Female waiting for an interview

We’ve all been there. Pacing back and forth in the lobby of an unknown building, waiting for someone to call you in for that interview. It’s totally natural that you feel nervous, but that doesn’t make it any less distressing. Check out our top seven tips to calm your nerves before an interview.

1. Get in some fresh air

If you can, try to take a short walk before your interview. An easy way to do this is taking the train or bus to your interview and walking from your stop. If you’re driving, consider parking a little further away to get your blood pumping with some healthy endorphins.

Either way, don’t do this if you think there is any chance of you being late. Punctuality is essential to all employers.

2. Make yourself a cheat sheet

We all remember before a school or university exam you could get some last-minute relaxation in by looking over your cheat sheet. Lessen your concerns by creating a one-page sheet detailing the basics about a company, the requirements of the role, and the examples of success that you want to share. Have a quick read before you go into the interview but make sure to tuck it away before meeting your new potential employer.

3. Eat something

A common mistake is avoiding food before an interview to avoid making your butterflies worse. However, eating nothing will not only decrease brain function but it may lead to you feeling even more sick. Try to have a small, heathy meal before you head towards an interview.

4. Make plans

How dreadful does it sound to make your way through this stressful interview, to do nothing afterwards? If possible, block out at least half an hour after the interview ends to do something you enjoy and will look forward to. Grab your favourite snack and eat in the local park. Meet a friend for a coffee and debrief on how the interview went. Go see a new movie at the cinemas if you have time.

5. Listen to (the right) music

Putting on some calming tunes can be a quick way to get out of your head and think about something other than the impending interview. Researchers from Stanford University found that music can have a quick and lasting calming effect. However, the research also importantly noted that strong and fast beats can make your brain race, so stick to more slow and relaxing tunes or aim for jazz, drums, or flutes – all of which have been associated with stress reduction.

6. Be in the present

The chance of you predicting the exact questions before the interview is slim. Avoid making yourself anxious by over rehearsing answers minutes before the interview. Chances are that you’ll only find cracks in your knowledge and lose confidence. If you want to rehearse last minute, go over positive answers that will enhance your confidence such as “what have you achieved” or “what is your proudest moment in your career so far?”

7. You’ve made it this far

You’re not at this interview by chance. Someone at this company thought that you would be the perfect candidate they were looking for. So, chances are that your concerns about being good enough for the role are untrue. Remember that the interviewer is really hoping that you’re the right person for this role as well, so approach with confidence in your skills and achievements.


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