How To Overcome Job Interview Nerves

How To Overcome Job Interview Nerves


For those leaving their military careers attending job interviews can be extremely daunting and lead to interview nerves, irrespective of your rank or length of service.  Believe me I have spoken with many extremely experienced and confident military people who have completed very successful careers in the Royal Navy, British Army or Royal Air Force confess to being extremely nervous about their imminent attendance of a job interview.

Why would you get nervous?

Quite simply it is because it means a great deal to you, and you want to perform well along with giving yourself the best possible chance of progressing forward to that all important job offer.

I am a firm believer that with the right preparation and mindset, it is possible to overcome job interview nerves and present yourself as the best candidate for the vacancy.

In this article, I will explore some practical tips and strategies for managing interview nerves. From researching the company and practicing your responses to tricky questions, to dressing appropriately and following up with the interviewer, we will cover all aspects of the job interview process.  These techniques will help you, the ex-military jobseeker, feel more confident and in control during your next job interview.

Prior to diving in I want to stress a very important point which, to my amazement, many ex-forces jobseekers ignore.  If you are securing your job interview via a recruitment agency your recruitment consultant will be in a very powerful position to advice you and coach you on the job interview, after all they know their client well and possibly already have placed ex-military people into their business.


Preparing for the Interview: Research and Practice


You need to do your homework on the company beforehand and practice answering common questions to feel confident and prepared for the interview. Start by researching the company’s mission, values, and culture. This will give you an idea of what they stand for and whether you’re a good fit. Check out their website, social media pages, and any news articles related to the company. Also, take a look at the job description and make sure you understand the responsibilities and requirements of the position you’re interviewing for.


Once you’ve done your research, it’s time to practice answering common interview questions. Write down a list of questions you think the interviewer might ask and prepare your responses. You can also ask a friend, family member or a member of our team here at Demob Job to do a mock interview with you to help you feel more comfortable. The more you practice, the less nervous you’ll be when it’s time for the real interview. Remember, the interviewer wants to get to know you and see if you’re a good fit for the company, so be yourself and show your enthusiasm for the position.


Managing Your Mindset: Techniques for Relaxation and Focus


By practicing deep breathing and visualization techniques, it’s possible to cultivate a more relaxed and focused mindset during the interview process. Deep breathing exercises, like the 4-7-8 technique, can help calm the nervous system and reduce anxiety. To do this technique, inhale for four seconds, hold your breath for seven seconds, and then exhale for eight seconds. Repeat this cycle a few times before the interview to lower your heart rate and blood pressure.


Visualization can also be a powerful tool for managing interview nerves. Before the interview, close your eyes and imagine yourself in a calm and confident state. Visualize yourself answering interview questions with ease, making a strong impression, and ultimately landing the job. This mental rehearsal can help you feel more prepared and confident when the actual interview comes around. By combining deep breathing and visualization techniques, you can enter the interview with a clear and focused mind, ready to showcase your skills and abilities.


Handling Tricky Questions: Tips for Navigating Difficult Topics


Navigating difficult topics during an interview can be challenging, but there are strategies you can use to handle tricky questions with confidence and professionalism. First and foremost, it’s important to listen carefully to the question and take a moment to gather your thoughts before responding. Don’t be afraid to ask for clarification or to rephrase the question if you’re unsure of what’s being asked.


One useful technique for answering tricky questions is the STAR method, which stands for Situation, Task, Action, and Result. This approach involves describing a specific situation or problem, the task or challenge you faced, the actions you took to address the issue, and the positive results or outcomes that resulted from your efforts. By using this method, you can provide a clear and concise response that showcases your problem-solving skills and highlights your accomplishments. Remember, it’s okay to acknowledge areas where you may have made mistakes or faced challenges, as long as you can demonstrate how you learned from those experiences and grew as a result.


Following Up: Strategies for Post-Interview Communication


After your interview, it’s important to keep the momentum going by following up with the interviewer, or your recruitment consultant, in a timely and professional manner. This shows your interest in the position and also gives you the opportunity to reiterate your qualifications and skills. A simple thank-you email or note can go a long way in leaving a positive impression on the interviewer.


When crafting your follow-up message, make sure to personalize it and reference specific points from the interview. This will show that you were attentive during the interview and are genuinely interested in the position. Additionally, if you discussed any next steps during the interview, make sure to address those in your message and express your eagerness to move forward in the process. A well-crafted and timely follow-up can help you stand out among other candidates and increase your chances of landing the job.


How do I deal with interviewers who seem uninterested or disengaged during the interview?


If interviewers seem uninterested, don’t let it throw you off. Focus on your responses and body language. Stay engaged and confident, and try to bring some energy to the conversation.


Should I bring up any personal struggles or challenges during the interview or keep the focus strictly on my qualifications and experience?


It’s best to keep the focus strictly on qualifications and experience during an interview. Bringing up personal struggles or challenges may not be relevant to the position and could potentially detract from your qualifications.


How do I handle a situation where I am asked a question that I don’t know the answer to?


If asked a question without knowing the answer, take a deep breath and ask for clarification. If you still don’t know, be honest and explain how you would go about finding the answer.


Is it appropriate to ask about salary and benefits during the interview, or should I wait until later in the hiring process?


It’s generally not appropriate to ask about salary and benefits during the interview. It’s better to wait until you’ve been offered the position and are negotiating the terms of your employment.


How do I stay motivated and positive when I have been rejected from multiple job interviews?


It’s tough to stay positive after multiple rejections, but keep in mind that it’s not a reflection of your worth as a person. Take a break if needed, and continue to apply and improve your skills.




In conclusion, job interviews can be nerve-wracking experiences, but there are effective techniques to help manage anxiety and perform your best. Preparing thoroughly by researching the company and practicing common interview questions can help boost confidence. Managing your mindset with relaxation techniques such as deep breathing and visualization can also be helpful, as well as focusing on positive self-talk.


Additionally, choosing appropriate interview attire and preparing strategies for handling tricky questions can also contribute to a successful interview. After the interview, following up with a thank-you note, email or prompt call to your recruitment consultant can demonstrate professionalism and leave a positive impression on the interviewer. With these tips and tricks, job interview nerves can be overcome, and you can feel more confident and prepared for your job search.


Further reading


Check out our article on the different types of interviews, just click here.