Links I mentioned in this episode:

44. Dealing with Interview Nerves – Transcript

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[00:00:52] Hi, there I’m Bec McFarland the host of the Pop Your Career [00:01:00]Podcast. As a career coach, I’m most passionate about helping my clients to discover their own personal flavour of career fulfillment. In this podcast, we are going to be exploring ways that you too can feel more fulfilled by your work. So strap yourself in, get ready for the ride. The tips around here are fast and in abundance.

[00:01:21] Hello, hello, Bec McFarland here helping you do better and be better in your career. Let’s talk about interview nerves. If you are not nervous about going into an interview, you are some kind of supernatural being. Because everyone that I know feels nervous about job interviews. In saying that, I think that often your nerves can increase or become more intense, particularly if it’s a role that you are very [00:02:00] interested in, and this can make things quite hard. So, what do you do about it? Well, let’s talk about a few different options.

[00:02:07] The first thing that I would suggest to you to do is to ask yourself the question of like, what have you got planned before your interview? Are you going to work? And then you’re gonna have to leave work and jump in the car, and then race, race, race to get there.

[00:02:21] And by the time you get to your interview, you’re feeling quite flustered because of the fact that, you know, you haven’t really left yourself enough time. I always say that you should absolutely leave enough time to get dressed, to prepare your clothes, to get yourself in the right headset to drive to the appointment or catch public transport, to find yourself a park, to walk from the park to wherever you need to be interviewed, and also to get abducted by aliens on the way, because you never know when you’re going to get [00:03:00]caught in traffic or when you are going to make a mistake.

[00:03:03] There are so many different ways that you could get stuck and find yourself running late. So we just wanna make sure that you’ve got enough time. I did a really dumb thing once. I went to a job interview and I found a park, uh, in a parking station, and I still had heaps of time left over because of the fact that I’d left so much time. Right?

[00:03:33] And I sat in the car and I played Candy Crush to kill some time. And then finally I thought, okay, like I should probably get out of the car and go and find where I’ve gotta go. And so I got out of the car and I went out of the parking garage and onto the street. And it was at that moment that as I was looking around, I realized that the numbers in this street were a little bit cuckoo and they didn’t quite [00:04:00] make sense.

[00:04:01] And where I thought the building was not where the building was. It was actually all the way at the other end of the street. So I had to start walking and walking and walking. And by the time I got to that job interview, I was now like a sweaty, flustered mess. And I look back on that and I think, yeah, like I didn’t allow enough time. Perhaps I wasted the time by playing Candy Crush in the car. Who knows?

[00:04:34] But you will be so much less stressed and so much more calm if you do. Make sure that you have given yourself ample opportunity for anything to go wrong over the way. And if that means that you’ve got a bit of extra time up your sleeve when you get to the interview place, means that you can stand outside, take a breath of fresh air, you know, go for a little short, non strenuous, non sweaty walk, do some meditation, [00:05:00] something else, altogether.

[00:05:02] On the topic of meditation, I do encourage people to also take some time to make sure that they are in the right frame of mind. So we know that when we’re going into interviews that we are gonna be stressed and often the symptoms of stress are presented on us physically.

[00:05:19] So this might mean that you do have sweat on your brow or worse sweat on your interview clothes. Uh, it could mean that you are a little bit shaky, that your voice is not as strong as it usually would. You know, there are lots of different ways that your fear or your nerves can actually manifest themselves physically.

[00:05:40] So by taking a little bit of time to get into the right frame of mind before you go into your interview, you are doing whatever you can to make sure that you are feeling more calm, because we know that you’re gonna perform better if you are in that right frame of mind. Um, but also so that we can limit some of those physical symptoms.[00:06:00]

[00:06:00] I think I’ve shared it here before, I can’t remember, but I did do an interview once with a lovely fellow. He was just such a nice gentleman. Um, but unfortunately he was so nervous during the whole interview that, um, his body shook, um, he had a little bit of a, like shaky leg, I think from the nerves and it was only towards the very, very end of that interview that he was actually able to settle down enough, um, to stop that nervous shaking.

[00:06:34] I feel as though if he had have been able to take a little bit of time before that interview to calm himself down and center himself and ground himself, that he may have been able to present himself, uh, a little bit more confidently when it came to that interview. I always think of that example whenever I think about interview nerves.

[00:06:52] So there are lots of different options. You know, I already mentioned meditation. It could be that you decide to listen to some music that you really enjoy. [00:07:00] Perhaps you need to distract yourself, so you want to give your friend a call. It might be that you do want to go for a short walk around the block just to clear your head and get the blood pumping.

[00:07:11] You might wanna try something like, Emotional Freedom technique, which is also known as tapping, can be a really great way to move some of that nervous energy out of your body. You may want to work with a coach prior to your interview to do some neurolinguistic programming to help you actually change the way that your mind and your body respond to nerves, or to change the way that the nerves present themselves in the first place. There are lots of different things that you can do, but it’s important that you find the thing that’s going to work for you.

[00:07:43] I love to share lots of different ideas and strategies about this, but sometimes, you know, people do look at me and think that I’m a little bit crazy when I tell. They should go Amy Cuddy style and do a power pose in the bathroom in the mirror before their [00:08:00] interview. If you haven’t watched Amy Cuddy’s Ted talk on the way that your body language shapes who you are, I highly, highly encourage it. I think it’s one of the most watched Ted Talks of all time, and I definitely think that it is a really cool way to just change your state and get into a different mood.

[00:08:22] What I would suggest is just try it. Have a go. See what works for you, see what you respond really well to, and just know yourself. Just trust yourself. But really just making sure that you are giving yourself that opportunity, a bit of extra time before your interview so that you can tick some of these things off the list and walk into your interview feeling a lot more confident and a lot more empowered.

[00:08:49] I would always suggest that if you can take the morning off before your interview, you know, make it a little bit easier for yourself so that you aren’t going to be rushing around. [00:09:00] And it’s not to say that you’re giving yourself more time to sit around and stress about what’s to come, but it does mean that you can just give yourself a little bit more of that self-compassion or self-care, a little bit of a confidence boost whatever it means for you, and make sure that you are then presenting in the way that you want to present during an interview.

[00:09:21] Have a fantastic week and I will check you in the next episode.

[00:09:25] Thanks so much for listening to the Pop Your Career podcast. I hope that you’ve enjoyed today’s tips and that you found value in what I’ve shared with you. If you like your career advice quick and entertaining, I would love for you to subscribe. Also leave me a rating and a review. If you wanna continue the conversation, come and join me over on social media. You can find me everywhere at Pop Your Career. I’ll see you soon.


About the author 


Bec McFarland is an experienced HR practitioner, manager, career coach and the creator of Pop Your Career. She delights in sharing practical, straight to the point career advice, spending time with her family and eating Mexican food.