“How do I overcome nervousness in an interview?”


Author: Larry Medina (Head of Career Services, Alumni & Corporate Relations) at ESSEC Asia-Pacific

This week, I will discuss how to overcome or at least minimize nervousness in an interview. First of all, please know that it is natural to be nervous during an interview, especially if it is a role that you really want. The key to calming your nerves is preparation and practice. There are four main components to be aware of..

#1 Readiness

The first is to plan the logistics ahead of the interview. This may seem basic, but it really is important to know where you are going, how to get there, how long it takes to get there, and know what you will wear to the interview. 

Showing up to an interview late is a fatal mistake. Running late to an interview will increase the stress level unnecessarily. 

Due to Covid, most interviews are now online. Your preparation should include having a quiet and properly lit room. You should also test your equipment and ensure that you have a good internet connection. Having to face technical issues during an interview will also increase your stress level unnecessarily. 

#2 Research

The second component is to research about the company. I recommend that you set aside at least an hour to go through the company’s website, press releases, quarterly earnings announcements, and annual reports if available.  

Then, do a search on the company to see if it has been in the news for any reason and read as many articles as possible. 

Obviously, the best source of research is talking to someone in the company if you have been able to network ahead of the interview. This type of preparation will give you more confidence during the interview as nothing will surprise you.

#3 Resources

The third component is preparing a list of likely interview questions. There are many online resources that have lists of most popular interview questions and for bigger companies, there will be information specific to the types of questions that the company may ask. I will dive deeper into the types of interview questions in a future career tip. 

#4 Rehearse

Finally, a good way to reduce nervousness is to practice. You can practice your answers to the most likely interview questions in front of the mirror. 

I recommend that you sit in front of a mirror or record a video of yourself answering questions. This will give you a chance to observe how you answer. 

By practicing specific questions multiple times, you can fine tune your answer. 

The other way to practice is to approach a coach and have them do a mock interview with you. Mock interviews will give you confidence before the actual interview. 


To recap, interviews are stressful for most people and it is natural to be nervous. To calm your nerves, I recommend preparation and practice.  Preparation and practice will reduce unnecessary stress and build your confidence ahead of the interview. I wish you all the best as we enter the interview season.

 Larry Medina is the Head of Career Services, Alumni & Corporate Relations at ESSEC Asia-Pacific Business School. For more career tips, follow #careertipswithlarry.  Read previous tips from this series.

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