes may well make the difference to your job interview performance and the way you deal with nerves.

Duncan Brodie helps accountants and professionals build their soft skills and careers. Learn more here.

About the Author Duncan Brodie

Since 2006 I’ve worked with in excess of 8,000 accountants and professionals in workshops, seminars and one to one helping them land their next jobs and become better leaders, presenters and business partners. Before that I spent 25 years in accountancy climbing the career ladder from Payments Clerk to FD. I’m a CIMA Fellow, Certified Professional Coach and Team Coach Facilitator.

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