Keeping Calm and Confident During Stressful Interviews: 15 Tips to Ace Your Responses

You’ve studied every possible interview question there is out there. You’ve researched the company backwards and forwards. You’ve been awaiting and preparing for this moment for what feels like years, and now it’s practically here.

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Except, you’re an anxious wreck. It could be a few hours or just a few minutes away, but you need to do something to calm down before it happens.

We’ve put together a list of 12 things you can do right now to calm down for your interview. One of them will work for sure.

Interviewing for a new job can be an incredibly stressful experience. The high-stakes nature of having to make the right impression and showcase your skills under pressure is enough to make even the most qualified candidates feel anxious. It’s easy to let interview nerves get the best of you, but by staying calm and confident, you can really stand out from the competition.

In this article, we provide 15 tips to help you keep your cool during stressful job interviews so you can deliver winning responses with poise and self-assurance.

1. Prepare and Practice Responses to Common Questions

Thorough preparation is key to reducing interview anxiety. Make sure to research and practice answering frequent interview questions so you have coherent responses ready when they arise. Having talking points in mind ahead of time will help you feel less flustered in the moment.

2. Reflect on Your Accomplishments and Qualifications

Prior to the interview, take time to reflect on your most relevant accomplishments, skills, and experiences that make you qualified for the role. This reflection will boost your confidence when questioned about your background.

3. Research the Company Culture and Mission

Understanding the company’s culture, values and mission will allow you to craft your responses to align with what they are looking for in a candidate. Showing your fit will make you feel more assured.

4. Dress Professionally

Looking sharp and polished in a well-fitting professional outfit can instill confidence from the get-go. Feeling that you look the part can help you feel the part too.

5. Arrive Early

Make sure to arrive 10-15 minutes early to get settled in and avoid additional stress. Rushing in late can throw you off and damage perceptions.

6. Take Deep Breaths

If you feel your anxiety rising at any point, take a few subtle slow deep breaths to lower your heart rate and calm your mind before responding.

7. Listen Attentively to Each Question

Stay focused on listening closely to every question before responding. Don’t start formulating an answer in your head prematurely. Processing the question calmly is key.

8. Ask for Clarification

If you need a question repeated or need more context, don’t be afraid to politely ask for clarification. Getting the full picture will help you frame better responses.

9. Pause Before Responding

Allow yourself a natural brief pause after each question is asked to collect your thoughts before launching into a response. Don’t feel rushed.

10. Make Eye Contact and Sit Up Straight

Maintaining comfortable eye contact and an open posture projects assuredness and keeps your mindset positive.

11. Speak Slowly and Clearly

A measured speaking pace with proper enunciation prevents your responses from sounding hurried or muddled when nerves creep in.

12. Provide Specific Examples

Back up your responses with real examples and anecdotes from your work experiences to substantiate your claims confidently.

13. Be Concise

Give direct, concise responses focused on key points rather than rambling when anxious. Stay in control.

14. Bring Notes and a Portfolio

Having supporting documents, notes, copies of your resume, and work samples at hand reduces stress and enables smooth responses.

15. Ask About Next Steps

Concluding by asking about next steps in the hiring process asserts confidence in your performance during the interview.

By incorporating these tips and techniques for remaining cool, collected, and focused, you can overcome interview anxiety and deliver winning responses that impress hiring managers. No matter how stressful an interview may feel in the moment, remember your qualifications, trust your preparations, and don’t let temporary nerves derail your performance. You’ve got this!

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Eat a Good Breakfast (or Lunch)

A great interview starts with a great meal. For some, this means going the healthy route, something full of those energy-boosting antioxidants. For others, it could be indulging in your favorite comfort foods. There is no right or wrong answer; just give the one that works best for you. Also, make sure it’s food, because you can’t give good interview answers when you’re hungry.

Make an Interview Cheat Sheet

Just as important as preparing for the worst is preparing, period. The more you have set to go, the less you have to worry about. Start a note on your phone with the address of the building, the name of the hiring manager, the time, your questions, the three most important things you want to say in the interview, and anything else you can think of. Next, take that baby out right before you’re called in. You’ll be so sure you’ve got this all under control.

OVERCOMING INTERVIEW ANXIETY! (7 Tips For Reducing Interview Stress, Nerves & ANXIETY!)


Is it hard to get hired at calm?

Is it hard to get hired at Calm? Glassdoor users rated their interview experience at Calm as 27.9% positive with a difficulty rating score of 2.88 out of 5 (where 5 is the highest level of difficulty). Candidates interviewing for Sr.

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