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Managing interview nerves is always a hot topic amongst job hunters. Unless you’re a couple of notches up the extrovert scale, talking about yourself is rarely comfortable. What’s more job interviews require more than passively talking, you’re selling yourself. You’re demonstrating what you’d bring to the role.

Confidence is key to convincing the hiring manager you’re the right person for the role, because if you don’t have any confidence that you are, they certainly won’t either. We’ve talked at great length about the importance of interview preparation and how to do it. When you’ve committed the time and effort into interview prep, you can be self-assured that you’ve done the best you can. Here are a few techniques that should quiet those remaining niggling nerves.


From racing hearts to sweaty palms, nerves play out a whole host of unsettling symptoms which can throw you off your game. Take deep breaths to try and calm your mind. Confidence is all about feeling relaxed, so mindful breathing exercises can help instil a sense of calm and help you think more clearly.

Lisa suggests;

Try listening to some calming music or a motivational podcast before going into your interview. Find out what works best for you and incorporate it into your preparation routine.

Body language

Ever heard of power posing? A study showed that people who adopted wide ‘high power pose’ stances before an interview were perceived as more ‘hireable’ than those that adopted ‘low power poses’. For example, taking a wide legged stance with your hands on your hips would leave you feeling more hyped for an interview than hunching over your phone.

There is a distinct imbalance of power in an interview setting, power posing can help configure your mindset to rebalance that sense of power. The authors of the study noted that people who had adopted high power poses “appeared to better maintain their composure, to project more confidence, and to present more captivating and enthusiastic speeches, which led to higher overall performance evaluations.”

Obviously, it might appear a bit strange if you start super manning in the middle of the office so use at your own discretion. Check out this Ted Talk and take note – it could bag you that next role!

Rapport building

Don’t underestimate the importance of small talk. Rapport building with your interviewer is an easy way to start managing interview nerves and immediately feel more at ease. While it might seem counterintuitive, an interview isn’t about holding court. Being likeable and connecting with the interviewer will be far more effective than trying to impress them. They have to feel you would be a good fit for the existing team. They’re more likely to feel that way if you’re personable, open and honest.

Some easy ways to build rapport;

  • Eye contact. It shows you’re listening and are engaged in the conversation.
  • Non verbal cues, such as nodding also show you’re listening.
  • Subtly mirror them, such as the pace and tonality of how they speak.
  • Acknowledge when you have things in common.
  • Use their name in conversation.


Be kind to yourself

Drop the negative self talk. It does no one any favours. Our inner critics can be loud, especially in times of stress so consciously remove their megaphone by acknowledging their existence. You’d never get berated by anyone else so callously, so why take it from yourself? Instead, speak to yourself kindly and encouragingly as you would to a family member or friend in the same position.

You could even take it one step further and dare to envisage success. Imagine yourself walking in the interview, the picture of confidence, taking each question in your stride and strolling out knowing you’ve got the job. This kind of exercise can do a lot to instil confidence and calm pre-interview nerves.


Ready to take the next step? View the next chapter in our #GetHired Skills Toolkit.