How to handle the nerves

You wake up bright and early ready to start the day and then you remember today is the day of the interview. The nerves kick in, you feel sick in your stomach, self-doubt starts to creep in, and you start to panic.

Here are some hints and tips to reduce the nerves getting the better of you but also how to use them to your advantage:

1.Slow your breathing

One of the ways I deal with nerves is to have a ‘go to’ phrase in my head that I can recite and slow my heart rate and level of anxiety. I have quite a big fear of flying. It started years ago but I won’t let it stop me from travelling the four corners of this beautiful Earth. So instead, when I can feel a rush of anxiety, I take a deep breath in through my nose, say to myself “you are calm and relaxed and you are safe”, and exhale slowly through my mouth to the count of 5. I might do this 4 or 5 times but it does help me to focus. So, what is your ‘go to’ phrase? Practice it at least a few weeks before attending the interview and then when you are waiting to be called up to go in just recite it to yourself.

2. Know the Company/Organisation

Before the interview, research the job. Find out as much as you can about them. This will make you feel more confident and maybe even look forward to the interview! Having more confidence will allow you to relax (just a little) and channel the nervous energy into positivity.  

3. Clench your muscles

Now I’m not 100% sure about this but it made me laugh when I read it so I thought I’d pop this one in. It’s almost physically impossible to have shaky hands if your buttocks or your thigh muscles are clenched (who’d have though). This technique will help you feel and appear more confident plus you get a mini workout too: BONUS.

4. Practice

One of the best ways to overcome nerves is to practice, again and again. The purpose is to master the new behaviour so that when the day of the interview comes it will feel more natural and flow a lot better. This will make you relax more during the interview and smile. And trust me, the interviewer will pick up on this and relax with you.  

Just remember: your aim is to project the very best version of yourself on the day. Whatever the outcome, be proud of yourself.