Here are some tips to help you deal with interview apprehension:
1. Speak slowly and clearly.
Don’t feel obligated to rush your answers. Take slow, deep breaths during pauses to calm yourself and lower your heart rate. Careful, thoughtful breathing can consistently slow you down while you speak, helping prevent stuttering. It will also help you think clearly while you converse.
2. Stop your voice from shaking.
As an interview warm-up, stick out your tongue as far as you can and sing the Humpty Dumpty rhyme out loud. It may look and sound weird, but doing this helps open the back of your throat, allowing you to sound more confident with more authority. (Obviously, you should always do this before the interview and not in front of the recruiter.)
3. Stand up while waiting.
If you are offered a seat before an interview, don’t take it. Remaining standing as you wait to shake the interviewer’s hand can make you appear more confident. And if for some reason you struggle to get out of a chair, you can avoid a potentially awkward first impression.
4. Find your best sitting position.
Don’t trust the back of the interview chair; you may end up leaning too far back, which can lead to your throat tightening (or worse, a chair mishap). Slightly lean forward as you sit to appear more dynamic.
5. Show your hands.
Make your hands visible on the table in front of you rather than hiding them under the table. Showing your hands is a sign of honesty and respect.
6. Make the other person feel special.
Don’t try too hard in the interview. Be interested in what the interviewer has to say, and ask questions as much as you can. Doing this shows that you’re genuinely interested in the job you are applying for.
To prevent answering the wrong question, listen. Listening will slow down any potential fight or flight response and make the recruiter feel special. Listening demonstrates that you value the recruiter’s questions and insights.
8. Use your own voice.
Don’t use your formal public speaking voice. Use your natural voice, as if you were talking with a group of friends. This is another element of authenticity, and will help you answer the questions confidently.
9. Be yourself.
Use the vocabulary you normally use when in conversation with the interviewer. This will help you come across as relaxed, real and confident during the interview.
All these tips should be a great help to those who struggle with interview anxiety.