5 Secrets to Overcoming Interview Jitters

 Tired of your job? Scared of the job search process or to find a new one? check out these 5 Secrets to Overcoming Interview Jitters! Make sure to ace every interview and land every job offer.— The Confused Millennial

(TBT POST): This post was originally published on April 18th, 2016


My hands shook with excitement as I hung up the phone and did a full on happy dance on the middle of the crowded street. I GOT THE INTERVIEW! I could barely get the text out to my boyfriend, I was shaking so much with excitement… and then the nerves settled in.

What would I wear? How should I do my hair and make-up? What if they think I am not experienced enough? What if I do that awkward nervous laugh thing that I do?

No matter many how many times I go through the interview process, it is still nerve racking.  Walking into a new place with new people and asking to be judged – fun…not.

So how can we give ourselves the upper hand?

1.     Do your homework.

Research the company AND your interviewer as much as possible before hand. When setting up the interview, make sure to get the name (or names) of the people who you’ll be interviewing with. Then use your Internet stalking – Er I mean sleuthing…- skills to get to know them. Getting to know your interviewer as a person can make them seem less intimidating. This practice can also help you with talking points during the interview (but no need to bring up your sleuthing skills and how great their Grandma’s 90th birthday looked on Facebook ? ). Having a good grasp on the company and their mission is also important for answering interview questions like “Why do you want to work here” or “why should we hire you”.

2.     Choose your look 24 hours in advance.

Check the weather report and think about how you will wear your hair. Pick your outfit out and try it on in a brightly lit room to make sure nothing is see through. If you typically twirl your hair when it’s down, wear it up to limit distractions. If you bought a pair of earrings, make sure to wear them beforehand to make sure they aren’t tickling your neck or distracting you. The key here is to plan every detail of your appearance out (and do a test run) to make sure you are as comfortable and confident as possible.

3.     Get your work out in the morning of the interview.

Working out some of the adrenaline and endorphins will help you be more grounded during the interview. When your body can release the excess energy, your mind will relax and stay clear too.

4.     Think about your wants, needs and values.

Remember, interviewing is a two-way street, so this is just as much your chance to figure out if the company is a good fit for you. Sometimes we know a lot of hype about a company, and assume it will be our dream job, that we forget to interview them during the interview too. Make sure you have thoughtful questions prepared to ask your interviewer, and you keep an eye out for how the employees seem while walking around the office. Too often, people get so focused on leaving a good impression on the interviewer, then accept the job, and end up miserable because they didn’t take the time to interview the company.

5.     Stay off your phone and think happy thoughts.

Try to stay off your phone for an hour before the interview, the last thing you need is to get a text or see something that will irk you or get in your head. Once you step into the company’s office doors, you will absolutely want to stay off your phone (it looks bad), and use that time to breathe deeply and give yourself a mental pep talk. Don’t worry about reviewing your answers or talking points, just focus on what an awesome catch you are! Your enthusiasm will be contagious!

How do you overcome interview jitters?

With love,

rachel signature

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  • Alex Cottles
    April 20, 2016 at 2:31 pm

    number 4 is super important and I think is the most difficult to remember for me when I go in for interviews! Great share 🙂

    • Rachel Ritlop
      April 25, 2016 at 12:46 am

      I think #4 is the one most people overlook! Glad you liked it Alex!

  • Liesl Kammer
    April 20, 2016 at 2:47 pm

    These are great tips! Thanks for sharing!

    • Rachel Ritlop
      April 25, 2016 at 12:46 am

      Your welcome! Glad you liked them!

  • Kiara Catanzaro
    December 15, 2016 at 9:26 am

    Love these! Also, I think it’s important to know that if you’re truly feeling uneasy and uncomfortable about a job–it might not be the right job for you! Always listen to your gut instinct and intuition for these situations as well!

    • Rachel Ritlop
      December 27, 2016 at 5:29 pm

      That’s such a great point Kiara!

      • Ana Balenovic
        December 29, 2016 at 11:21 pm

        I agree too. And also with #4 in that you have to interview the company as well. As not only might they not be the right fit for you but also the job might not be what you want. So it’s important to do your own interviewing of all aspects to get a sense of if it’s the right fit and if it’s really what YOU want. Great tips here for being successful ? I like the tip to “think happy thoughts”. Good vibes are a great positive affirmation of yourself and confidence too!

        • Rachel Ritlop
          January 1, 2017 at 9:35 am

          So true Ana! Thank you!

