Dear Ted: I get really nervous at interview and miss out, what can I do?

Posted on 23rd October, 2019

It’s actually more common than you think, and a good interviewer will know that you’re really excited about the job if you get nervous. 


First thing is to be honest.  Right at the start explain that you get really nervous in interviews.  A good interviewer will support you.  I had a candidate who couldn’t even speak, I took him for a walk outside and back to get some water and he was able to relax and started to chat.  If they don’t want to help you, do you really want to work there anyway?  And maybe you’ll then relax and give a great interview!


It’s perfectly acceptable to go into an interview with some notes.  So maybe take in a folder with your cv in it, and some bullet points to remind you of the key experiences and projects that you’ve done that you want to tell them about.  Open this up at the beginning and then refer to it if the nerves kick in.


Use some little tricks to keep you going, take a sip of water, take some breaths, and just occasionally buy some time by repeating back the question before answering it (but not too often!)


If everything goes wrong, consider sending a note afterwards saying you’re really sorry that your nerves took over and thank them for their support.  If they didn’t fill the vacancy they might just call you back.

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