Tackling Nervousness During an Interview | Newsletter – May 2022

You’ve got a big job interview coming up. This could be it! Your one shot at the perfect job. Feeling scared yet?

No matter how many job interviews you’ve gone through, it’s perfectly normal to get nervous beforehand. You might be unable to sleep the night before or feel your stomach tying up in knots as the meeting time draws closer. Luckily, there are several things you can do to help alleviate your anxiety.

However, suppose you are like many job seekers. In that case, this is right around the time that your nervousness about the interview begins to make you dread what is, in reality, an amazing opportunity. While nerves can stem from many reasons, being able to overcome them is crucial to setting a confident and well-collected tone when meeting with potential employers. 

Interviewing for a job can be an overwhelmingly stressful experience. Fortunately, you can come to terms with job interview stress by understanding that a certain amount of stress can actually help you ace the interview. But an intense and important interview can create a stress level that results in a brain freeze: your mind goes blank, you stutter, or you blush with embarrassment. What to do? Re-gain some confidence and a sense of calm by remembering that you are interviewing the organisation just as much as they are interviewing you. Take a breath, take a sip of water, and give yourself some time to think through your responses to questions. Remember that the best defence against experiencing overwhelming stress in a job interview is a good offence — nail down what you want to say about your qualifications ahead of time, practice, practice and practice. You’ll be better able to manage your stress level and land that job.

Why does one get nervous?

Nerves are the body’s natural response to perceived threats, both real and imagined. When the stress response is triggered, the body starts preparing to fight or flee, which can result in physical reactions such as rapid heartbeat or breathing, pale or flushed skin, clamminess and trembling.

These responses are involuntary, and while they are helpful in a dangerous setting, they can lead to those feelings of nervousness when the threat is minimal. Fortunately, there are several practices and techniques you can try to ease your case of the interview nerves.

5 Ways to Calm Your Pre-Interview Nerves and Be Prepared

How to calm your nerves before the interview:

Here are five tips you can use to help relieve nerves before a job interview:

  1. Prepare yourself: One big reason we get nervous before interviews is a fear of the unknown, and while we never know every question we might be asked, preparing for the most common questions will go a long way to reducing nervousness. Before going to the interview, research the company, practice your responses to common interview questions, have a mock interview with a friend and have your resume and notes ready.
  2. Plan your day around the interview: Your day will be more productive if you adhere to your schedule and stick to any plans you may have. The night before, make sure you get plenty of sleep so you can be alert. Make a plan to go somewhere fun or exciting after the interview so you will have something pleasant to look forward to.
  3. Show confidence in your body language: During your interview, sit or stand with confidence. Your physical stance can affect your mind and have a calming effect. Smiling can also trick your mind into feeling happy, which will allow you to relax a little more.
  4. Remember your having a conversation: Reframing how you think about an interview can help to relieve stress, as well. Remind yourself that a job interview is a conversation, not an interrogation. They are trying to figure out if you would be the best fit for the role, but this is also your chance to determine if the position and the company would be a good fit for you.
  5. Talk to a family member or a friend: Talking to a cheerful friend or family member can greatly boost your confidence level. It’s easier to listen to someone else’s positive words than it is your own, and hearing compliments from a loved one can ease nervousness.

How to know your Interview went well

Even when you are well prepared, nerves can still creep in during the job interview. Luckily, there are several things you can do to help relieve nervousness at the moment. Next time you’re nervous at an interview, try these tips:

Try the STOP method: The STOP method is a mental technique to help you overcome stressful situations. The steps of this technique are:

  • Stop what you are doing and focus on what you’re thinking.
  • Take a few deep breaths, as many as you need.
  • Observe what is happening inside your body. Observe your emotions, what thoughts are in your mind and why you are feeling these things.
  • Proceed with the intention to incorporate your observations into your following actions.

The purpose of the STOP method is to slow down and be aware of what you’re doing and what you’re feeling at that moment. It allows you to remember that you are in control of your actions and thoughts. Also, focus on your breathing. This will help keep your mind from wandering and your emotions from spiralling. Before you speak, pause for a moment and take a breath. Paying attention to your breathing aids in remaining calm, and pausing before speaking gives you more time to put together a thoughtful and composed response

How to Appear Confident in an Interview

Projecting confidence in a job interview can be just as important as showing your skills and demonstrating your unique qualifications. It is important to practice the way you communicate confidence and professionalism, as this can improve your performance in the room as well as calm your nerves.

Why confidence matters: Confidence is the act of trusting yourself. During a job interview, showing that you trust yourself is critical because it can lead your interviewer to trust in you, as well. Aim to communicate to your interviewer that you know you can do this job well. However, it is normal to feel nervous when interviewing, so try to take some time to practice how to appear confident before your meeting.

