15 Ways to Calm Your Job Interview Nerves


David Em

Relaxation Hero may earn a commission on purchases made from affiliate links on this page.

The interview is a significant step in the employee selection process. Learn how to calm your job interview nerves to do well.

Two people shaking hands during an interview.
Photo by David Em/Relaxation Hero.

Your application is the first step of the new job process. Once you get an interview, you have a chance to make a good impression.

While knowing details about the role is essential, so is performing well.

If you want to interview well, you must be calm and confident.

The following teaches you several ways to calm your job interview nerves.

Related: Positive Affirmations for Anxiety

1. Close your eyes and breathe

One of the fastest ways to relax is to close your eyes and breathe.

The 4-7-8 breathing method is a classic and works well.

Inhale for four seconds, hold your breath for seven seconds and take eight seconds to exhale.

4-7-8 breathing method to calm job interview nerves.
Photo by David Em/Relaxation Hero.

It’s also essential to close your eyes because it removes distractions.

You can use the technique anywhere. So, try it the next time you feel the job interview nerves.

2. Call an uplifting or funny friend

When you’re nervous before an interview, find positivity and laughter.

You can do this by calling an uplifting and funny friend.

They can boost your mood, give you confidence, and help you relax before your interview.

You can always rely on a good friend for a pre-interview pep talk.

3. Listen to music

Music is an excellent way to make you feel better.

So, turn on your favorite playlist to calm your job interview nerves.

You can play upbeat songs or those with a slow tempo.

As long as it makes you feel calm, happy, and positive, it’s the perfect song.

If you don’t know what to listen to, classical and jazz are excellent genres.

4. Take a walk outside

Walking and getting fresh air is an excellent combination for calming down.

If you have time before an interview, walk around the area. It’ll relax and prepare you well for it.

Walking also releases endorphins. So, your mind and body will feel better after it.

5. Give yourself a pep talk

Positive self-talk or pep talks provide motivation and reassurance from within.

You can say it out loud or think it. During your self-talk, be specific and focus on positive language.

Talk about why you’re qualified for the job to boost your confidence.

A pep talk from yourself will reassure and relax you before your interview.

6. Make post-interview plans

Regardless of how the interview goes, celebrate your effort after.

You can treat yourself to a coffee or meal. You can also go out with friends.

The benefit of making plans is that you can look forward to something.

It can encourage you to relax and do your best. Then, you can take your mind off the interview as soon as it’s over.

7. Put it all in perspective

Not doing well in the interview may seem like the end, but it’s not.

Other jobs may be a better fit. You may also get better opportunities like a shorter commute, a higher position, or more pay.

By changing your perspective, you can relieve the job interview nerves.

It takes off the pressure and keeps you calm and confident.

8. Look your best

Confidence is essential for job interviews. One of the best ways to ensure you’re calm and confident is to look your best.

When choosing an interview outfit, dress for the work environment.

You can check the company website or call the recruiter to learn about the dress code.

A good rule of thumb is to dress for the position above the one you’re interviewing for.

Aside from your clothes, clean your teeth and freshen your breath.

It removes all worries about how you look. It allows you to relax and be optimistic.

9. Prepare and practice

Fear comes from the unknown. The lack of preparation will cause you to be anxious and afraid.

So, take time before the interview to prepare and practice.

Learn about the role, company, and interviewers. Then, practice answering potential questions.

Review common interview questions and look for possible ones related to the job.

It’s an excellent way to walk in without the job interview nerves.

Your confidence comes from practice and preparation.

10. Use confident body language

Body language is a type of non-verbal communication.

If you’re nervous, confident body language can help you feel better. It also ensures you don’t look like it in front of others.

So, keep your chin up, have good posture, make eye contact, and mirror others.

11. Think of the interview as a conversation

Interviews are official and impact your future. It’s part of the reason you get job interview nerves.

Change the way you think about it. Instead of it being one-sided, remember that it’s a conversation.

While you must answer the questions, you can also ask questions.

It’s a conversation, not an interrogation.

12. Slow down your rate of speech

Talking too fast can lead to confusion and anxiety. It also makes you look nervous.

One of the best ways to calm down is to slow down your rate of speech.

It makes you more thoughtful and appear more confident.

Also, you can use pauses to make your remarks more powerful.

Slowing down prevents you from stumbling on your words and getting out of breath.

13. Think about the worst-case scenario

Think about your biggest fear with the interview. What’s the worst that can happen?

By acknowledging the worst-case scenario, you can get out of your head.

It ensures that you can handle the worst thing that can happen in the interview.

Thinking about how to deal with the worst-case scenario can reduce anxiety. It also makes you feel competent.

14. Plan your day around the interview

The interview should be the main event of the day. Plan everything else around your interview.

It ensures you’re not rushing to the interview location.

It also allows you to prepare nutritious meals, drink plenty of water, and get enough rest.

Do everything possible to reduce stress and anxiety before and on the interview day.

15. Do power poses

Power posing can impact your confidence. Take two minutes to hold a power pose.

The following are different power poses to try:

  • Victory: Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart and raise your hands in celebration.
  • Wonder Woman: Stand with your feet apart, place your hands on your hips, and tilt your chin up.
  • Wide Stance: Stand with your feet beyond shoulder-width apart and keep your hands along your hips.
Three people standing in power poses.
Photo by David Em/Relaxation Hero.

The purpose of power posing is to make you feel strength and confidence.

Both feelings will help you relax the job interview nerves.

Final thoughts

It’s normal to get nervous before a job interview.

You may be anxious because the hiring manager’s intimidating. You also don’t want to lose the opportunity.

So, use the methods to calm your job interview nerves.

Breathing exercises, inspiration, and talking with friends are effective techniques.

Related: How to Practice Mindfulness

Featured image by David Em/Relaxation Hero.

David Em.

David Em

David Em is the Founder of Relaxation Hero. He created this site to provide tips and resources to help you relax. Outside of Relaxation Hero, David is the CEO of Everyone Media Group. He also enjoys hiking, running, and traveling.