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Nervous at Job Interviews

How-To: Get Over Feeling Nervous at Interviews

This past weekend, I talked in front of a large audience, which definitely gave me a nervous feeling at the pit of my stomach. It's the same feeling I used to get on job interviews — the pressure of wanting to impress, coupled with trying really hard to remember your prep materials and hoping you don't have seaweed stuck on your teeth. I experienced the exact same emotions, just in a different situation and with more eyes watching. If nerves are a problem for you, take note of these tips below which work for both public speaking and interviewing!

  • Practice Makes Perfect: The more you prep, the more calm you'll feel before an interview. It's a good idea to accept interviews that you're not really interested in just for the sake of practicing. That way you'll be used to the situation and when it comes to a job you really want
  • Memorize, Memorize: There are some that advice against it, because it might make your answers seem robotic. However, I think it is a good idea especially because it's hard to offer great on-the-spot answers when you're nervous. If you're more articulate on paper than vocally, write down prescripted answers to questions you think you might be asked on an interview. You don't have to mouth off the answer word for word, just take use chunks of it here and there.
  • Talk to Friends: Before an interview, call your friends to calm your nerves. That's what I do, and I find that it really helps when your friends offer reassuring words and attempt to take your mind off things. It helps to give you a more positive mindset going in.
  • Underwear and Imagination: You've probably heard about how picturing people in their underwear lightens the mood. You don't necessarily have to imagine them in their undies, but just remind yourself that your interviewer is human too. He or she has probably gone through a similar grueling interview process. This will probably lessen the intimidation you're feeling, and help your true colors shine.
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