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Ask a Recruiter: “I suffer very obvious interview nerves, even where I’m confident I’m right for the job. What can I do about them?”

Published on: 31 Mar 2020

This challenge and frequent problem with nerves is natural.

Some tactics and strategy for dealing with some of these pre interview wobbles:-

1. Prepare well; research the interviewers through LinkedIn and possible profiles on their website. Do you know anyone that knows them? From the current post or previous jobs? Your recruitment company if using one, should advise you on the details of these interviewers.

2. Sometimes the questions you ask are more important than the questions you answer. Carefully carted questions should escalate your understanding as follows-

a) ask about the job- a typical day/week. Key stakeholders to engage with etc this is important to know so you are comfortable with the challenges.

b) ask about the company, ask about current performance and growth (check out their last results at companies house- it will only cost £1)

c) ask about the market the business performs in. Who are the competitors? Where do we stand in competition? The WE word aligns you to them.

d) ask the interviewers why they joined the company? You know their backgrounds- you could say" Jane - I note you were at XYZ company before you joined here. What were your challenges coming from a big corporation to an SME organisation?" for example. Get them to talk about themselves. This questioning shows you've done your research and allows the interviewer to talk about themselves. You will learn a lot from these answers and feel more confident in the respite from questions yourselves.

Asking questions allows you to engage with the interviewers and takes the pressure off you.

3. Look good and feel good. Presentation is everything, think about your dress, presentation, posture and mannerisms.  Do you have any nervous mannerisms when under pressure? Ask you best friends and family. Get them to role play an interview with you. Ask for their honest feedback.

4. Use the Star technique when describing challenging situations or examples at work of overcoming real life issues. For more details of the Star technique and competency based questioning email Principal People for advice and an interview advice pack at . Please use "Star Technique" in subject box.

5. Leave with a lasting impression; if you really want the job, tell them how passionately you feel about working for them given the opportunity. Ask them if they have any concerns from the interview that you have any gaps in necessary skill sets? Feedback is the food of champions.

We have a number of additional guidelines and advice for candidates. Please feel free to call us for copies of this even if you are applying  directly or through another agency.

Best of luck with your next interview.

Simon Bliss


Principal People