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Beat those Interview Nerves

You know it’s not you but just before an upcoming interview, you start experiencing weird emotions/ sensations or butterflies in your stomach. Worse still, when you get to an interview what you say or the way you behave wouldn’t really be considered your normal behaviour. You are not alone. Nerves can make us behave in ways which are different to how we behave normally. Interviews can be nerve racking at the best of times, but fear not, use the tips below to help you:

Before the interview

Make sure you’ve done your research, but don’t overdo it. You are not expected to remember every fact and figure about the company. However, not being prepared can also be a source for stress. Get the balance right in what you need to know and the ideas you might like to develop in the interview.

In the interview

Don’t speak fast. When we are nervous, we are in flight or fight mode and everything wants to speed up including our speech. Slow it down. How? Do breathing exercises before the interview and when you get to the interview, slow your speech down if you find you are talking too fast. Just by taking slow deep breaths even in the interview, you’ll be able to slow your speech down considerably. Don’t pant though as this is very off putting.

Hands issues

Place your hands in front of you and never underneath a table. This helps to stop yourself from fidgeting, but also having your hands in front of you means you are demonstrating trust. Wear minimal jewellery because it’s very easy to fidget with jewellery, which can be very distracting.

If you find your hands are shaking as a result of nerves or you are finding the whole experience a bit too overwhelming then try clenching your thigh muscles. What this does is to distract your mind in thinking about something else. You’ll be able to disguise what you are doing as most business clothes will hide this behaviour.

Stand tall

Stand up before the interview as this will help you to ground yourself before you meet the interviewer. When you get seated, select a comfortable position to sit in as you will be sitting in the seat for at least an hour if not more.

Listen, listen and listen some more

When you are nervous, it’s really easy to miss what the interview is saying and then run the risk of giving the wrong answer or worse still, interrupt the interviewer before s/he has even finished speaking. Instead, take a deep breath and listen to what s/he is saying, you’ll be able to provide the best answer.

If you haven’t heard the question correctly or would like it repeated, say so. Better to speak up sooner rather than trying to muddle along and get all confused.

Be yourself

It’s about being authentic. When you are yourself, you come across more relaxed. When you are relaxed, you communicate clearly. Being yourself also means that you won’t “big” yourself up, but to answer the questions in the best way you can authentically.

Being yourself will also mean that you will get your message across as to why you want to the job and why you should be the one who gets selected. This way, you’ll be able to find the best examples to highlight with confidence. Above all, remember, the interview is an opportunity for you to let the interviewer know who you are. Therefore, be YOU. Job done!

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