Do interviewers expect you to be nervous?
23rd Jun 2017
For some of us, it’s something we can’t control. We are nervous when it comes to important things we care about or possibly even more anxious when we are put under a spotlight. An interview could mean paying next months bills, a big promotion or even getting your dream job. Pinpointing what is causing your anxiety may help you calm or control your nervous jitters. As we all know these can affect us in different ways, either affecting our speech, train of thought or even physical shakes.
What Interviewers think when they see a nervous candidate
Firstly, they are human, their first instinct would be to calm you down without mentioning that you’re nervous. Obviously, this depends on the scale of how visibly nervous you are. This is why small talk is quite important to make you feel like you’re speaking in a friendly conversation than being scrutinised as soon as you walk in. It will help you relax and feel more comfortable.
Secondly, it shows you care, you’re interested in the job and it’s quite an endearing quality in people. We are emotional creatures and it’s nice to see you’re not a robot. But, it’s important to try and keep your nerves under control.
Thirdly, let’s say they notice you’re nervous. How much of what you’re saying or analysing the way you’re acting is being put down to nerves? I’m not saying mask the nerves, as you’ll just constantly think about them. Ensure you’ve practised your answers and are listening more than thinking in your head this will calm down your anxiety naturally.
What’s the problem with being nervous in an interview?
You can look uncomfortable when you succumb to nerves. A little bit of nervousness won’t hurt, but a lot could damage your performance, therefore, cost you chances of getting the job. How to present yourself as either an extrovert or introvert in an interview can be important. Especially depending on the type of job you're applying for. What personality would an interviewer be looking for if they were hiring someone for this role?
Of course, your recruiter has prepared you for what’s to come. You just need to come across in the right way with the right answers. Easier said than done, I’m sure!
An interviewer should not hire you just because you’re nervous. Although it’s an obvious problem if you’re applying to be a public speaker or a manager in HR. These jobs need to you be quick on your feet, confident. Even more important, able to handle stressful situations in HR roles.
How to control your nerves in an interview
I’m a very nervous person when it comes to public speaking, but in an interview, I’m not too bad. It’s just a conversation with another person, just like any business meeting would be.
Essential my number 1 tip is: think of the interview as you’re both trying to find out information. You’re trying to find out more about the company and the role, to see whether you would fit in well. While the Interviewer is trying to find out more about you and if you’re competent enough to fill the vacancy.
Channel your nerves to raise your performance – many top sports stars will talk about how being nervous before a big event or game can help them improve how they perform. Remember - It’s not just a one-way conversation.
Listen to the whole question rather than thinking about how you are going to answer the first part of the question you hear.
Interviewers expect you to be nervous and should usually give you a chance to get yourself together if needed!
Finally, take a deep breath before answering your first question so you don’t blurt out your answer. Try to ensure you’re providing structured answers and not rambling.
If you’re currently looking for a job or need professional advice from an experienced recruiter, please click one of the links below.
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