Conquering Anxiety and Building Confidence in Job Interviews

Are you preparing for an interview and feeling anxious? Whether it’s your dream job, your first job or an exploratory meet up the nerves have a habit of creeping in! This article contains advice to support you with coping strategies for anxiety and nerves to help you have a great meeting and make the most of your time with the interviewer.

Without exception preparation is integral to a successful interview and interviewers can spot those who are unprepared a mile away! Combat nervousness by addressing concerns in advance systematically and logically.

Review the role profile and job description and match your own skills to their expectations – it will all build your confidence in your suitability for the role – and if there are gaps you can think about how to address these in advance.

Research and reflect common interview questions & prepare articulate responses Try engaging in mock interviews with mentors or friends -it can be fun and naturally relaxing!

Incorporating STAR stories and answers will strengthen the quality of your interview, whilst completing extensive relevant research on the company provides a comprehensive understanding, growing your own confidence for the meeting and giving confidence on why you are a great fit for the role and business.

This article from Glassdoor gives some clear guidance on preparation using the STAR model

The adage “Dress for success” is simple but essential advice because being comfortable in how you are dressed gives additional confidence.

Carefully select your outfit well in advance, prioritising both comfort and ‘on brand’ dress code – wearing a three-piece suit to a sports company is likely to be less successful than smart but casual clothing and on-trend trainers!

Never be late – for any reason! Meticulously confirm the interview location’s address and precise directions, and if feasible complete a dummy run. I have sometimes found myself in the right place but in a building where the directions are less than comprehensive which creaes panic!

As an interviewer I was often running to a tight schedule so late arrival meant the candidate missed out on opportunities in the process and their discomfort at being late affects performance.

Manage nervousness effectively using controlled breathing techniques. Try adopting the STOP method – stop, breathe, observe, proceed – as a pre-interview routine which really can help your composure and act as a tool against ‘interview-induced’ stress.

Have a positive mindset which can be achieved through affirmations.

Acknowledge your qualifications and suitability for this role to yourself to help you affirm your capability to excel in the interview.

It’s proven that positive self-talk plays a pivotal role in shaping a confident demeanour.

This can be a challenge, but one that is worth addressing in advance! Position any nerves as a constructive force, enhancing your performance. Acknowledge and utilise the adrenaline associated with nervousness to maintain alertness and readiness for potential challenges during the interview.

If you have methods that help you in your current role, make time to build them in to your interview preparation (and there is of course always Bachs Rescue Remedy!)

Tap into the support of good friends or family members as a helpful strategy for stress management. Talk with them about any concerns and seek reassurance, leveraging the comfort of trusted relationships. This will give emotional resilience and a more composed state of mind.

Use the therapeutic influence of music that you know calms you to help regulate emotions and alleviate any nerves. Choose music that complements your desired emotional state – energising for confidence or

calming for relaxation and look to incorporate music into your pre-interview routine to facilitate mental clarity and a positive mindset.

Prioritise your well-being by consuming nourishing food before the interview. Maintaining optimal energy levels is essential to sustain focus and composure throughout the interview and being well hydrated helps with this – who wants a dry mouth when you are in full interview flow? Consider dietary choices that strike a balance between providing sustained energy and minimizing distraction.

Now armed with a structured approach, meticulously select strategies aligned with your professional ethos. This interview marks a significant milestone in your journey – approach it with confidence and professionalism.

I hope these tips help – the very best of luck with your interviews!


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