How to deal with pre-interview nerves

It’s normal to experience anxiety prior to an interview. However, as these suggestions demonstrate, you can learn to control your pre-interview anxiety and channel them into something beneficial by doing your research and adopting the proper attitude.

Practice Makes Perfect

practicing your responses to interview questions out loud a few times, first with and then without notes. You’ll feel less anxious the more comfortable you are with the content you have studied.

Invite a trustworthy friend, family member, or coworker to participate in some mock interviews with you. Select a person who will be trustworthy, kind, and supportive. They can provide you with priceless feedback on what you did right and point out any areas where you could have done better. You can distinguish between legitimate areas for growth and bogus insecurities with the aid of constructive criticism.


Uncertainty about the interview process is a major source of anxiety. If you know you’re well-prepared, you’ll feel much more confident and have a higher chance of keeping those anxieties under control.

There are various formats for research. Naturally, you’ll want to make sure that you thoroughly investigate your possible employer, that you are aware of how your qualifications match the particular position, and that your resume is flawless. Additionally, you should practice responses to potential tough questions, ranging from the extremely technical to the competency-based.

It will also be beneficial if you have some inquiries of your own prepared. You may also see if anyone has provided details about the interview procedure and the kinds of questions posed by looking for the employer on websites like Glassdoor.

But be careful not to take yourself too seriously. If you try to recall remarks and responses word for word, you can be confused if a question is posed in a different style or the interview takes a slightly different approach. Instead, consider keywords and themes, and practice responding to various questions on related subjects.

Avoid thinking about a question you’re really nervous about and hope it never comes up instead because that will only give you more anxiety. Instead, confront it head-on by planning your best course of action and consulting your peers for guidance.

Understand where the interview is

Confidence in the interview-going process is another aspect of preparation. To avoid stress on the day of the interview, research the location of the interview as much as you can and make travel arrangements well in advance.

If you’re worried about finding the location, you could even want to conduct a dry run, especially if, for example, the destination has multiple entrances and buildings.

Check to see if there are any documentation you need to print out and pack in advance. Prepare everything in advance to avoid having extra worries on the big day.

Be aware of who you’re meeting.

Additionally, learning who they are and how many people you’re likely to meet will help you feel less anxious. For instance, the method you prepare can change depending on whether it’s a one-on-one meeting or a panel style. Additionally, by learning a little bit about the individuals you’ll be seeing, such as by glancing at their LinkedIn profiles, you may get a sense of the kinds of questions they’re likely to ask as well as come up with topics for engaging small chat that can help you establish a rapport.

Get to know what to wear early

Make sure you choose your clothes well in advance and that it is clean and pressed. Even though you might want to wear something new, be sure it is not excessively constricting or uncomfortable. You don’t want to worry on the big day about a shirt with a painfully constricting top button or a pair of brand-new shoes. Ideally, choose a look that is both stylish and cozy.

Justify your anxieties

If you have any unfavorable ideas about the interview, such as “I’m not experienced enough for this role,” try to identify them and refute them by saying, “I have valuable experience from my time working at X.”

Remind yourself that if the company didn’t think you were a good fit for the position, they wouldn’t have invited you to the interview. You’ve already surpassed the first, extremely difficult hurdle since your potential employer already believes you are qualified enough to have contacted you for an interview – ahead of dozens or even hundreds of others.

Put it all into perspective
When you’re anxious, everything appears hard and intimidating. It can be tempting to think of your interviewer, for instance, as a merciless auditor who only wants to expose you.

Putting this in perspective can help you become more composed. Remember that the person conducting your interview is merely a fellow person. Additionally, since they need to fill a position and are likely judged on the caliber of their recruits, it is in their best interest to get to know you and help you present yourself in the best possible light. They will be eager to put you at ease because they are used to seeing other people feel anxious.

It’s crucial to avoid placing too much pressure on oneself. Of course you desire this.

Get that self-talk on!

The language we use to speak to ourselves can have a significant impact on our beliefs and behaviors, psychologists and therapists tell us. Therefore, changing negative ideas into positive ones can have a significant impact.

Saying, “I have to do some interview prep today,” for instance, sounds as though someone else is pressuring you to do it. Instead, say, “I want to get ahead on my prep tonight,” which sounds as though you are actively embracing the decision. Why not start saying, “I’m so enthusiastic about the interview,” instead of, “I’m so nervous about the interview?”

Imagine how you will feel after the interview is complete. This is another method for thinking positively. Plan a special treat for the evening so you have something to look forward to, such a drink with a friend or partner so you can relax and discuss what happened.

Relax, avoid last minute cramping

Make an effort to avoid cramming the night before the interview. Do something enjoyable and pleasant instead. Meeting up with a fun friend who usually makes you laugh or watching a low-stress movie that always makes you feel good can help lower levels of stress hormones and anxiety.

Alternately, if you find that time alone gives you more energy, spend it reading a nice book and taking a relaxing bath. Take any action that relaxes you.

Avoid late-night caffeine use to improve your chances of getting a restful night’s sleep.

On the day of your interview, rise early. Give yourself plenty of time to prepare; rushing about will just make you anxious. Run a short distance or engage in another form of exercise to help you release any tension.

Have a filling breakfast, such as porridge or a poached egg on whole-wheat bread, that will keep you going without making you feel drowsy. Take a few bananas with you and nibble on one when you can if you’ve lost your appetite. If you can, try to limit your caffeine intake because it might make you jittery and uneasy.

Leave early enough to arrive at the interview, and while traveling, listen to some calming or uplifting music to energize you.


Being relaxed and having that feeling of being in control will influence hugely how your interview will turn out. Therefore it is only highly advisable to avoid anything that may compromise the two factors. Also its only good to indulge in anything that with anything that will boost the two factors whether is cutting that edge by making a conversation with your fellow candidate or receptionist.

Struggling with any aspect of going up that career ladder whether it is interviews, not sure what to put down in your CV, we do offer a career clinic every last Wednesday of the month at our offices in Blixen Court, Karen, Nairobi. To book a spot email with the subject Career Clinic.