          • Ana Balenovic
            January 1, 2017 at 4:05 pm

            Hi Rachel!
            I also wanted to say that gut feelings = intuition guiding us back to ourselves and to understanding ourselves better (in this case directing you to look at and ask yourself “Do I really want this particular job I am interviewing for??! Or do I want something else?”). I believe that understanding yourself better helps you become more clear about what it is you want or might be looking to achieve or have/get. Then taking action to make IT happen for ourselves (whether it be a new job, starting a new business or a relationship) comes naturally after this!
            These were all great tips, they show also the importance of being organized and also how this even helps you communicate more effectively! ?.
            Happy New Year to you! X

          • Rachel Ritlop
            January 1, 2017 at 5:28 pm

            Hi Ana! I totally agree with going with you gut! But sometimes it can backfire! I learned that the hard way! If you are accustomed to being in toxic or emotionally abusive relationships your gut may tell you “YAY” on a situation – because that’s what it’s use to feeling – but then you realize you are in the exact same position with a bad boss that’s too similar to *insert past toxic person in your life* — I always try to go in with goals and objectives and having a lot of self awareness to know if my gut is giving me a thumbs up or “this feels like home because it’s what I am used to” — if that makes sense?

          • Ana Balenovic
            January 2, 2017 at 11:47 am

            Hi Rachel! 🙂 I wanted to say that in general I believe that way to often we ‘settle’ with situations that are less then best for our selves and our own happiness (including our own potential too and what we deserve also). Could one reason be about the difficulty in making change?
            Making tough decisions to leave a job for example are never ever easy ones. We stay in a job we hate because we have to pay the bills/home as an example and the job might be a high paid one also say, so we stay with the job and ignore change maybe even pushing it out of our self awareness as an unrealistic possibility…and settle with the circumstances even though they are draining us.
            So is the gut “this feels like home” feeling (even though it can be a toxic, hugely negative and utterly draining situation – be it a job, boss/co-worker a relationship like friend/partner/family member or even a situation like owning something or a business you have) be a form of settling, like settling with the situation and avoiding having to look at change or even how to make change? Change is never easy, having to make change is never an easy thing.

          • Ana Balenovic
            January 4, 2017 at 4:11 pm

            ?

          • Ana Balenovic
            January 4, 2017 at 4:16 pm

            Also, best to let the abusive toxic ones go and keep the good ones and the good everything for that matter (and toss the bad). Middle fingers up, bro – lol !!? ?.

          • Rachel Ritlop
            January 5, 2017 at 3:09 pm

            Haha agreed! <3

  • Hannah Stark
    December 15, 2016 at 9:35 am

    These are some really great tips! Thanks for sharing 🙂

    Hannah

  • Cole Nemeth
    December 15, 2016 at 9:57 am

    These are great tips! Being prepared is the best way to feel confident during interviews, so doing your homework, planning your outfit and all that is super important.

  • Tilley
    December 15, 2016 at 10:00 am

    Oh I needed these on Monday lol. Great tips though!

    • Rachel Ritlop
      December 27, 2016 at 5:29 pm

      Haha oops! how’d the interview go?!?

  • Alex
    December 15, 2016 at 12:15 pm

    AWEOMS tips! I feel like I always have interview jitters. They are so hard to get rid of! I always feel more confident if I choose my outfit in advance and look good in it!

  • Katie
    December 15, 2016 at 4:05 pm

    Oh my gosh, I love this! I have a college scholarship interview coming up so this will be super helpful! Thanks Rachel!

    xoxo,
    Katie
    chicincarolina.blogspot.com

    • Rachel Ritlop
      December 27, 2016 at 5:30 pm

      Awesome! good luck on the interview! So happy it helps Katie!

  • Melinda House
    December 15, 2016 at 9:01 pm

    such great tips!

  • Allison Arnone
    December 15, 2016 at 9:02 pm

    Yup! I used to be a recruiter/headhunter and the best advice I could give was to be PREPARED and to be ON TIME. Without those, you’re going to show up stressed and frazzled and that is NOT a good look!

    • Rachel Ritlop
      December 27, 2016 at 5:30 pm

      No way! What do you do now?

      • Allison Arnone
        December 28, 2016 at 9:35 am

        I work in market research/online advertising 🙂

  • Shane Prather
    December 15, 2016 at 9:36 pm

    I’ve been thorough my fair share of interviews through the year but still manage to get major anxiety. Very helpful tips!

    • Rachel Ritlop
      December 27, 2016 at 5:31 pm

      Thanks Shane! Just remember, its just as much about you interviewing them as it is about them interviewing you!

