Managing Pre-Interview Nerves

Posted on Tuesday, May 16, 2017 by Adrian FosterNo comments

Almost everyone gets nervous at a job interview.

My view is that pre-interview nerves are often a good thing and that, for the most part, they can have a positive impact on a candidate’s performance.  If you walk into an interview room completely free of nerves it could mean you don’t care, you’re overconfident or you could come across as complacent. The problem is that sometimes the nerves can affect your performance in a negative way and the trick is to find the right balance and make sure your pre-interview butterflies don’t hinder your performance.  

Here are some crucial techniques to help you control your nerves.


This is something which many people neglect to do – and yet it can make a huge difference. The more you practice the less nervous you might become. Write down the questions you might be asked and start practising answers aloud; it will start to feel more familiar and your confidence will grow. At prosperIS I often work with the same clients and I have a fairly good idea of some of the questions you might be asked. I’ll help you prepare as best as I can as there is a direct link between good preparation and reduced anxiety.

You are the Solution to a Company’s problem

People are busy and time is valuable. No Director I know is going to conduct a frivolous interview. Take confidence (and be less nervous as a result) from the fact that your CV is impressive enough to warrant so much of the Director’s time in the form of the interview. Changing the way you think about the interview can have a huge impact on your confidence.

Don’t put yourself under any undue pressure

Sure it looks a great role on paper otherwise why would you be there? However, no matter how desperately you want the job remember that it’s just one opportunity. Your entire career is not dependent on landing this particular job. You don’t even know that much about the position yet - it’s unlikely to be your only option.

Maybe you aren’t the only one who is nervous

Interviewing is hard. To get a candidate to open up and sell themselves is a real skill. Maybe the interviewer is under pressure from his or her boss to find the ideal candidate? Take confidence and rest assured that you may not be most nervous person in the interview room.

Power pose

This is something that I was taught by an old boss when I started out in recruitment – this was so long ago that we used to fax CVs to clients but that’s another story. We used to go to client meetings together and on one occasion we found ourselves sat in the plush reception area of a company we were desperate to impress. I told him I was feeling a little nervous and I was worried I wouldn’t come across as well as I wanted. He told me to stand up, pretend to read some of the corporate material that was on the coffee table in front of us and stay standing up until the HR Director came into the room to greet us. It worked! When he arrived I was tall (well as tall as my 5 foot ten frame would allow me to be) and I was able to make instant and confident eye contact at the same level as he walked towards us.

So, if you feel nerves are getting the better of you when you are waiting to be called into the interview room simply stand up and take a positive, professional and strong stance until you are greeted by the interviewer. Trust me - it works!

To summarise – there are various techniques you can use to make sure nerves don’t get the better of you but try to remember nerves can help you; they can keep your feet on the ground and make sure you are alert and not over-confident!

Finally, don’t worry, relax and remember that controlling nerves in an interview is largely a case of mind over matter.

I welcome your comments and feedback –

prosperIS specialise in finding staff for digital marketing and development companies across the South-West.


prosperIS Recruitment Ltd 

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