5 Minute Read

Interview stress is extremely common, and in all honesty, everyone is likely to experience it at one time or another in their life. At it's worst it can prevent you from getting the job you desperately want.

It's completely understandable when you stand back to appreciate how important a job interview actually is.  

This is your opportunity to advance your career. However, the hiring manager or interview panel must be convinced about you and your  potential value to the organisation. Its a really high pressure situation.

With many of us lacking confidence and self-esteem or the ability to blow our own trumpet, interviews aren’t always a walk in the park. 

At Lucy Walker Recruitment, we appreciate and can relate what you might be going through. Consequently, here are our suggestions and tips from over 30 years of experience working with candidates on how to calm those interview nerves. 


1. Work with a Professional Recruitment Consultancy

As a job seeker, you don’t pay a fee to us, your future employer does. It’s our job to match you with an organisation where you both fit well together.

This alone can remove untold stress for you. 

For example, some of our clients have been working with us for years, read a small sample of our case studies here. 

What that means for you is that we know them all exceptionally well and understand what your potential new employer is looking for from the successful candidates  so you aren't walking into the unknown. We will be able to advise you on the individuals involved, the type of questions they may ask and how previous successful candidates have been able to secure roles within the organisation. This insider information can be key!

Our consultants have many years of experience between them and are expertly trained to help people like you control their nerves, so they can communicate the value job seekers can potentially bring to a business. 


2. Be Thoroughly Prepared 


Preparation is the Key


Preparation is Key!

It’s a time-tested strategy that can get forgotten. I was listening to an interview on the radio recently by a well-known sports personality. 

The interviewer asked about her preparation for the up and coming event and what she thought her chances were. Her response is worth writing down. “I am thoroughly prepared, I have done the work and know what I need to do. It’s a case of showing up; I’m ready.” 

I think this statement sums it up well; don’t you? 

Thorough preparation can go a long way towards minimising interview stress. Identify your most relevant skills, and be ready to share examples or anecdotes showing how you applied those strengths to your work and the results they achieved for you.

Your recruitment consultant will be able to help with your knowledge of the Company and  the role in question. However, don’t let this stop you researching your interviewer and their organisation thoroughly and be prepared to share why the employer and job in focus match your interests and aspirations.  

Preparation must also include developing your own answers to the most common interview questions. Not sure what they are? Then read our post here. 

This leads me to something else that many of our candidates find very important. 


3. Role Play Works! 


Practice makes Perfect


The adage "practice makes perfect" applies to interviewing.

The more familiar interviewing feels to you, the less anxiety you will feel with the process.  

In training circles, the suggestion is to practice at least 7 times when it comes to presentations so that you deliver a polished presentation. It’s the same in interviews. This way your responses become automatic in a confident assured way; Honestly, you will be astounded how well this can work. 

Ask your significant other, your parents (they can often be the toughest audience you'll ever have) or best friends for their support as someone to practise with and get them to ask you relevant questions. These suggestions will help boost your confidence, and their power is well documented.


Serious about Your Career? Why not download our Career Checklist here


4. Visualise and Focus on Success 

Focus on what it is that you want to happen!

The brain doesn’t know the difference between a real and an imagined event. You will have heard many stories about how athletes and business people use this technique;

Why? Because it works. 

One other point to remember is that if you don't get this job, there will be another one. It just wasn't meant to me. Consider it a learning experience and move forward to the next opportunity.


5. Prepare Mentally and Physically 


Feel Good


Feeling good about yourself is critical.

How do we do this? Well mental and physical preparation helps to get us in this mindset.

Firstly a good night’s sleep works wonders for all of us, as does a new haircut or outfit. It doesn’t matter whether you are male or female, wear something that you feel good in and enjoy wearing. It is astonishing how dressed in a favourite outfit our confidence can soar. 

Also consider relaxation techniques, such as progressive muscle relaxation or breathing exercises as a way to manage any anxiety you may encounter. If your anxiety around interviewing is excessive, then you might consider engaging a psychologist to identify the underlying issues and helping you to develop effective coping strategies you can use.


6. Plan the Journey 


Plan the journey


There is nothing worse than being in a panic because of miscalculated travel plans. You wouldn’t be the first candidate to carry out a ‘dry run’ to the companies’ head office or location and the best car park ahead of time. We thoroughly recommend this to all our candidates in our interview preparation.  

Being late creates stress, however being in place and ready to give of your best being totally prepared is another thing altogether. 


7. Remember


Interviewers are human too and will be aware that this is a high stress situation for many people so will be keen to put you at ease so you can perform to your optimum. If they don't, you will probably reflect and think its not an organisation you would want to work at anyway...

Approach the interview on a level footing as a conversation, not an interrogation of you. Its as much about you discovering if you like what you hear and see and want to work for them as it is them interviewing you so believe in yourself and remember this throughout the interview.


Ready to move organisations now? We have placed and filled over 100,000 temp and permanent assignments over the last 30 years so have a range of techniques, ideas and platforms which could help you. Why not call us on 0113 367 2880 to have a conversation with one of our team. Alternatively drop us an email here or check out our Testimonials and Case Studies.

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About the Author: Lucy Walker

Lucy Walker is the founder and Managing Director at Lucy Walker Recruitment.Lucy has an extensive knowledge of the issues and workings of the West Yorkshire and Greater Manchester Commercial markets developed over 25 years in the profession