If you find yourself getting nervous during an interview, don’t be alarmed! Being nervous is a good thing, it means you genuinely care about what you are interviewing for.
Trust me, you are probably not alone, even though you believe that you are. Everyone gets nervous for interviews, but I feel that even though I’m just a college freshman, I’ve gone through many and they’ve had great outcomes! Even though I know I’m not a professional and I will never claim to be, I think that I’ve learned a great deal in my time interviewing so far.
I feel that I’m successful in my interviews because I know I get nervous, and try to be prepared to calm my nerves. Sometimes you may know exactly what you’re going to say, but still feel like you may be inadequate and that is perfect okay! Rehearsing is the first step to calming your nerves. Try looking up general interview questions online and see the patterns in the questions. You can then generate some typical interview responses, in which you can draw upon for any interview. I would then suggest thinking about the types of questions you’ll be asked for that specific job, formulating a list, and then writing out answers so you can reference them before your interview.
I’m sure you’ve all heard the term, “fake it to you make it.” Although this is incredibly corny, I really find that this can be true. When I’ve had to “fake it,” whether that was in my confidence, or in what I was saying, eventually the real you comes out. I find that there’s always a way to connect back from what you were talking about which you weren’t so comfortable with, to a situation that you can feel comfortable explaining or talking about. Trying to draw the connection through a story is a perfect way to turn a situation from “faking it” to the true you.
When I get nervous, I tend to fidget. This is not exactly the best quality to have while more often than not, you’re sitting in a chair for your interview. I’ve tried to improve myself on this by always wearing my rings when I know I have to do something that makes my heart race, just like interviewing. Wearing rings, allows me to fidget with them and release some of my energy. Even though using your hands to talk may be more ideal than keeping them clamped together, it still can be useful to do something to calm your mind.
To prepare for one of my bigger interviews, I asked my dad for some of his tips. The best piece of advice he told me was have a line in your pocket that can buy you more time. For me, that line is, “that’s a really great question… Let me think about that.” Saying this and taking a few deep breaths and thinking through your answer is incredibly more satisfying than blurting out the first amateur thought that’s in your mind. Think through your answers and your confidence will be through the roof.
My last piece of advice, although juvenile, rings incredibly true. Be yourself and the rest will fall into place. Be calm, be thoughtful, and your personality will shine through. Remember you want to fit in with the culture of wherever that you are applying, just as much as they want you to fit in with the team. Everything will workout, just give it time. Good luck on your interviews!