Are you feeling anxious and nervous before an upcoming interview? Struggling to calm your nerves and focus on the task at hand?

Don't worry; it's all natural!

Whether it is your first time or you have done multiple interviews, it is normal to feel some pre-interview jitters. But how can you keep your cool amidst the turbulent thoughts and give it your all?

It sounds difficult, right?

But it is possible with the right approach.

This blog post will discuss how to calm your nerves before an interview so you can showcase your best self and land that dream job.

Why Do We Feel Nervous Before an Interview?

We may feel nervous before an interview due to our anticipation and uncertainty. The fear of being judged or rejected can cause anxiety, and the pressure to make a good impression can be overwhelming.

Additionally, our brains may release the stress hormones such as adrenaline in response to the perceived threat, leading to physical symptoms of nervousness such as sweating, shaking, and increased heart rate.

Nervousness often arises when we do something we perceive as a performance. It is true for a job interview, an athletic competition, or a public speaking event.
Dr. Sherry Benton

How Can You Tell If You have Pre-Interview Nerves?

When it comes to preparing for a job interview, pre-interview nerves are a common occurrence. But before finding ways to manage them, it's important to recognize the signs of this formidable opponent.

Pre-interview nerves can be identified by physical symptoms such as:

  • Sweating
  • Racing heart
  • Nausea
  • Dry mouth
  • Shaky hands

You may also experience mental symptoms such as:

  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Difficulty finding words
  • Thoughts of self-doubt

There is nothing abnormal about any of these reactions. These symptoms will surely come your way whenever you have negative thoughts or feel threatened. But with practice and patience, we can minimize the impacts to a considerable extent.

As we move to the next section, we will explore some strategies that will aid you in controlling anxiety.

13 Tips to Calm Your Nerves Before an Interview

A survey showcased that a whopping 93% of interview takers had been affected by pre-interview nerves at least once. Whether it is about getting caught up in a lie or not being able to answer a tough question, everyone has some reason that activates their wary nerves.


Source: JDP Interview survey

We understand how getting nervous before an interview can be a devastating blow to your confidence. So we've compiled some awesome tips that might be just what you're looking for.

If you meet that formidable foe any day, utilize these tips and resources to knock it out of the ring quickly.

1. Prepare beforehand

Do you remember the time when you were in school and had to take a test?

You knew your teacher would not take it lightly if you didn't ace it.

So, you put in all the extra effort taking thorough notes and reviewing them diligently. This dedication paid off, as you achieved the best result you could have hoped for.

An interview is a similar situation where you want to ace it. But the stressful situation makes you brim with negative thoughts: what if you don't get the job? What if you are not a good fit for the organization ?

Remember what you learn in your school days: Preparation is the key to success!

Here are some tips to consider when preparing:

  • Jot down important interview questions and answers
  • Use online resources to prepare for your interview.
  • Give mock interviews to your friends and family to prepare

2. Do your research on the company


You might feel nervous before an interview mainly because you are still figuring out what to expect from it.

Your research on the company will help you to structure your response in a way that aligns with the company's goals. It will also allow you to identify key questions to ask the interviewer.

You must have sufficient knowledge about your potential employer to ace the interview.

If you need help with how to proceed with your research, you can use the VantageLens platform to find crucial details about your employer. The tool also lets you compare the work cultures of different companies side by side with reviews from 3 websites- Glassdoor, Google, and LinkedIn.

3. Get a good night's sleep


You prepped for that interview like a pro, armed for success. You step into the room, and - poof! - all your knowledge is gone, leaving you in a bundle of jitters. Why so?

Perhaps you didn't catch enough sleep the night before; now your brain feels like the deep-sea-diving TITANIC!

When it comes to interviews, the best way to prepare is to get your beauty sleep!

Sleep is important to restore your mind and body to its optimal state. You end up cranky all day when you don't get enough sleep. And that's not the image you want to project of yourself. Do you?

A proper sleep schedule before the interview can also help you in several ways. For example,

  • Remaining focused and alert
  • Thinking critically and better information processing
  • Keeping your cool
  • Answering questions clearly and concisely

In and out, your proper sleep can greatly impact your selection by building the right impression. So, prepare hard and sleep harder!

You're putting energy in the bank when you sleep. On a cellular level, the body is literally repairing and restoring itself. Without it, you can't do what you want - physically or mentally.
- Barry Krakow

4. Have a good Meal


Your body is a finely tuned machine, but it needs the right fuel to function at its peak performance. You can't run a race on an empty stomach.

Before you hit the interview, make sure to eat a nutritious meal to have enough energy. Not eating can contribute to stress and anxiety, so choose something you like to help you feel more relaxed.

5. Don't leave your outfit on chance; plan it!


We all remember the adage "dress for success," which holds even today. Even studies show that how you dress affects your performance and your mood.

Your whole personality changes when you dress up your best. There is a sense of empowerment and confidence in you. Nothing can break you down!

Choosing the perfect outfit in advance of a crucial interview can make all the difference. When you are at your best, you will smoke the interview without getting nervous.

In case you are having trouble selecting the right interview attire, here is a guide you can use: Deciding Your Interview Attire: What to Wear?

6. Keep a copy of your resume ready


Carrying a resume copy to an interview is important for several reasons.

First, it serves as a reminder of your qualifications and experience. This can be helpful if you get nervous and need to remember important details about your background.

