Mareus News Blog

Interview Nerves? A “pee” or two should relax you…

July 7th, 2014


So the hard work on your CV preparation, your linked in profile photo, and your search for the ideal job has paid off and you’ve got an interview for your dream job in a few days.  It should be a really exciting time, but for some reason anticipation has turned to anxiety and you’d rather run a marathon over hot coals than talk to strangers about your skills and experience for 40 minutes. Your palms are sweaty but your mouth is dry, and don’t even get started on the rollercoasters in your stomach…

STOP! Before you reach for the fourth bottle of rescue remedy or run to the loo again… breathe deeply and consider some more practical P‘s to settle your nerves throughout the interview process. After all, you want to be in for a shot at your dream job right?

1. Prepare.  It might seem obvious, but getting stuck into some serious preparation can not only have you feeling more confident about the task ahead, but if you stay busy with it, preparation tasks can distract you from your pre-interview anxiety. Learn all you can about the organisation interviewing you, practice your interview responses, maybe even ask a friend to do a mock interview with you.  The more familiar you get with the role and what you bring to the party in advance, the more likely you are to relax into the interview on the day.

2. Particulars.  In the excitement of interview preparation, don’t forget about the practical details.  There’s nothing more likely to give you a pre-interview meltdown than getting lost on the way or being late for your interview. Don’t leave it to chance, do a practice run to the interview venue in advance.  If the interview is at company headquarters, you get the double whammy of measuring employee enthusiasm as they walk in and out of the building.  Yes! It’s time for a reconnaissance mission, just don’t get caught in the car park with your night vision goggles!

3. Power Pose. Social psychologist Amy Cuddy says that “power posing” or standing in a posture of confidence, even when we don’t feel confident can affect testosterone and cortisol levels in the brain.  In turn this can impact how confidently we perform at important meetings such as interviews.  So get there early, ask the receptionist where the bathroom is and grab a cubicle for a few minutes before your interview, strike a pose, and VOGUE!

4. Participate. Much as it can feel like a test of your mental agility and a forensic analysis of what you’ve been doing with your life up to this point, an interview is actually a two-way process.  Remember, you also get to decide whether you like what you learn about the people on the other side of the interview table.  In terms of nerves, it can be helpful to think of your interview as a conversation with a purpose, where both sides should participate in fact finding.  Take a Miss Marple approach to your interview. Ask questions, interact and assess the company culture so that you have the full picture before you make an important career decision. If the decision making shoe is on the other foot (yours), what’s there to be nervous about?

5. Pro-active vs. Post-Mortem. However you fare out in your next interview, it’s always a good idea to ask for interview feedback.  Far more effective than the traditional angst-ridden interview post-mortem over a cup of tea with your favourite agony aunt, professional factual feedback gives great material for future interview preparation.  Don’t sweat it if you got something wrong, we learn very little from our successes, and a lot more from our mistakes. Take the learning, adjust your answers and voila, that’s material you can use in your next interview for that even dreamier, dream job.

Take your pick of the P‘s and good luck in the job hunt!

If you have any other hints and tips you would like to share about how you handle interview nerves, I’d love to hear them in the comments section.

All the best from Park West,

Grace 😀


Click on the image below for Amy Cuddy’s full TEDTalk on body language and power posing.

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