How to Calm Your Nerves Before the Job Interview

As Seen In

logo of wsj
logo of wsj
logo of business-insider
logo of business-insider
logo of cnn
logo of cnn
logo of fatherly
logo of fatherly
logo of nbc
logo of nbc

Table Of Contents

Get your resume ready for the job hunt by exploring our guide to the best resume writing services.

Almost everybody suffers from anxiety when they are faced with an important interview. Unfortunately, just because it is common, doesn't mean that this phenomena is harmless. Job interview nerves can cause you to forget important facts, give embarrassing answers, and appear distracted to potential employers.

Feeling anxious before, during, and after an interview is a miserable experience. Fortunately, there are a few things that you can do to mitigate those nerves and get through the interview process feeling as confident as possible.

1. Leave Yourself 15 Minutes to Spare When you Arrive

You can use this fifteen minutes to do a few deep breathing exercises in your car, to double check your hair and makeup, or to call a good friend for a last minute pep talk. Arriving a bit early for your interview will also help you avoid that panicky feeling you get when you have to rush to your destination.

2. Take it Easy on the Caffeine

If you have to get up particularly early or travel a ways to get to your interview, you might be tempted by an extra cup of coffee. Skip the coffee and opt for water instead. Your nerves don't need the extra jolt of caffeine, and you don't need to worry about the possibility of needing a bathroom break in the middle of your interview.

3. Take a Drive to the Interview Location a Few Days in Advance

Join The Break Community

GPS is great, but it isn't always right. Wouldn't it be a nightmare to be late for your interview because SIRI steers you wrong? Don't take that chance. Take a drive and make sure that you know exactly where you are going.

4. Read and then Re-Read Your Resume and Prepare for Questions

Read your resume from the perspective of a potential employer. What questions would you have? Write a list of these questions, then, prepare yourself by rehearsing your answers. The more practice you have, the less likely you will be to stammer or become 'stuck' during your interview.

5. Try to Schedule an Early Interview

If nerves are a concern, the earlier your interview is in the morning the better. If you have a late afternoon interview, you'll have too much time to think and worry. These negative thoughts can cause you to sabotage yourself.

If you are seeking more options to discover employment opportunities, take a look at our comprehensive guide to the best job posting sites.

6. Do as Much as You can the Night Before

The less activity the morning of your interview the better. If you have a dozen things to do before you head out to your interview, you will just aggravate your nerves. So, lay out your interview outfit, take a shower, get your hair trimmed, and pack your briefcase or portfolio the night before.

7. Keep it to One Drink or Less

A nightcap might help you get to sleep, but you'll dread having a hangover in the morning. It's fine to have one drink, but don't exceed that amount. You don't want to add a headache onto your frazzled nerves.

8. Visualize the Interview

Create a vision of your interview and mentally walk through that vision several times. See yourself greeting your interviewers with confidence, answering questions with ease, and closing the interview on a positive note