Losing the Nerves before an Interview

Interview situations make everyone nervous -- after all, no one faces those on a daily basis! For example, many people get fidgety when it comes to an interview that could help establish their future career. Most people are not accustomed to the formal setting of an interview. If you have not experienced these pre-interview nerves yet, it can be compared to the nerves you get before going onto the field to play the championship game, or getting ready to walk on stage and put on a performance in front of a sold out crowd.

Many writers, executives, and psychologists have published articles about these nerves and how to calm them.  Job candidates who can control these nerves and regain focus have a competitive edge over other applicants. 

Forbes magazine recently published a few articles about these pre-interview nerves and how to overcome them.  My favorite one was written by Caroline Ceniza-Levine, titled An Unexpected Use for Motivational Quotes? Ace Your Next Job Interview.  Ms. Ceniza-Levine has 15 years’ experience recruiting and hiring thousands of job seekers in various industries.  She noted that when she met outstanding candidates, they were the ones that were able to engage in small talk before the interview even had begun. She said it was easy to see nerves in other candidate’s actions because those applicants took a few minutes to warm up to the environment and struggled with casual chatting before the interview. Ceniza-Levine suggests that every student needs a trigger to get them energized, focused and ready for the interview.

The trigger that Ceniza-Levine suggests to be most useful in her mind is a motivational quote. A simple motivational quote can ground one’s emotions and prepare them for the task ahead. She encourages students to find a motivational quote that speaks to them and read it right before they walk into the receptionist office so that it is fresh on their mind.  The quote can be something that sets your eyes on the prize or you can have a quote that calms you down.

Some of Ceniza-Levine’s favorite call-to-action quotes motivational quotes:

“Take time to deliberate, but when the time for action arrives, stop thinking and go in.” – Thomas Edison

“We are the hero of our own story” – Mary McCarthy

“When you walk with purpose, you collide with destiny” – Bertice Berry

If these quotes do not speak to you, a simple Google search for motivational quotes can bring up many options. Otherwise, there is another excellent Forbes article with 30 motivational quotes for job seekers.  


I encourage you to give this idea a try for your next interview or appointment.  Just remember, find a quote that speaks to you and write it on a note card so that you can read it right before you walk into the office.