Top 10 tips to beat interview nerves

You’ve got a big job interview coming up. This could be it! Your one shot at the perfect job. Then the nerves kick in.

It’s natural to feel anxiety about a job interview. Most people do. It’s not uncommon to feel nervous, after all you’re about to be put in an unfamiliar situation with people who you don’t know. And, the stakes are high when it’s the job you really want!

The other fear factor in a job interview is that someone else is in control. You don’t know what you’re going to be asked or what to expect.

Unfortunately, that pre-interview anxiety can really sabotage your performance on the big day. A bad case of nerves can lead to serious interview mistakes including blanking out, blurting, babbling, sweating, and fidgeting. Employers are aware that some candidates are more nervous than others at interview and make allowances for that. But how can you beat those interview nerves? Check out our top 10 tips!

Be Prepared

Role play your interview! Grab a friend or a family member and have them play the part of the interviewer. If you’re interviewing with a company and you already have a friend that works there, even better! Ask them to run you through what they went through. Then ask them if they have any advice for you and what you can do to make yourself really shine. Also, check out the company’s website and social media for an up to date picture of the business.

Do a dummy run


Take the hassle of not quite knowing where the company is, or if you can park by popping over beforehand. That way you can plan your journey, identify traffic hot spots and know if you’ll need any loose change for parking.


Exercise before the interview

Another great way to relax is through exercise.  Not only does doing exercise give you a mental edge that will help you stay on top of all of the details needed for your interview, but it also releases endorphins in your system that will naturally help calm you down. Find yourself as a jumpy sort of nervous individual? Hit the gym first. If you’re mass of excitement, try the treadmill or swim some laps. Need to slow down and really focus on yourself? Try some meditation or yoga.




Arrive early

Always arrive early! Being late will add un-necessary stress and pressure on top of your interview nerves. 5-10 minutes early is great, any earlier can place unnecessary pressure on your interviewer and they may also be in an interview with another candidate meaning that you have the awkwardness of seeing each other as they leave! If you’re mega early go and grab a coffee or stay in your car.

Briefly review your notes


You should be done researching, preparing, and rehearsing. But if you made any notes for yourself, this is a good time to briefly look them over to refresh on any points that you really want to get across.


Be open about nervousness


At the beginning or during the interview or if you start to stumble on a question, it’s ok to say something like, “I apologise, I’m extremely nervous. This is my first interview” or “It’s been quite some time that I’ve been in this position.” This will only make you appear more human and the interviewer may just be able to relate to you more. Who knows, the interviewer may even be just be as nervous as you are!

Find some common ground & be yourself

Finding common ground with the interviewer will put you at ease and take your mind off the pressure of the interview. Whether it be a shared interest, hobby, holiday destination or previous workplace it gives you something to discuss outside of the ‘formal’ interview. But how can you find that out? LinkedIn is a great place to start. Previous education, employment and interests are all on there. Outside of that other ways are if you know anyone that works there – they can give you an insight on the person. Or, in the conversation itself things may naturally get spoken about which will give you an opportunity to discuss yourself from more of a personal level. The employer has already seen your CV of course and in your hobbies and interests section they may bring up some common ground from there!

Accentuate the Positive

Once you have prepared, tell yourself you are ready. Listen to upbeat music, songs that energise you and make you feel good about yourself and the world in general! Some people prefer to listen to guided meditations or motivating speeches — you can even record your own pep talk. It pays to think positive! In the interview itself focus on your positives, what are your ‘best bits’ and why do you stand out? If you plan this beforehand its easier than having to think on the spot.


Focussing on your breathing will help you remain calm. Counting your breath is one of the most immediate and impactful techniques for calming your nerves. Focus on your breaths, counting each until you reach 10, and repeat.

Watch your pace, posture and tone of voice

Nerves tend to make us speed up. Be aware of that and take time to breathe using the tip above and watch your pace. Take the time you need to answer the questions honestly and fully. If you have a mental blank there’s nothing wrong with asking to come back to that question to buy yourself more time. Remember, it isn’t a race to see how quickly you can get the interview done and they shortlisted you so make the most of the time you have. Sit up straight! Your body language is a form of non-verbal communication that is read and interpreted very quickly. Also, try not to be monotone. It’s not always about what you say, it’s how you say it! Your tone of voice makes you different, it builds authority and tells the interviewer more than you might think.

For advice and support in your job search call one of our talented team of recruiters on 0114 3211873 or email your CV to

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