How To Deal With Job Interview Nerves

You get the good news that your CV has done its job and you have an interview.  Initially you might feel excited and thinking about that next move and possible promotion.  Then the doubt sets in.  Before you know it you have worked yourself in to a frenzy.  Rather than excitement you are really worried.


Sound familiar?  If you are like most you are going to experience some degree of nerves.  It is perfectly normal to be a little bit anxious.  On the other hand nerves can destroy your chances of performing at your best in a job interview.


I say that nerves are perfectly normal and they are.  But let’s look at what contributes to us being nervous.  Most of us, whether we like to admit it or not, have a lot of chatter going on in our head a lot of the time.  That chatter often recalls the time from the past when things did not go as well as we would have liked.  We might struggle to recall the successes.


So let’s consider how to deal with nerves.


In my experience the biggest reason why people struggle with nerves in job interviews is a lack of preparation.  When we are prepared we feel in control.  By contrast when we don’t prepare we are always vulnerable.


I would go as far as saying that about 70% of your success is down to how you prepare.  Yet many candidates fail to do anything approaching enough preparation.  From an employers perspective how you prepare or don’t prepare tells them a lot about you.


Of course your preparation needs to include all the things like organisation research and considering the questions you might be asked.


You also need to get yourself in the right frame of mind.  One thing you can do is acknowledge that it is perfectly normal to be nervous.  Cut yourself some slack.


It’s also vitally important to decide whether you are going to let your nerves help or hinder you.  Nerves can be a source of motivation and help you raise your game.  On the other hand they can have the impact of putting you on mute and struggling to say anything.


Try using some relaxation techniques to calm you down.  This does not mean meditating for a few hours.  Simply doing some deep breathing can really make a difference.


Finally keep it all in perspective.  Yes the interview and securing the job might well be really important.  If you don’t get the job it might well be a big disappointment.  There will however be other opportunities.


The Bottom Line:  Everyone wants to do their best in job interviews.  Make the decision to do all that you possibly can to minimise the impact of nerves on your performance.

Duncan Brodie helps accountants and professionals achieve more

career success.  He invites you to sign up for his free report, The 7 Biggest Barriers To A Successful Career In Accountancy

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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