Five Interviewing Tips (That You Might Not Normally Consider)

Interviewing is difficult at the best of times, and can be impossible if you struggle with nervousness or stage fright. Trying to showcase your best abilities while also stopping your hands from shaking is a daunting task, but there are ways to decrease your nerves and put your best foot forward in job interviews, several of which many people don’t think of.

  1. Stand while you’re waiting. This may not work, especially if you’re waiting for a while, but standing up does two things. First, it opens up your diaphragm for better air flow, which will help to slow your breathing if you tend to hyperventilate. It also means that you don’t have to stand to greet your interviewer; you’ll already be standing, and be ready to offer them a smile and your best handshake.
  2. Don’t you know, everyone wants to laugh? I have borrowed this line from the musical “Singing in the Rain,” but it applies here. If you can manage it, make the interviewer laugh. Chances are the hiring manager enjoys interviewing people about as much as you like being interviewed, so lighten the mood by showing off your sense of humor. Don’t force it, but don’t be overly somber either.
  3. Use your hands. Weirdly enough, seeing a person’s hands encourages more trust in that person. If you have a tendency to talk with your hands, this is good news for you, but even if not you can fold your hands on top of the table or desk rather than beneath it. Nervous because your hands are shaking? Clench the muscles in your legs. This will prevent shaking, and help you sit up straighter. If this isn’t comfortable for you, don’t be afraid to practice. At Career Solutions Group, we have our clients run through a practice interview before they start doing the real thing.
  4. Breathe through your nose. If you’ve ever played an instrument or done meditation, you already know how to do this. Take deep breaths in through your nose and fill your diaphragm before releasing it slowly. Imagine your lungs are a bellows (for a fireplace), and breathe deeply. Avoid shallow breathing: this can lead to hyperventilation and possible fainting.
  5. Bring your security blanket. This is not an actual blanket. What I mean is a one page document that you actually bring into the interview with you. On it, you list three to five relevant accomplishments from you prior experience. If you’re panicking, or your mind goes blank, you can refer to it for prompts to answer questions. That way, even if your nerves do get the better of you, you’ll have a safety net in which to fall.

Remember, ultimately the interview is not about you, it’s about the company. The interviewer is trying to judge whether your skills would be a good fit for the company. The interview is less a reflection of you, and more a reflection of whether you can click well with this particular company. If you present yourself well and work to make a good impression, you’ve already accomplished a lot of what interviewing is all about.

Are you thinking of making a career change, but uncertain where to begin? Worried you won’t be able to find a job that makes your life better? Consider contacting Career Solutions Group at We have helped hundreds of job seekers uncover their passion and make fulfilling career changes.

By: Julia Pillard, Career Solutions Group