How To Reduce Interview Nerves

Sept. 29, 2021, 11:16 a.m.
Being nervous before an interview is completely normal, and in a way it is a good thing that you’re reacting this way, because it shows you care about the outcome.

Before thinking about finding a way to reduce your nerves, let’s think about the root cause for you feeling nervous. Before an interview, you can often be worried about the following:

- Arriving on time, and at the correct location
- Who you’re going to meet and if they will be nice to you
- What questions you’ll be faced with
- If you’ll make a good first impression
- Whether you’ll make a mistake or embarrass yourself
- If the outcome will be positive or negative

Feeling nervous about the things listed above can often be combated with preparation ahead of your interview. Below are a few things that our team suggests doing before your interview in order to reduce your nerves and remain confident before the big day.

1. Plan in advance

If you’re worried about arriving late, we recommend planning your journey in advance to reduce anything going wrong. It’s helpful if you research the exact location of your interview, and decide on the route and mode of transport that you’re going to take in order to arrive on time. It’s recommended that you aim to arrive around 10 minutes early to your interview to show that you are being prompt and also giving yourself enough time not to be late.

You’re also going to want to plan how you’ll make a good first impression to the employer upon your arrival. To do this, think about wearing the correct interview attire by preparing an outfit in advance; as well as thinking how you will present yourself to the employer on arrival with the appropriate greeting.

2. Do your research

Research prior to an interview is vital for success, especially if you’re worried about who you’re meeting or not knowing key information about the company when asked.

Start by researching the company's history, their main goals, what they do, the structure of their teams and who their customers or clients are. This will give you a base idea on the direction that the company is going in, and also prepare you for any questions they ask that are company specific. Keep in mind, most interviews start by the employer questioning the candidate on what they already know about the company, to test whether they have invested time in understanding the role they’re applying for.

If you are nervous about who you’ll be interviewed by, and want to familiarise yourself, you could also seek more information about the employees within the company and take an educated guess on who will be in the interview with you. To do this, take a look on the company's website and focus on the ‘About Us’ or ‘Meet Our Team’ pages.

3. Practice interview questions and answers

If you haven’t had much experience with attending interviews, you may also find it useful to practice answering standard interview questions with someone you feel comfortable around.

Ideally, you don’t want to overthink your answers and remember them word for word, but it can sometimes help to have an idea on points you wish to raise within your answers to impress the interviewer. For example, if you’ve already thought about your strengths and weaknesses before the interview, when the question arises you’ll have a base to improvise from.

Keep in mind that you want all of your answers to their questions to seem natural and honest to come across as a trustworthy and authentic candidate.

4. Have a positive mindset

One of the worst things to develop before an interview is a negative mindset. If you go into an interview thinking that you’re not going to get the job, then you probably won’t. Think positively, and you never know what could happen!

It can also help to reduce nerves if you think that all outcomes are positive, and a lot of people keep in mind that even if they don’t succeed in securing the role - the interview has still been a good experience. So remember, ‘You’ve got nothing to lose’

5. Think of a plan B

Finally, we recommend always having a backup option so that you’re not relying on this interview being successful. We suggest applying for other roles, just in case you are unsuccessful. Doing this may also reduce the nerves and take away any unnecessary pressure which may be causing you to panic in case the outcome isn’t what you wanted.

Best of luck for any future interviews you’re attending, and if you need any 1 to 1 support please speak to our Careers Team via the Careers Hub!