Overcoming Interview Nerves

With Aimee Bateman

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Overcoming Interview Nerves


Can't seem to shake off those pesky nerves? Don't worry you are not alone. Let Aimee share with you her top tips on how to keep nerves at bay and allow you to focus on more important things.

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Hi everyone, it’s Aimee Bateman here from Careercake and in this insight video we are going to talk about how to best deal with those interview nerves.

Now, firstly I’m going to say that being nervous is a good thing. Because you are nervous, you are now showing everybody that you care about this. We only get nervous if things matter to us, so that is a good thing. We want that interviewer and those people we meet to know that this matters to us. That is going to be impressive, so don’t beat yourself up about being nervous, it’s a good thing. What we do want to do however, is find that balance so that these nerves are not crippling us.

So, the first thing I’m going to ask you to do is prepare. And now you are sitting here watching this video thinking, ‘you want me to prepare, that’s obvious’. But I do want you to prepare and I know that every blog on this topic tells you to do that, but have you really done it. Because I always say to people, ‘yeah I know that’, but do I actually do it? Not always. So make sure that when you are preparing, because that is, without s doubt, the best way for you to deal with your nerves, make sure that you are saying these answers out loud. The reason being, when we are in a position where we are really aware of our surroundings.

We are feeling a little uncomfortable and maybe a bit nervous, our breath is getting a bit fast, we are getting a bit sweaty and panicky, to just be really comfortable and remember what it is that we want to portray in our interview answers, it can be a little bit difficult, but if you are used to saying them out loud, they will just flow naturally. Even in a nervous state. And just to prove that point, I promise you, sometimes you will hear a song you haven’t heard for ten years. You haven’t heard it but you can still remember all of the words. It’s because your body is used to saying them because you sing them. So practice your interview answers out loud. Whether you are driving your car, hovering, annoying all your friends because you are in the kitchen talking to yourself it seems. Just do it, I promise you it will help.

The next things are to get familiar with the people, if you can. Look for any opportunity you can to meet anybody, and not just the people who are interviewing you, anybody who works there, before your interview. That will help. Like one of my friends today was telling me (I told him I was making this video) he said, ‘oh my goodness, I had an interview a few years ago and I took a drive there on a Sunday, drove around, even got out of the car and looked through the window, so that on the day, that building, this place was already familiar to me and helped me with my nerves’. Get familiar and do a drive by if you can.

The next thing, surround yourself with a lighter about an hour before your interview. I’m not asking you to go out there and light some candles, a lighter is someone who makes you feel incredible. We all have a lighter in our lives, hopefully. Maybe it’s our mum, dad, boyfriend, girlfriend, colleague or a mentor. Somebody who can make you feel like you can take over the world. That person. I want you to schedule a call if you can, or even a meet up face to face if you can, about an hour before your interview. If you can get your mind-set straight. If you can feel like you’re invincible and you can do this, it will impact everything that you do in that interview. Your headspace and the way you portray yourself is just as important as the world that come out of your mouth, so work on that.


Another little tip, speak to someone about a problem that you know the answer to. So maybe take that work call with that customer you know you can help or that colleague who is really struggling with something and you know, on this topic, you are the expert. If you can elevate yourself just before the interview, again, it will help your confidence and your mind-set. Even if it is nothing to do with work. Even if it is a friend who is going through a really bad time at the moment and you want to be able to help them. It will make you feel valued and you are going to go in that room feeling a little bit kick-ass. That’s a good thing.


The next thing, music. Music is so powerful. Music helps us feel things and we do not use it enough. Music makes us spend loads of money at Christmas when you go into the shops and they are playing Christmas carols and they want you to get your wallet out. When you go into certain shops they’ve got pumping tunes playing because they want you to think about Friday night when you are going clubbing so you’ll buy some new outfits. They sue it in adverts, movies. It makes us cry at the MasterCard advert (I’m such a soppy one and I love that advert, it always gets me). Do you sue music to effect your mood? You should.


Think about your game song. What’s your game song? Your game song, again, is a song that makes you feel amazing. I have, Rolling Stones, sympathy for the devil. Its little bit arrogant. Mick Jagger has got that arrogance and sometimes I need to fee off that. What’s your game song? And your game song can be anything. It can be the spice girls, that’s fine or it could be something super cool I haven’t even heard of. It’s that song that when it comes on you are like, ‘Yeah!’. Play it. Maybe even get a playlist together. Listen to it. Use music.


The next thing I want to give you some advice on id breathing. This is something that has only come to be late in my life. It was one of those things I’d heard about, but never did it. If you can use breathing exercises beforehand, for about twenty minutes before your interview, I promise you…this isn’t just fluffy advice, this stuff works. I breathe in for four and hold for two and I do that four or five times. I do that when I’m doing key note speeches, when I’ve got a really big business meeting. I still get nervous and breathing is a big one for me.


