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Managing interview nerves and your inner gremlin

Through providing successful interview coaching to hundreds of candidates across many sectors and at all levels I know that there are three keys to managing interview nerves and harnessing that little adrenalin rush that all candidates get to really make it work for you and not hinder your performance.

When you can be absolutely prepared and have your inner gremlin completely on the leash and you remember to breathe you will perform at your best.

Preparation, preparation and more preparation

Research the company

Find out as much as you can about the company and the department you will be working within. Check their website and social media profiles, review news releases and connect with people in the company who can give you some insight. This will give you an inside perspective which is always very valuable.

Know the job description and criteria inside out

Make sure that you are absolutely familiar with the written information on the role and how you can demonstrate meeting the person specification/essential criteria.

The job role will have all the clues for possible interview questions and so go through it in detail and make sure you understand the requirement of every point and how you will demonstrate experience and competency for them.

Know who is on the panel and what the interview process is

Knowing who is interviewing you, their position and interest can be very valuable so do attempt to gain insight into your panel members. Also, be very clear on the interview process; is there a presentation or test? Are the questions competency or non competency based. Be clear so that you can be fully prepared for all eventualities.

Managing the Gremlin!

Now, you also need to sort out the inner Gremlin, that little voice inside your head who will be telling you that you are rubbish at interviews and will be sure to make a mess of this one.

How we talk about ourselves out loud and within our heads has a very important effect on the feelings we create for ourselves and then the way we perform at interview. Our internal voice can be helpful when we remind ourselves to do things or caution ourselves about real danger.

Unfortunately most of us have got in the habit of using our internal voice to berate ourselves on failings and fear “You will say something stupid”, “I just know I’m going to blow it”.. This negative self talk will affect nerves and your belief in being able to deliver a good performance.

Your mind is one area where you have complete control and you need to grapple with and control that Gremlin and make sure that all your internal commentary is positive and encouraging about your interview performed “I can do it”  “I’m preparing for a brilliant interview” will be much more useful self talk to master.

Remember to breath

Finally, it is really important to control your breathing at times of stress or anxiety as this is the time when you are most likely to over breathe causing increased tension. Over breathing causes too much Oxygen to enter the blood stream which upsets the required Carbon Dioxide/Oxygen Balance.

This can cause tingling, faintness, shortness of breath, fatigue, tension and panic. Be aware of your breathing and inhale for the count of five, hold for five and exhale for the count of five. Repeat this five times.

This will slow your breathing, creating a more relaxed feeling and by focusing on your breathing you also distract yourself from any negative thoughts you may be having.

If you feel you need a little extra help, then Interview Coaching with a professional Career Coach will help you master preparation, manage the Gremlin and practice Breathing. All this will help you harness nerves and exploit them for a more confident interview performance.

Do you want to know more about charisma, interview tips and job market solutions? Contact Niamh Shiells for help with Career Progression, CV’s, Applications and Interview Preparation at or Facebook:

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Posted by on Mar 29 2013. Filed under Business, Features, Jobs & Careers. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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