Get advice on how to deal with jerks at work Check out the book 'Jerks At Work' and other titles by Ken Lloyd Ph.D. Return to the homepage Learn more about Ken Lloyd, Ph.D. Submit a question to Ken Lloyd, Ph.D.

You asked, Ken answers ...

This item is filed under these categories:
Finding a Job Job Interviews Expectations Stress Nervousness

I am looking for a job, and I get very nervous and stressed before every interview, and then I don't present myself as well as I could. Are there some ways to eliminate this nervousness?

Whenever you present yourself in a truly important situation, you are going to experience some nervousness. The real issue is to learn to control it, rather than letting it control you.

In order to remove the pre-interview jitters, you need to remove as much of the unknown as possible. One key way to do this is to anticipate the interviewer's questions. Obviously you cannot predict all of them, but you can figure that you will be asked to describe the responsibilities of each of your recent positions, what you liked most, what you liked least, your major accomplishments, reasons for leaving, personal strengths and weakness, and your near-term and longer term objectives. At the same time, make sure that you have some good questions to ask.

You should also go through some practice interview sessions with a friend who can provide an honest critique. And, before you start any real interview, take a few deep breaths, tell yourself to relax, and then give yourself a brief positive message, such as, "This will be a great interview."

As a side note, no matter how nervous you are, don't forget about the interviewer. In this tight labor market, he or she might be nervous too. In fact, minutes before the interview, the interviewer may be uttering the same positive message as you.

Comment on this item

Your name (optional)
If you leave this blank, we'll list you as "Website visitor"

Your comments
Please keep your comments focused on the topic. Thanks!