Simple strategies to help calm your interview nerves

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While some people seem to be able to handle interviews with the same essence of ‘cool and calm’ you’d expect to encounter on any other day, others can feel like the whole world is imploding and would prefer to curl up in the foetal position on the floor than attempt to get through an interview.
If you’re one of the latter type that struggles with interview anxiety, the good news is that there are plenty of simple things you can do that could make a world of difference to how you feel when you walk into the interview room.

Next time you’re preparing for an interview, try out these simple strategies that can help to keep your nerves at bay so you can let your true value shine through.

Practice makes perfect

Think you know your stuff? It’s amazing how easily interview nerves can make you stumble on your words and hinder you from getting your message across.
The key here is practice.
Do a few Google searches to find some examples of interview questions that are likely to come up during an interview for the type of role you’re going for, and decide what you want to include in your response. Then put yourself to the test in front of a mirror to see how confidently you can answer them.

If you trip up on your answers, don’t despair: this is your opportunity to workshop your responses and get used to communicating them clearly. What you’ll find is that the more you practice, the easier you’ll find it’ll be to reel off your answers without missing a beat.

Prepare a ‘cheat sheet’

In the lead up to an interview, you don’t want to be worrying about all the little details. Putting together a ‘cheat sheet’ that you can quickly skim over before you walk into the interview room will make sure everything is fresh in your mind and that you’re prepared for what’s coming.
Here are some examples of things you might want to include:
  • the names and titles of the people that will be interviewing you (if you know them)
  • why you want the role
  • your most relevant skills/experience
  • examples of challenging situations you’ve had to overcome in the past
  • what you can bring to the dealership
  • some questions you want to ask about the role or dealership
  • anything else you think could be of value.

Set yourself up for success

Ever noticed that you tend to perform best when you’re feeling strong and healthy? If you’re struggling with nerves, making a conscious effort to take care of your health in the lead up to the interview can work wonders in helping you to overcome your nerves.

Here are some simple things you can do to ensure you’re in the best physical state come interview time:

  • ensure you get a good night’s sleep
  • do a light workout on the morning of the interview
  • drink lots of water
  • try not to overdo the caffeine
  • give yourself plenty of brainpower by making healthy food choices that will load you up with valuable nutrients and antioxidants

Fake it till you make it

Whether you’re applying for a role as a Sales Consultant or a Workshop Manager, it’s well worth putting some extra effort into your presentation to ensure you look the part. It’ll give you an extra boost of confidence and show the interviewers that you’re serious about the role and want to make a good impression.

And of course – remember to smile! Even if you’re feeling all the nerves in the world, a simple smile will instantly disguise them.

Simple strategies to help calm your interview nerves

Arrive early and take some time to ‘get in the zone’

Rushing to make it to your interview in time and arriving flustered is guaranteed to throw you off your game and further ignite your nerves. Instead, overestimate your travel time to ensure you arrive with plenty of time to spare.
Then, use that time to ‘get in the zone’ by doing something like:
  • taking a walk around the block while listening to your favourite uplifting tracks
  • finding a park bench and practising some deep breathing exercises
  • grabbing a juice or coffee at a local cafe and exercising some mindfulness: observe and acknowledge how your body is feeling, and rather than letting those feelings overwhelm you, make an active decision to proceed with the intention of absorbing those feelings into your actions. It can leave you feeling surprisingly empowered!

Remember that you’re interviewing them too

It’s easy to feel like your skills and experience are under the spotlight during an interview, and even while they are to a certain degree, it’s important to remember that the interview is also your chance to assess if the dealership is right for you. After all, you might find that what seems like your dream job on paper isn’t what you’re actually looking for.

Flipping the conversation in your mind can remove some of the pressure and help you feel like you have more control over the situation.

Put things into perspective

Fear is possibly the most debilitating of the human emotions, and for some, interviews are a sure-fire way to ignite plenty of it: a fear of messing up, of saying the wrong thing, of bombing out.
While these fears are valid, it can be helpful to put them into perspective. What’s the worst thing that could really happen if you don’t perform as well as you’d like to?

Even if you really want to land the role, the reality is that the world isn’t going to end if you don’t. While yes, initially it may not feel great if you don’t deliver a great interview, life will go on. You’ll keep chugging along, and in time, another great opportunity will be sure to come along and you’ll have another chance to show what you can really do.

Teamrecruit is Australia’s most established recruitment agency specialising in truck, earthmoving and agricultural machinery dealerships in Australia, New Zealand, the South Pacific and Southeast Asia. Find out more about Teamrecruit and how we support employers and candidates in the dealership industry.

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