“I get nervous when I don’t get nervous. If I am nervous, I know I am going to put on a good show” – Beyonce Knowles.

I have (like most people) experienced nervousness at one point or another. Especially when at a place or situation that needs you to create an impression to someone or group of people you are meeting for the first time.

The feeling encountered takes on many forms. It could be a rumbling stomach, sweaty palms, distorted speech, temporary memory loss, shaky feet, rambling, fear, unable to smile, dry mouth, heart beats too fast, breathing issues and some form of tiredness to some.

Nervousness can affect the most confident and prepared person. Dealing with it takes awareness of the likely symptoms and an understanding of how to mange them so that it does not get the better of you.

Try this 6 tips to overcome the nerves

1. Prepare

A lot of what we do centers on preparedness, and an interview process isn’t left out. Take the time to practice and organize your thoughts. You can role play with a friend/partner/expert, research on the role, company, job description, practice your answers to likely questions.

You should also note down key talking points as well. Think of it this way – if you study for an exam to pass it, why do you think studying to ace an interview isn’t necessary?

2. Pause

Interviews are what they are. Have the understanding that you are in a conversation to show your eligibility for that role. And when you find yourself forgetting what was asked or you have no idea what the answer may be, because the nerves have kicked in,  just pause.

Take a minute to think things through and collect your thoughts before launching in again to answer the questions.

3. Please, breath! 

I mean this literally. Shortness of breath can also be from trying to hold your breath in so that you can just rush out those words. This can make you get more agitated.

We need you alive after the interview so please breath in and out while taking the time to respond. If you are offered a glass of water, accept it. You may need it if you experience dry mouth.

4. Ask the question again

This is a statement you should get used to. Do not feel it is a crime to request that the interviewer repeats him or herself. It does not make you look or sound dumb.

For clarity purposes, ask for the question again especially if you know you did not understand it at first. It is better to do this than to assume and ramble on or talk off the mark.

5. Your arrival matters

Following on from point number 1, get yourself ready and check you have the exact location for the interview. Have the appropriate wardrobe and grooming you need to appear presentable.

You need to have details of the office phone number (in case you need to ring in for an emergency), the method of interview, time zones (where applicable), the job/role information on who you are to meet.

Aim to arrive 10-15 mins early so that you can relax, calm down, have a chit-chat with those you see at the building or simply collect your thoughts.

6. Take notes

Summarise and note down at least 5 things you need the interviewer to know about you. List any questions you may have that needs more clarity, jot down points as they answer your questions.

This points back to preparation.

Remember that interviews are an evaluation of your suitability for that role/job at that particular point in time.

Many factors inform the decision of the recruiter so never exit an interview feeling like a failure and always put in your best at all times.


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