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Ask A Recruiter: I suffer badly from interview nerves. Is there anything I can do to reduce them?

Published on: 31 Mar 2020

ask a recruiterFirst and foremost, we all suffer from interview nerves, there is nothing wrong with this. It demonstrates that you are passionate about the role you’re going for and care about the outcome of the interview. It’s wise, however, not to let these nerves get the better of you. We all have our own pre-interview rituals, but there are a few ways you can maximise your chances of success and keep those nerves at bay…

Be prepared: Research the company: understand their values and structure, where you will fit into this structure and what you might want to do in the company in the long term. Also make sure you’ve looked your interview panel up on LinkedIn, as taking an active interest in your potential colleagues only reflects favorably upon you, and don’t forget that your interviewers will also be looking for a cultural fit. Re-read the job description and pick out some of your strongest or most applicable skills and experiences that you can really capitalise on throughout.

Preempt the format of the interview: Usually, it will contain a Q&A section, and often these questions will be competency-based. Here at Shirley Parsons we make sure our candidates know what to expect, as well as offering them a list containing a number of example competency-based questions.  Use these to your advantage; understand what the employer wants to know from these questions and present yourself as an individual who will deal with things well in this new role. You should have an answer for nearly every question you are asked in this interview, and this will stop you from becoming overwhelmed by having to think of an impressive response on the spot.

After you’ve prepared your answers, try to practice them with friends or family: you will find the answers never really manifest in the way you had expected. It’s beneficial to say your answers aloud and actually respond to another person (ensure this other person can actually understand what you’re saying). Annunciate, be clear and don’t forget to breathe! This practice will make you far less nervous when it comes to the interview itself.

Everything else is logistic: Ensure you know where you’ll be parking or travelling on the day, whom do you ask for at reception and are the offices/rooms easily accessible? You don’t want to be late or waste time because you were unsure of where you were going: this will create unnecessary stress. As always, don’t forget the fundamentals: eat a good breakfast; drink plenty of water; make sure you’re well rested.

Our final tip is be smart! If you feel well put together and professional, you’ll be more confident and make a much better impression on the day. 

Rachel Corbett is a Recruiter at Shirley Parsons.  Rachel specialises in recruitment in the Services and Manufacturing industry at Shirley Parsons. T:  01296 611323    E: