A young person asked me last week for some tips to overcome interview nerves. He was going for interviews for his first job. Here is what I suggested:

1. The most important thing is to be yourself. If you are trying to fake it that adds extra pressure and is stressful. So, how do you best ‘be yourself’? See tip 2.

2. Clearly understand what strengths you have – this is an excellent way to feel confident about yourself. For example, are you great at connecting with others, do you love analysing data, or are you brilliant at solving problems? Think about what you are naturally good at, what you love doing and what motivates you, at work. When you talk about these things you will flow – the interviewers will engage easily with you and that will make you feel even more confident.

3. Go into the interview with the attitude that you want the job, only if you are a great fit for it. And, consider that if you aren’t a great fit, you wouldn’t want the job anyway. This attitude will give you confidence. After all, who wants to do a job that is not right for them?

4. A basic tip, but it works — take some deep breaths, down to your belly, before you go in. That will calm you.

5. If you are able to pop to the loo before your interview, go and do the ‘power pose’ in private — stand up, hands above your head, straight posture. Click here to watch Amy Cuddy explain why this ‘power pose’ technique gives us confidence.

My tips to help stop your voice and body from shaking are:

  1. Deep breaths (as above)
  2. Power pose (as above)

Both positively affect your physiology and will make you feel calmer and more confident.

Good luck!

the strengths book sally bibb

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Sally BibbDirector, Engaging Minds
Sally Bibb is the author of Strengths-based Recruitment and Development: A Practical Guide to Transforming Talent Management Strategy for Business Results and The Strengths Book: Discover How to Be Fulfilled in Your Work and in Life, and is a leading strengths expert.