Girl laughing in interview

Ideally, you want to banish those pre-interview-jitters, so that you can shine in your interviews and get the graduate job that you deserve. So don't worry, we are here to help as there are plenty of ways to help you calm those nerves

A lot of other posts on this topic share last-minute tips on reducing nerves right before your interview. However, implementing last-minute tips do not tackle the root of the problem. We will share some expertise on how to confidently articulate your skills and the value you can bring to employers. This will help you to stand out and leave the right impression.

So without further ado, let’s get started. 


How to get rid of nerves before an interview 

As the founder of Graduate Coach, the UK’s leading graduate coaching company, I have helped 500+ students and graduates to land a graduate-level job at great companies. I recently commissioned some research in collaboration with CV-Library. Our study involved 1500 graduates, and we wanted to gain a deeper understanding of what areas of the graduate recruitment process they struggled with the most. 

The findings revealed that 85% of the graduates said they find interviews difficult and nerve-wracking. 

So if you feel as though interview nerves have been holding you back, you are not alone. Furthermore, you’ve probably never had adequate interview training before, so don’t beat yourself up if you do feel this way. 


#1: Don’t just spend 36 minutes preparing for your interview 

Surprisingly, people only spend on average, 36 minutes preparing for their interview. 

This is not enough time to adequately prepare. 

When you step into that interview room, you need to know as much as possible about the industry, company and the role that you have applied for. Going into the interview knowing that you are prepared well will help to:

-Boost your confidence. If you don’t exude confidence in yourself, how can you expect the interviewer to have confidence in you? 

-Improve your ability to respond to the questions with excellent answers that demonstrate your ability to thrive in the role and at the company. 

-Ask great questions during the interview that shows the interviewer that you are genuinely interested in the position. 

Key Takeaway: The more prepared you are for your interview, the less nervous you will feel. This is because you will go into the interview knowing what to expect and exactly what you need to demonstrate to the interviewer. 


#2: Understand the skills required for the role

This will be a part of your preparation, but it deserves a point of its own to emphasize its importance. 

No matter what graduate job you apply for, all graduate employers will be looking for the following key skills: 

1: Communication

2: Teamwork

3: Organising and planning

4: Problem-solving

5: Professionalism 

6: Working on your own initiative 

During the interview, you’ll be asked competency-based questions to assess the required skills above. On top of these skills, there may be additional skills that are specific to the role that you are applying for that you’ll need to demonstrate. 

These additional skills will be listed on the job description, so make sure that you read through the job description carefully. 

Key Takeaway: Understanding the skills required of you will help you to strategically prepare answers for the questions that are most likely to come up in the interview. Again, the more prepared you are, the less nervous you’ll feel. 


#3: Take every opportunity to practice 

Practise makes perfect! 

Now, of course, you will need to practice answering interview questions. To do this, you might find it useful if you ask you, family and friends, to do mock interviews with you. 

However, nothing beats the real thing. 

Don’t turn down interview opportunities. Attend all of the interviews you get invited to so that you can refine your interview technique. 

After every interview, request feedback on your performance. Make note of the feedback and take it on board for your next interview. 

Key Takeaway: Don’t overlook practicing answering interview questions out loud, without your notes. Also, attend all the interviews you get invited to so that you can practise and get feedback. 


Implementing these tips will help you to get rid of nerves before your interviews. I hope this post highlights the importance of being adequately prepared for your interviews and the role confidence plays in interview performance. 

If you have lost your confidence as a result of failing interviews, check out this blog post. But, good luck and remember, rejection is a very common thing which everyone goes through! 

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