  • Jenny
    December 15, 2016 at 9:43 pm

    Yes to all of this! 🙂 I think it’s so important to be prepared.

  • Ashley
    December 15, 2016 at 10:16 pm

    Interviewing is SO nerve-wracking!!! These are great tips for heading in to an interview feeling prepared and confident!

  • Joy Lynn
    December 15, 2016 at 10:55 pm

    These are AWESOME tips! It really is nerve-wracking. Doing your homework is a big one! I had an interview with the CEO of a large marketing agency, but I had discovered he had grown up in Iowa (like me) and it gave me a great talking point and helped me (and him) create a natural rapport.
    And yes, I landed that job!

    • Rachel Ritlop
      December 27, 2016 at 5:32 pm

      That’s so awesome Joy! I love the living proof example! haha

  • Jessica Lam
    December 15, 2016 at 11:45 pm

    #1 is so important! One of my interviewers actually called me out because I didn’t research the company beforehand – luckily she still hired me haha

    http://www.diaryofatorontogirl.com

    • Rachel Ritlop
      December 27, 2016 at 5:32 pm

      Oh wow! You got lucky! I’ve found more and more companies starting with “so tell me what you know about us”

  • Allie Blaising
    December 16, 2016 at 12:34 am

    Thank you so much for this post! I am in the process of applying to internships this month, and I am sure I will need this tips when I (hopefully) get some call backs. I am glad you put doing your research as tip #1. From personal experience, being prepared about the company and its values, past, etc., is so important & can seriously separate you from other applicants. 😉 – http://www.allison-blaising.com/

    • Rachel Ritlop
      December 27, 2016 at 5:33 pm

      Agreed! And a lot of interviewers are starting the interview with “so what do you know about us?”

  • Keating | Why Hello Lovely
    December 16, 2016 at 11:02 am

    So many great tips!! I have horrible anxiety and interview just aren’t my thing haha I just recently had a group interview (even WORSE) for a job I desperately need for my career and i was a complete nervous wreck leading up to it. I should be getting a call back next week, but man was it scary lol

    • Rachel Ritlop
      December 27, 2016 at 5:33 pm

      Oh I hate group interviews! I never want to seem pushy but also don’t want to go unnoticed. Did you get the call back yet? I hope you got it!

  • Bella B @ xoxoBella
    December 16, 2016 at 3:54 pm

    These are wonderful tips! I always get so feverous before an interview!! I need to use these tips for sure.

    • Rachel Ritlop
      December 27, 2016 at 5:33 pm

      Working out would totally help with that!

  • Alex Lo
    December 16, 2016 at 8:38 pm

    great tips!! now that i’m on the other side and doing the interviewing, i can’t believe how nervous i used to get! just be yourself! it’s as much and interview of the company as it is their interview of you.

    • Rachel Ritlop
      December 27, 2016 at 5:34 pm

      Haha right! I am more nervous interviewing people than being interviewed today!

  • The Stylista Diaries
    December 17, 2016 at 11:25 am

    amazing tips omg especially #5 I think it’s so important to keep your mind fresh and relaxed.

  • Candy Kage
    December 17, 2016 at 11:39 am

    Thanks goodness I don’t have to go through this anymore. All your tips and suggestions are wonderful and helpful. Doing your homework on the company you want to work for is very important.

    • Rachel Ritlop
      December 27, 2016 at 5:34 pm

      Haha thank goodness is right!

  • Sarah Jean
    December 17, 2016 at 12:15 pm

    Working out the morning of is an excellent, excellent tip! Gets jitters out and gives a clear mind!

    • Rachel Ritlop
      December 27, 2016 at 5:34 pm

      Right! I used to never do it but it’s so helpful!

  • Jimmy & Tina Durham
    December 17, 2016 at 1:00 pm

    These are really great tips! I actually just stopped caring so much and just be myself and it seems to work! Every time I go into interview as if no big deal and don’t want job I seem to get the offer, strange 🙂

    • Rachel Ritlop
      December 27, 2016 at 5:34 pm

      That’s the best tip of all! It’s all about confidence haha

  • Rachel C
    December 17, 2016 at 1:17 pm

    YES to all of these — and I’ve added in a 6th step and get my power poses in! It seems cheesy but speaking what you want and expect for yourself in to the mirror confidently actually does wonders for you mentally!

    • Rachel Ritlop
      December 27, 2016 at 5:35 pm

      Haha yeah it totally works for some people!

