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How to manage your nerves before an interview


You have prepared for every possible interview question that could be thrown at you. You have researched the company inside and out and you have been waiting for what seems like a lifetime for the interview to happen. Then the day arrives and the nerves start. You need to get yourself back to your normal self before you start your interview.

It’s a good job you’re reading this, as I have 6 things that you can do RIGHT now to help you calm down.

The most important thing you should focus on, is that the company have received your résumé and they found it interesting enough to want to meet with you.

But why do we get nervous before a job interview?

When you feel stressed, your brain sends a signal to release adrenaline. When the adrenaline is released, your body reacts by increasing circulation to your heart and muscles in preparation for “fight or flight.” Each stress presents a “threat level” ranging from mild to life-threatening. An example of a mild stress might be a date, or an interview. The stronger the perceived threat, the more intense the reaction to stress may be.

If we don’t manage our nerves, it can affect our confidence, speech, body language and performance. So how do we manage this nervous state that we find ourselves in?

Here are some tips on how to try and overcome your nerves and regain a calm mind once again:

1. Deep Breathing

Adrenalin causes your breathing to shallow but by breathing deeply your brain will get the oxygen it needs and it will then slow your heart rate down and the slower pace will help you to calm down.

2. Drink Water

Adrenalin can affect the salivary glands and cause a dry mouth, so please ensure you have a bottle of water to hand.  

3. Smile

Smiling can help you to manage stress and anxiety by releasing endorphins, chemicals that makes you happier. Endorphins are the same chemicals you get from working out or running, resulting in what is known as a runner’s high. Smile more to get that high and help send positive chemical messages through your body.

4. Exercise

Exercise helps bump up the production of your brain's feel-good neurotransmitters, called endorphins. In turn this will help to clear your head and naturally calm you down.

5. Embrace your nervousness

Feeling nervous is the best indicator that what you are doing is in important to you. It doesn’t mean that you won't be able to perform, it is natural to feel nervous, it gives you an edge. Just allow the feeling to be present, but really concentrate and try not to let it overwhelm you.

6. Positive affirmations

Positive affirmations will help your self belief, confidence, and natural strengths shine through during the interview process. Remember, the job interview is your opportunity to impress, and if you use these affirmations seriously you can really get yourself mentally prepared to make a great impression, stay relaxed, and show your best possible self.  

“I am good at job interviews” “My résumé is impressive” “I will remain calm” “I communicate clearly”

Finally, remember, there is no single, perfect fix to job interview nerves. Use whatever tactics or tricks work best for you! A little anxiety can be healthy anyway, indicating you care about the outcome, and it’s the perfect opportunity for you to show prospective employers how and why you’re perfect for the job.

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