Under pressure – White Horse Digital

How to beat the job interview nerves

Our body seems to behave in bizarre ways in a job interview. Our armpits suddenly think they’re Niagara Falls, our hands tremble and sounds come out of our mouth without our brain giving the thumbs up first.

And if we don’t feel like our normal selves, we’re just going to want the whole nerve-wracking ordeal to end. It’s only natural: when we’re in a high stakes situation, our body responds in fight mode; rather than the calm, cool and collected candidate we want to be.

So how can we beat these pesky nerves and blow our potential employers away? These useful techniques can help keep anxiety at bay and nail those interviews.

Knowledge is power

It’s as simple as this: the more time you spend preparing, the more confident you’ll be. Technology allows us to research a company in-depth: view their LinkedIn profile and learn about the roles within the business. The more you know, the more confident your responses to even the toughest questions will be.

Think positive

An obvious one, but an important one. 36% of UK employers rate a positive attitude more highly than technical or academic knowledge when hiring, according to Information Technology Specialist Recruiter Capita IT Resourcing. So replace those negative thoughts with positive ones: ‘I could get the job’ rather than ‘I might not get the job’.

Act the part

Even if you’re feeling like your legs are about to dissolve into the ground – act confident. A smile and a strong handshake works wonders are simple techniques for creating an impression of self-confidence. Ask your interviewer a strong question, such as ‘What do you like about working here?’ to leave a positive lasting impression.

Be yourself (not your interview self)

Don’t try to use words you don’t normally use. Your CV may describe you as a conscientious worker – but that’s not necessarily the language you’d use if you were among those you’re comfortable with. Know yourself, be proud of your experiences and articulate how you’ve developed the skills and abilities they seek.

Slow down and listen

When we’re crippled with fear, our attention is divided between that anxiety and the interview, so we find it difficult to listen and often answer questions incorrectly. Take the time to slow down your body’s fight-or-flight responses: listening and thinking will show the interviewer you value their question.


Have a run-through with a friend, family member or even by yourself can massively reduce worries of saying the wrong thing – or worse, not knowing what to say. Write down a brief list of things you want the interviewer to know so you can tailor your answers appropriately. The more you practice, the more confident you’ll appear.


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