Use these tips to impress interviewers with your confidence:

  • Make eye contact: To show confidence, start by practising your eye contact. Keeping natural and steady eye contact throughout your interview is an excellent way to project confidence. Aim to maintain natural eye contact instead of making eye contact that feels intense or prolonged. Try occasionally looking at your resume or other material you brought with you to the interview before turning your attention back to the hiring manager.
  • Maintain good posture: After you work on your eye contact, you might also find it helpful to practice good posture. Body language is an important aspect of communicating confidence during your interview. Start by sitting with your arms unfolded in your lap to convey an open, friendly attitude.
  • Practice your handshake: One great way to show confidence in an interview is to greet the interviewer with a firm handshake. A firm handshake shows experience and confidence, and it gives the interviewer a good first impression.
  • Practice breathing techniques: When you get nervous, the blood flows away from your brain and into your muscles for fight or flight mode. This lack of blood in the brain can impact cognitive functions. However, when you take slow, deep breaths, you bring oxygen back to your brain to help you think.
  • Calm your fidgeting: Fidgeting is a sign of nervousness. If you tend to tap your fingers or twirl your hair, practice keeping your hands on the table. You should also make a point not to keep a pen or paper in your hands if you typically fidget with anything you are holding. If you often shake your leg when you are nervous, you can keep your hands in your lap and apply a little pressure to remind yourself to stop shaking.
  • Prepare and rehearse your answers: One great way to showcase interview confidence is to prepare your answers to common interview questions. When you walk into an interview with the knowledge that you are prepared, it can take off the pressure and help you feel more confident.
  • Talk slowly: Speak calmly and slowly. To stop yourself from rambling, try to answer each question by addressing one point at a time.
  • Think positively: A final way to calm your nerves and boost your confidence is to think positively. One step you can take to think positively is to focus on areas where you lack confidence and practice making them better. 

To conclude Feeling nervous before and during a job interview is very common. It happens to almost everyone. But these strategies can help you manage that anxiety.  Remind yourself that stress in an interview is not only normal — it’s necessary. Prepare yourself for stress while you train yourself to do a great job. Take the edge off through practice beforehand and by successfully managing your stress in real-time. Use your stress effectively and land the job you want. Regardless of how you felt that the interview went, congratulate yourself afterwards for taking the chance. Avoid ruminating about how the interview went or what could have gone better. Do something that you enjoy as a reward, whether that’s taking a walk in the park, curling up with a book, or meeting a friend for coffee.

RESOURCES:

  1. Article on How to Relax Before A Job Interview
  2. Article on How Not to Be Nervous in a Job Interview
  3. Article on Top Tips for Dealing with Pre-Interview Nerves
  4. Video on How to Overcome Fear and Nervousness During An Interview?
  5. Ted Talks on How to Stay Calm When You Know You’ll Be Stressed

“Never be nervous when given the opportunity to market skills and talent. It’s the only time people are genuinely interested in hearing you talk about yourself.” – Jason Vincik

Update on Skill Development & Training

In the new cohort, currently, in the 2nd year (1438), 350 scholars started the Aptitude program in Feb, 150 mapped to Ethnus and 150 mapped to FACE.

The Campus to Corporate “Skills Training Program” supported by Capgemini (1460 scholars) 484 students are in the Hi-touch English program by eAge Tutors, 713 in the Coursera program, and 30 in the Skill Lync program. 1295 scholars have started the Mock Interview program.

A batch of 67 students from 2nd and 3rd-year Computer Science & IT streams completed camp 1 on Front End Development in the IBM Skill Build program on December 21st and camp 2 with 89 scholars completed camp 2 on “Artificial Intelligence” on Feb 23 2022.

The Pharma scholars are in the Coursera program.

FLY (Finding the Leader in You) Program in partnership with CMI and IIT-Gandhinagar

For the financial year 2022-23, the new batch of the FLY program started on May 18th. The 12-days workshop was conducted in Jan with a batch of  34 students. This comprises 2nd year Engineering scholars. This workshop is conducted by CMI – Competitive Mindset Institute Inc and is designed to teach noncognitive skills for the personality and character development of students. 

Soft Skill Training programs and webinars for Medical FFE scholars

Qmed – Medical Literature searching course for research and study is going on for 66 Medical scholars. 

English Training for Medical scholars

A pilot batch of 134 Medical scholars mostly from the 2nd year is currently enrolled in the Enguru App-based English program. 

ANANYA Sessions – ANANYA has been conducting sessions for Civil Electrical Mechanical, Electronics, and also Computer Science sessions for 3rd and 4th years scholars on various technical topics.

Medical Webinar – A panel discussion on Rural Healthcare – Challenges & Opportunities was conducted on 24th April. There were 579 participants.

Placement Update

  • From the 2020-21 graduating batch of 889 Engineering students, 96% (852) are placed; 640 have secured jobs and 212 have opted for higher studies while 4% of students (37) are seeking employment.
  • From the 2021-22 graduating batch of 1256 Engineering students (current final year), 89% (1119) are placed; 929 have secured jobs and 190 have opted for higher studies. The remaining 137 students are attending campus interviews.

FFE is thankful to its corporate partners Geberit Plumbing Technology India Private Limited, O9 Solutions, Altimetrik India Pvt. Ltd., Capgemini Technology Services India Limited, KPMG Assurance, and Consulting Services LLP, TraneTechnologies, Ingersoll Rand, Thomson Reuters, and Thoughtworks for offering Placement opportunities to FFE’s batch of 2019-20, 2020-21 & 2021-22.

Below are toppers in the Coursera training program. They have been issued gift vouchers, based on their performance. Congratulations to all of you!

Coursera Program Topper for the month of April 2022-23
Rushikesh DukareIndian Institute of Engineering Science and Technology, Shibpur
Goutham KanagarasuGovernment College of Technology, Coimbatore
Praveen KumarNational Institute of Technology, Calicut
Hritik TembheNational Institute of Technology, Calicut
Akash ChaurasiaNational Institute of Technology, Calicut

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