12 Ways To Handle Feeling Nervous During an Interview

By Indeed Editorial Team

Updated June 21, 2021 | Published February 25, 2020

Updated June 21, 2021

Published February 25, 2020

Related: 5 Ways to Calm Your Pre-Interview Nerves & Be Prepared!

In this video, our host Sinead offers five tips to help calm your interview nerves and feel more confident.

Though feeling nervous can be difficult to prevent during an interview, you should try to refrain from showing this to interviewers. You can do this by preparing for the interview and thinking positive thoughts. Remaining upbeat throughout your interview helps you portray confidence and professionalism, which helps to impress interviewers. In this article, we share ways to handle feeling nervous during an interview.

Related: 5 Simple Methods To Conquer Your Interview Nerves

Why it's important to calm your nerves during an interview

By calming down your nerves during an interview, you can exude confidence and focus better on the questions you're answering. Remaining calm and relaxed while interviewing can positively impact how employers understand your ability to handle stressful situations and perform under pressure.

Keeping your nervousness under control can convince your interviewer that you are qualified for the job. It also helps build your self-esteem and motivates you to perform well in the interview. If you teach yourself how to calm down before the interview, you can feel prepared enough to leave a lasting impression on the employer that's all positive.

12 tips to help your nervousness during an interview

Follow these tips to calm your nerves and appear confident during your interview:

  1. Research the organization and industry.

  2. Prepare your wardrobe.

  3. Find common interview questions and practice answering them.

  4. Get familiar with the route to and from the interview.

  5. Have a list of questions prepared for after the interview.

  6. Memorize your resume.

  7. Keep your body healthy.

  8. Go for a walk before the interview.

  9. Arrive at the interview early.

  10. Be friendly to the receptionist and other employees.

  11. Take a few moments to breathe.

  12. Stay positive and smile.

1. Research the organization and industry

A common reason people get nervous during an interview is in response to the fear of being unprepared for questions. To deter this anxiety, research the organization and its industry before the interview. Visit the company's website to learn more about their values, goals and accomplishments. You can also search online for articles regarding industry news and topics to ready yourself for any industry-related questions or comments that may arise.

Search online to learn the opinions of previous employees, customers or other professionals who interact with the company's employees. Thoroughly researching the company prepares you for questions like, "Why are you interested in working for us?" or "What makes you the best fit for our business?"

2. Prepare your wardrobe

To ensure you arrive at the interview early enough to relax and mentally prepare, save time planning your wardrobe by selecting it the day or night before. This gives you enough time to choose an outfit, try it on and even practice interviewing in it, if so desired. After choosing your interview wardrobe, you can wake up the next morning confidently knowing you'll be wearing an outfit that makes you look and feel like a professional.

3. Find common interview questions and practice answering them

Interviewers may ask unexpected or difficult questions, so prepare for these by researching possible interview questions. There are usually sources online that provide common questions an interviewer may ask based on the job you're interviewing for and the industry you may be working in.

Once you retrieve possible questions, spend time preparing your answers. You can even practice answering these questions with a friend or colleague and ask for their input on the quality of your answers.

4. Get familiar with the route to and from the interview

To keep yourself from feeling nervous about getting there on time, practice traveling on the route to your interview destination. A day or two before, leave your location at the same time using the same type of transportation as on the day of the interview. This helps you gain an understanding of how long it may take you to travel to your interview. If you use a GPS app in your car or smartphone, be sure to enter your starting address and destination to help map your route in advance.

5. Have a list of questions prepared for after the interview

After the interview, the employer may ask if you have any questions about the role or company. It's possible that your nerves could cause your brain to have trouble thinking of questions. To handle this, have a list of questions ready to ask your interviewer. These can be questions about the company culture, supervisors you may work with or what the daily responsibilities of the role entail.

6. Memorize your resume

Most interviewers will ask about your resume and experience. To give a detailed answer, memorize the information listed in your resume and prepare answers that expand upon them. Review and memorize the job posting to make sure you're mentioning skills from your resume that reflect what's written in the job description. This helps employers better picture you in the role.

7. Keep your body healthy

Keeping your body healthy and energized can help you stay focused, which may calm your nerves. Try to eat a healthy dinner the night before and make yourself a nutritional breakfast the morning of your interview.

Go to bed early and try to get at least eight to nine hours of sleep so you wake up feeling refreshed. This helps you look and feel prepared for the interview. Bring a bottle of water with you to stay hydrated while answering numerous interview questions. 

8. Go for a walk before the interview

Clear your mind and energize yourself by getting fresh air and exercise with a brief walk. Walk around your house or apartment before leaving or arrive early enough for the interview to walk around the building before heading inside. This can help release your nerves and think through the points you plan to discuss during your interview.

9. Arrive at the interview early

Arriving at the interview on time can be a critical factor in looking professional to a potential supervisor. Get there approximately 15 minutes before it begins so you can relax and rehearse your talking points in your mind. If you leave early enough, you will have plenty of time for unexpected occurrences to happen on your way to the interview like accidentally traveling to the wrong location or running into traffic delays. An early arrival may also impress employers and prove your dedication to the role.

Related: How To Relax Before an Interview

10. Be friendly to the receptionist and other employees

Introduce yourself to the receptionist and other employees nearby who are taking a break. This helps get your mind off of the interview by getting to know people you may potentially work with. Meeting with and being friendly to these employees also shows employers that you are easy to get along with and a good fit with their team members.

11. Take a few moments to breathe

If you find yourself feeling overwhelmed during the interview, take a moment to pause and breathe. If you feel stuck on a challenging question, take a deep breath before you answer and slowly work your way through developing a strong response. Make sure you're answering the questions clearly and slowly so the interviewer can understand you.

12. Stay positive and smile

Since the interview process can feel intimidating, you may feel your nerves take over. Try to think positive and encouraging thoughts during and after answering difficult questions. Remaining positive can make you feel better about yourself throughout the interview, which can make your answers sound confident and bold. Try to smile and nod at the interviewer as they explain the role in greater detail.

Related: How to Know Your Interview Went Well - Ease Your Mind With These 8 Signs!

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