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Calming your nerves

Look confident – Feel confident

We know that people use our body language to make judgments about us, but did you know that we respond to our own body language? Recent studies have found that adopting more confident body language actually produces more self-confidence.

For an explanation of why and how this works and a two-minute confidence building pose to use before any important situation, watch Power Posing on the TED website.

The presenter, a noted professor and social psychologist, claims that adopting this very simple pose for two minutes will increase your confidence and make you feel more powerful. Watch, try it and see if you agree.

Know what to expect

The more unknowns you can eliminate, the easier it will be for you. Learn as much as you can before you walk into the interview room. You know from your own experience that nothing gives you more self-confidence than being well prepared.

Slow down!

Speaking too quickly makes you sound nervous. Slowing your pace and making natural pauses help you sound more confident and they give you time to think.

Help!! My English isn’t perfect

The company will want to know whether your English is good enough to do the job, but more important than perfect grammar is the ability to communicate your ideas. If you have the right attitude, good qualifications, and have prepared for the kinds of questions that are likely to be asked, you will make a positive impression even if your English is not perfect.

A friendly, positive and confident manner can more than compensate for less than perfect English. The employer knows that your English will improve quickly once you are in an English-speaking environment.

For confident English tips and how to do greetings, introductions, small talk and discuss your experience, see Language for

Be prepared

Be super prepared for the ‘Tell us something about yourself’ request that usually starts an interview. Practice until you could tell them in your sleep – just don’t sound like you are giving it in your sleep! We are usually most nervous in the first few minutes of an interview so being extra well-prepared for this part is the key.

Pursue other opportunities

Even if this is your dream job, apply for and have interviews at other places. It’s good practice and nothing gives you more confidence than knowing more than one company is interested in you.

Keep it in perspective

The worst that can happen is that they don’t offer you the job. The reason may have nothing to do with your performance in the interview. Someone in the company might have applied for the job or the hiring manager’s nephew might want it. Perhaps the job would not be a good fit for you.

Learn from the experience and move on. Like everything else, you will improve with practice.

Remember: Don’t be so serious that you forget to smile and connect with the interviewer. ‘Likability’ is your most important ability.

You’ve read everything, prepared everything and are still a little nervous – good! That will keep you alert, sharp and focused. A little nervousness at the interview is normal and assures the interviewer that the job is important to you. What makes hiring companies nervous is interviewees who are too relaxed and too confident. They wonder if the candidate is hiding something.