When we’re nervous in any kind of interaction, whether it be professional or social, it can be easy for us to talk too fast and rush through things in an effort to get it over with as quickly as possible. However, rushing isn’t helpful in how you come across to your interviewer, nor will it calm your nerves.
When we rush – by speaking quickly or trying to answer questions as quickly as possible – we put ourselves under pressure, which leads our body to produce more adrenaline and cortisol (hormones that are responsible for feelings of nervousness). By taking a few seconds to think about the questions you’re being asked and speaking slowly when you reply, you can limit the amount of adrenaline and cortisol being produced by your body, and will therefore feel more relaxed and at ease.
By talking slowly, you also give yourself more time to think about what you’re saying, so you don’t blurt out the first thing that pops into your head, regret it, and feel even more stressed out as a result.
Taking control of your breathing can also help to reduce feelings of nervousness and anxiety. When we breathe in, air fills our lungs, oxygen enters our blood, and it’s distributed throughout our body. When we breathe out, carbon dioxide is removed from our blood and exhaled as waste gas. How effectively we oxygenate and remove carbon dioxide from our blood can affect how calm we feel.
So if you’re feeling nervous either before or during your job interview, try to focus on taking deep, controlled breaths. For some help with deep breathing, you might want to check out our article 3 breathing exercises to try when you’re stressed or anxious.