Top Tips to Remain Calm In An Interview

Posted by GradConnection

Interviews, whether virtual or in-person, can be one of the most nerve-wracking parts of the graduate recruitment process. We try to make it a little less daunting by breaking it down in this article below!  

Helpful Reminder – It's Just a Conversation! 

Mindset can truly make all the difference when going into an interview! One tip is to remember to put things into perspective. Try treating the interview as just another conversation between you and another person – you're just there to introduce yourself and learn more about their company! To further help take away the sense of assessment, think of the interview as just another form of practice – even if you don’t get the position, you’ve got one more experience of talking to a different person and company under your belt.   

Practice Makes Perfect 

Speaking of practice, it’s a good idea to do a mock interview before the real thing, either with yourself or helpful friend/family member and record it. That way you can see any verbal or physical ticks you may be unaware of that come up when you’re nervous. e.g. bouncing your knees up and down.  

Buying Time 

Sometimes you just need those extra seconds to gather your thoughts for an answer. Some common techniques to stall include taking a sip of water or repeating the question/rephrasing the question at the beginning of your answer.  

  • Q: Where do you see yourself in 5 years?  
  • A: Where do I see myself in 5 years? In 5 years I hope to see myself.... 

Here some other phrases you can keep handy and pull out when needed: 

  • “Let me think about that one...” 
  • “That's an interesting question...” 
  • “I need a moment to think about that one...” 

Making Mistakes is A-OK 

If you really do make a mistake while answering a question – that's ok! Acknowledge it, own up and politely ask the interviewer whether you can try answering it again. Similarly, if you are super nervous, you can choose to verbalise it to the interviewer e.g. “Look, I’m super nervous about this interview because it’s really important to me. Can I take a few moments to just shake the nerves out?” Chances are, they’ll be gracious about it, impressed by your honesty and glad that you’ve broken the ice!  

Finally, if you require special considerations, be sure to let the interviewer know up front - the company will likely be more than happy to accommodate and make any arrangements required for alternative assessments. 

Handy Resources 

To head in fully prepared, check out our other articles,  The Ultimate Guide for Interview Preparation and 20 of the Most Common Questions asked in Interviews. 


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