Additionally, it's a good way to impress the hiring manager because it demonstrates that you are prepared and organized.

Having a copy of your resume itself will give you the confidence to ace the interview.

7. Befriend your self-doubts and turn them into confidence boosters


Psychologists and therapists emphasize that the words we tell ourselves can greatly impact our feelings and behavior. Therefore, replacing unhelpful thoughts with more constructive ones can have a positive effect.

For instance, you might feel that your experience is insufficient for the position for which you are interviewing. Instead of focusing on what you lack, think of all the accomplishments you have achieved.

You're the summation of all your escapades!

Also, remind yourself that unless you have that certain something, the employer wouldn't have asked you to the dance (or, in this case, the interview!).

Here are a few ways to work on your self-doubts:

  • Acknowledge your negative feelings and find their source.
  • Reframe your thoughts in a positive light.
  • Visualize success.
  • Prepare well and practice to make it perfect.

The power of a positive mind works miraculously. It's like a magical spell that can make your day!

8. Steal a dose of compliments from your cheerleaders

An interview is one of the most nerve-wracking experiences in your entire life. One can easily get demotivated and demoralized in the presence of stressful circumstances.

Now is the time to call your best supporters: family and friends, and steal a dose of compliments to get back on track.

How will it help though?

Friends and family can help you see what you're missing. They'll remind you of your amazing skills and accomplishments that you may have forgotten about in the chaos of life.

Remember to take a minute to enlist the help of your cheerleaders before you step into the arena. With their help, you'll be ready to rock your next job interview like a boss!

Compliments are important for people's sense of self-worth.
Rachel A Sussman

9. Engage in activities that bring you joy


Research shows that when you participate in activities that you find enjoyable, you are likely to experience lower levels of stress, a slower heart rate, and an improved mood.

You can do things like:

  • Listening to music
  • Singing a song
  • Striking a power pose
  • Even watching a clip of your favorite sitcom

Doing your ritual before your interview can help put you in a calmer and more positive mindset.

It can also help boost confidence and make you feel more prepared to answer questions and present yourself in the best possible light.

10. Be the early bird. And take a lay of the land


Arriving early at the venue allows you to become familiar with the building's layout and environment. It can help you feel more relaxed, and use those extra minutes to mentally prepare yourself and go through your key points.

Additionally, arriving early can create a positive impression on the interviewer, as it shows that you are punctual and organized.

Experts recommend arriving at least 15 minutes before your scheduled interview.

11. Take a walk


Before your interview starts, your thoughts are consumed by it; it is the only thing on your mind causing those pre-interview jitters.

A walk will help you in this situation to relax and get your thoughts straight.

Research shows that some form of physical activity can improve brain function and boost memory.

While we all know the importance of exercise, walking before an interview can help you in many ways. For example:

  • Reduce stress
  • Improve confidence
  • Improve blood circulation
  • Promote clear thinking
  • Increase energy levels

12. Breathe and repeat


Research suggests that taking deep breaths can improve mood and reduce stress. So, "Take a deep breath" is not just a cliche phrase anymore!

If you are nervous before an interview, try taking deep breaths through your nose and out through your mouth. It can help to slow your heart rate and clear your mind.

Those deep breaths will restart your mindset helping you to focus on your present moment.

13. Consider the interview more as a conversation than a test


Anxiety usually crops up when it seems like interviews are testing us, making it hard to be our usual, relaxed selves.

Simply engage in conversation as if the interviewer were someone you know. It will put you at ease and allow you to enjoy the conversation.

Instead of feeling the pressure of being tested, you can focus on engaging in a meaningful dialogue with the interviewer. It will help reduce the nerves and make it easier for you to communicate your skills and experiences naturally and confidently.

Summing Up

Although interviews can be nerve-wracking, don't let this deter you. You may experience pre-interview agitations. Remember, it's normal, and never let them break you down.

You can ace the interview and get the job you loven with proper preparation, self-care, and mental preparation. Utilize the tips and resources discussed in this article to manage your nerves and develop the best version of yourself.

With a positive mindset and a bit of practice, you can navigate those pre-interview jitters and come out shining.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. How can I answer questions calmly during an interview?

Despite your thorough preparation, your nerves may cause you to become overwhelmed and unable to remember what you intended to say. Here are some quick tips to crack those tough questions calmly:

  • Take a few deep breaths.
  • Listen carefully to the questions before responding.
  • Speak slowly and clearly.
  • Let the interviewer know if you need time to collect your thoughts.
  • Remain calm and confident in your answers, even if you are unsure of the answer.

2. How does anxiety affect a job interview?

Anxiety can negatively affect your job interview in several ways. Such as:

  • Making you feel overwhelmed and nervous
  • Having trouble expressing your ideas clearly
  • Making it difficult to focus and remember information
  • Undermining your confidence

3. Should I use medication or alcohol to calm my interview nerves?

Using alcohol or prescription drugs to relax before an interview is not a bright idea. Both can impede your judgment and make it difficult to focus and answer questions properly. Instead, focus on positive self-talk, deep breathing, and other calming techniques we discussed to stay relaxed and confident during the interview.

This article has been written by Sanjoy Khan Choudhury. He works as a Content Marketing Specialist at Vantage Lens. His areas of interest include music, marketing, cuisine, and anime. When he’s not writing, he’s usually singing to the tune of his guitar or finding some weird way to cook his meal.