Getting your nerves under control.
Being nervous before a job interview is perfectly natural. If you really want the job you should be a little nervous. Besides, the extra adrenaline keeps you alert which isn’t a bad thing in an interview. In any case, experienced interviewers are well aware that you are likely to be nervous and will try to make you feel at ease and forgive you a little for rambling or fidgeting.
What you don’t want is for your nerves to get in the way of people listening to what you are saying. Or in the way of actually saying what you need to say. The best way to do that is to be prepared. If you have done all your research and are confident in your ability to do the job you have applied for, the interview is just about getting to know each other and helping them decide if they want to work with you.
Think about likely questions and how you might answer them. Don’t practice answers word for word so the answers sound rehearsed. However, ensuring you have a few points to talk to for expected questions will mean you can answer quickly and confidently.
To settle your nerves, before you go in, make sure you take a few big breaths and relax so you can walk in with confidence. It is fine to take a breath and compose yourself at any point in an interview. If you get into a fluster or find you are rambling just stop, acknowledge that you went off track and get back to the point. If you have lost track of what you are saying ask the interviewer to repeat the question, take a moment to think about what you want to say and then answer the question.
Be prepared if you are a sweater. If you need to shake hands but have sweaty palms, subtly wipe your hand on your pants/ skirt before reaching out. Although that is not so important at the moment with no touching allowed, at some point I’m sure the handshake will be back.
Think about what you are going to wear if you have a tendency to sweat under pressure. Make sure you choose something that won’t show the patches. While perspiring is a normal bodily function, watching your sweat patches expand through your clothes will likely distract your interviewers from what you are saying.
Don’t forget the interview is a two-way street. It is also about you deciding if you want to work for them too. It’s not an exam and if there is someone else on the interview shortlist who is better suited for the job, there is nothing else you can do about that. All you can do is present the best version of yourself.