  • Nellaino X
    December 17, 2016 at 1:19 pm

    Great tips for interview! Number 4 is my favourite! 🙂

  • Clarissa
    December 17, 2016 at 1:34 pm

    These are great tips! I love the idea of working out that morning to just decompress and work out any anxiety lol

    -Clarissa @ The View From Here

    • Rachel Ritlop
      December 27, 2016 at 5:35 pm

      Agreed! It’s a game changer!

  • Melissa Chee
    December 17, 2016 at 10:29 pm

    Great tips! Yay for interviews

  • Jennifer L. | Modern Chic Mag
    December 18, 2016 at 2:23 am

    Wonderful advice! As someone who has been on both sides of the coin, it’s definitely important to be as natural as you can, while still trying to put your best foot forward.

    • Rachel Ritlop
      December 27, 2016 at 5:36 pm

      Exactly! I think when you’re prepared it’s a lot easier to be natural. Because the info is already inside you rather than you freaking out with whether or not you will remember something you just read on the ride over

  • Kathleen Brown
    December 18, 2016 at 9:16 am

    Great tips for a successful interview. I have found being positive and just relaxing helps alot. This is a great post.

  • Annissa Slusher
    December 18, 2016 at 9:52 am

    Great suggestions! Interviewing is always so stressful. Thanks for these tips!

  • Amelie
    December 18, 2016 at 10:12 am

    Those are such great tips! I had like 16 interviews back in October because I was applying for internships and I wish I had read this post before my interviews! I was really nervous at first, but the more you have, the better you become. 😉

    • Rachel Ritlop
      December 27, 2016 at 5:37 pm

      Exactly! what internship did you end up in?

      • Amelie
        December 28, 2016 at 6:12 pm

        I ended up getting a marketing and digital communication internship at a car company! It definitely wasn’t where I thought I would end up, but I just loved the people who interviewed me (and apparently they loved me too! HA)

        • Rachel Ritlop
          January 1, 2017 at 9:36 am

          haha the people you work with can really make or break the experience so that’s awesome! Happy New Year!

          • Amelie
            January 1, 2017 at 10:57 am

            I totally agree! Happy New Year to you too!

  • Ellen Matis
    December 18, 2016 at 11:09 am

    Practice makes perfect! I used to have an awful time in interviews, but don’t feel quite as overwhelmed going into them now.

  • Tiffani Grosser
    December 19, 2016 at 8:26 am

    These are all so great! I am always sure to do my homework on the company or person I am meeting with!

    • Rachel Ritlop
      December 27, 2016 at 5:37 pm

      That’s the way to do it!

  • Brittany
    December 19, 2016 at 10:25 am

    Thank you for these tips! Interviews are the worst thing ever but it’s nice to hear some advice on how to make them a positive experience!

  • Amanda @ A Good Hue
    December 19, 2016 at 2:07 pm

    Fantastic tips– I think #1 is the most important. There’s nothing worse than an interviewee coming in and not knowing anything about the company, or even the position. Thanks for sharing these!

    • Rachel Ritlop
      December 27, 2016 at 5:38 pm

      Lol yeah that’s pretty bad! It always surprises me how many people don’t pay attention to that stuff beforehand!

  • Kaitlyn Fickle Killebrew
    December 20, 2016 at 8:00 pm

    These are all such great tips! It definitely brings me back to my interviewing days.

  • Kari Jonard
    December 22, 2016 at 6:56 pm

    It’s interesting how people all prep different ways. It’s been a while since I’ve had an interview but I’ve always not prepped at all and just been myself. This is why I have the job I have today.

    • Rachel Ritlop
      December 27, 2016 at 5:39 pm

      Yeah I agree and this isn’t for every interview or person – I consider this the game plan though if you are someone who has jitters or anxiety or nerves about the interview.

  • Katrina
    January 1, 2017 at 10:21 pm

    I love all of these tips – for me, the best way to calm my nerves is to do my research, because I always feel most confident when I have as much information as possible! Making a list of scenarios to reference & rehearsing my “elevator speech” before the interview always makes me feel a little more prepared. Thank you for sharing!

    – katrina || yourstrulykatrina.com

    • Rachel Ritlop
      January 4, 2017 at 11:30 am

      Agreed! I find people don’t practice their about me or elevator pitch because they think they already know it/themselves… but those are two of the easiest ways to prep and it takes you so far!

  • Joseph Hendrix
    June 19, 2017 at 12:56 pm

    I always try to have at least one question ready for the person interviewing me – normally something about the company. This probably goes hand-in-hand with #1.

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