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Don't Let Nerves Get the Better of you in Interviews

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Over the many years of working in recruitment, I’ve worked with many candidates who have struggled with their nerves when it comes to interviews - although to be honest, nerves aren’t a bad thing. Nerves show that you care and show that you’re interested in the job you’re interviewing for, so it’s more about how you manage them so they don’t get the better of you during the interview. 

Casting my mind back 5 years to when I was interviewing to join Ambition I can remember my own nerves.  I’d made the decision to move on from my last company and I knew that I wanted to join an organisation that I believed in and wanted to be part of, it was a big move for me so the pressure was on!

So, here are a few tips that I’ve used myself and have shared with many candidates over the years:

Prepare, prepare and prepare

First things first, take the time to prepare for your interview, the more you know about the firm, the opportunity you’re interviewing for and questions you may be asked, the more confident you’ll be about the process. You’re going into the interview armed and ready and with clear information that you want to relay.


This is something that definitely relates to me and I’m sure many others. Nerves can make me talk at a speed of knots - take the time to consciously slow down, breath and articulate your words so you sound coherent and confident.

If you talk with your hands (me again!) be aware of it and make an effort to keep them contained!

Don’t fiddle with a pen because before you know it, said pen will very quickly turn into a twirling baton. Keep your hands object free, clasp them in your lap or on the table and if you feel yourself start to gesticulate madly, very calmly bring your hands back under control.

Remember they’re just people

Whether you’re meeting a recruitment manager, HR manager or even a senior director, at the end of the day they’re normal people like the rest of us, managing their own busy day and even possibly their own nerves – especially if interviewing isn’t something they do on a regular basis.

You’re there because they want to meet you

This is something I often hear myself saying to candidates. The interview you’re in is happening because they’ve seen your CV/profile and they have asked to meet you!

You’re already starting off from a positive point as you’ve not had to fight to get in front of them - they’ve invited you in to meet them, they’re interested in what they’ve seen so far and they want to find out more about you and your experience.  Use this to your advantage!

Believe in yourself

In the majority of cases when you’re interviewing for a new job, you’re interviewing for a role you know and understand.

Yes, there will be some occasions where people are making a career change or are moving into a different field, but a lot of the time, even if it’s a move that is progressing you up the career ladder, you know and understand the crux of the job.

The questions you’ll be asked in interview will all be around what you’re currently doing. So believe in yourself, have confidence in what you’re saying and believe in the experience you’ve worked hard to gain, at the end of the day you know how to do your job better than anyone, make sure you remember that!

Remembering these top 5 tips will make such a difference when overcoming your nerves and hopefully provide the confidence in yourself that you need to ace your interview and secure your dream role.

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