The next thing is, be careful how you are talking to yourself. There is a lovely quote, be careful how you talk to yourself, because you are listening. It’s so true. If you tell yourself that you are about to mess this up, you’re going to mess this up. You need to tell yourself positive things, because what we think, we become. You don’t want this incident whereby you are telling yourself, this is going to be a nightmare, I’m going to mess it up. Because now you are just in a negative head mess and nothing good can come from that. Start visualising what would happen and how it feels when you have finished that interview and you have had a lovely, wonderful conversation with them. They like you, you like them and you re feeling like you want to work there. Visualise a positive outcome. What does it feel like? How are you feeling when you are driving home? Really get yourself in that head space.


The next thing I want you to do is don’t apologise. If you are in the interview and you feel ‘I’m still a little bit nervous’. Again, go back to the visualisation thing and visualise the positivity. But if you are in that room and you are feeling a little bit nervous, don’t apologise for it. What you do when you say, ‘sorry, I’m a little bit nervous’ is you are drawing attention to it and no everyone in the room is focusing on the one thing you didn’t really want to focus on, because you brought it up. And now as an interviewer, I’m nervous because I don’t want you to feel nervous and I’m apologising to you. I don’t want to make anyone feel uncomfortable. That’s not my game plan. So now I feel a little bit on edge. We don’t want that kind of dynamic in the room. Just smile and power through.


But because the Careercake community is so amazing and you are all so lovely and you want to help each other (I love that about you all) you guys volunteered your own tips. I’ve got loads of videos from you all on how you best handle your interview nerves.


Here are some of them.


Hello, it’s Sian here from Digital Profile. Our top tip for dealing with interview nerves is to remember that they want to meet you, so they already like the skills that you have. So just be yourself.


Hi, I’m Alexandra from DMSG. My piece of advice for dealing with nerves is to remember that the people you are talking to are human just like you and it’s also an opportunity for you to ask them questions about that company as well as them asking you questions. Hopefully that will make you feel more relaxed and confident in your response. Best of luck!


Hi everybody, I’m Steve Dimmick, Chief Commercial officer here at doopoll. My interview tip for you is to get your breathing right. A super simple way of doing that is to take the deepest breath you possibly can in and hold it for as long as you can. Then let it out super, super, super slow. Do that three times and you’ll be ready to go. Good luck – knock ‘em dead.



HI guys. I’m Victoria from Talentbe. My top tip would be the calm app. Download it onto your phone and do some meditation. There are specifically ones around stress, anxiety and focus. My favourite is the focus, the walking session. Download it, give it a try and best of luck.


Hi guys, my name is Adam Brux. I’m an educator, mentor and coach. My top tip for today is just be you. You never know, they may have been waiting for someone like you the whole time, but if you go in there being somebody else or acting like somebody else or talking like somebody else, they may never even get to meet the real you. So make sure you be yourself, because you could be just the person they’ve been waiting for. Good luck. Go out there and smash it.


Thank you so much for sending those videos through. How lovely is our careercake community? I love how many videos we got sent through. I only sent out a tweet asking for some advice and we got tons of your videos. And I love how much you all want to help each other. That’s really important and that matters, so thank you.


I’m going to end this insight video with two points. My first point being, please remember this, the interviewer gets nervous too. Not all of them, but a lot of them. You wouldn’t believe in business show many people get asked to go out and interview perspective new employees and they’ve never had any interview training. No-one has ever told them how to be a good interviewer. They just get asked to go and interview somebody. They do get nervous too. I’ve been in this game over fifteen years. The amount of people I’ve had to go and speak to to do training because they get nervous and they want to be the best interviewer they can be. There are loads of them. I remember one guy a couple of years ago who owned an accountancy practice. Really smart, lovely man. When he got nervous he said he had verbal diarrhoea. He said awkward things and it probably made people not want to be around him. I actually loved him because of this. How socially awkward he was, was one of my favourite things about him. But he didn’t want to portray himself like that in an interview and he knows that in interviews he gets nervous. I went in and helped him with the interview and he sat there and made some notes and chipped in now and again, but I ran the interview, because he was too nervous to do it and that was his own business. So just remember that.

The next thing and I just want to end of this, you’re interviewing them too. This isn’t just, I’m going to go into this room and are they going to like me? Think, I’m going into this room now and am I going to like them? Because you’re giving that business and opportunity. You’re giving that business your time and your time is just as valuable as their time. So, get a bit of that power back and think this is a two-way process. This isn’t just them judging you. This is a two way, am I going to want to work with them, just as much as are they going to want to work with me. Take that power and remember the value that you bring – really important.

Ok, hopefully that’s helped. If there is anything that you do that makes you feel incredible, that helps you with your nerves and it’s not in this video, please email us. Let me know and then we can share it with everybody else. We’d love to hear it.

Until next time, take care (ace those interviews) and good luck.