Improving your confidence/fighting nerves


Hi Wikijobbers,

Having just been through the entire EY interview process (decision pending) I am ACUTELY aware that I need to get my nerves under control. Anyone else in the same boat? Anyone found a way to shore?

After thinking about it a bit, I got this:
Experience - I’ve done 3 proper interviews so far and have obviously got better - but not much!
Preparing answers - if I didn’t have almost everything I said planned out in advance, I would have gone to pieces much quicker.
Looking good - wearing a new suit helped, but knowing that I had done an awful job of ironing it gnawed at my nerves.
Talking to receptionists/other employees before the interview - the worst of my 3 interviews was the one where I spoke to no one in the hours leading up to it.
Having a drink of water - no use. Shaky hands spill it everywhere.

Thoughts, please? Any outside-the-box ideas? I think quite a few people will find this useful.


Before going to an interview try…(warning this could be rubbish for some people, this is what works for me)

to talk other candiates around you to try and relax.

to listen to music. It helps you to relax or to pumped up yourself up depending on what music you want to listen to.

to go into the interview thinking its just a practise. I find that if I’ve I think about it too much and care about it too much then all I can think about is ‘what could go wrong?’. You need to get yourself out of this mindset and into a positive frame of mind. If you know that you are a good candiate (which you must be if you went through the EY process) then it will come across in the interview. Literally tell yourself “I’m the best”.

to take your time to do everything. Remaining calm even when you are not underneath will project a confident personailty. This will also give you time to answer questions and dont talk too quickly.

I personally tend to get so involved with the questions that I quickly forget out my nerves. Anyway I hoped that this helped…



Nice reply, thanks meep! The music idea is a good one, I’ll give it a go next time. Something to pump me up sounds like it would work.

I also got so involved in the questions that I forgot my nerves, but the interviewer brought me back down to Earth when she said (something along the lines of) “for example now, you’re obviously nervous.” Which is one thing guaranteed to make me more nervous!


Personally I’ve always found that trying to keep a sense of perspective is the key to controlling nerves. Remind yourself that it’s JUST a job interview, and that the worst that can come of it is that you leave in exactly the same position you entered (ie, still jobless!). If you do well then great, if you do badly then no matter - there’s always another interview.

May not work for everyone, but it certainly does for me.


Anytime I got too nervious ahead of interview:

  1. I said to myself over and over “botirvoy, it is not time to be nevious. It is probably the WORST time you can get nervious. You don’t want to risk, do you?!”
  2. Meet your interviewer as if you are meeting your favorite aunt or uncle whom you haven’t seen for a long time. How would you do that? With a lot of smile on your face, your eyes sparkling and your attitude sincere.



For me the best interviews have obv been where first uv practiced and bullet pointed y x company, weaknesses/strengths which you can remember, but everytime you will have questions which you havent prepared for, but just keep it simple and relax. Also do lots of apps so you dont go in thinking this is the be all and end all and even if you want the job try keep mind off process of getting it.

Alternatively maybe a shot of wiskey before hand works for sum ppl, just remember to have some gum on you!


Get really really drunk beforehand.


Thanks for all the advice guys, keep it coming. (No to the whiskey idea, thanks)

I recently got rejected from EY’s assessment centre because I lacked confidence, so it’s been really brought home to me that I have to get over this. The recruiter recommended I should push myself “out of my comfort zone”.

Errr… right? I should go bungee jumping?

As an attempt to do this, I tried initiating conversations with strangers. It does take confidence, but I don’t find it so hard as talking to someone with the power to hire or reject you. Anything else I can try?


C.B, keep trying, you will get what you want. Good luck!


I, like you, got quite nervous for my interviews. Before I even walked in the building my heart was pounding and I felt so shaky! Just take a deep breath and SMILE. Seriously. Go in there to enjoy yourself, be personable, be chatty but not too informal. Try to forget that it’s a job interview, let your passion for your chosen position drive you, the more you do that the more the interviewer will warm to you – and you will subsequently (hopefully!) be less nervous.

Good luck :slight_smile:


I got rejected by PwC for getting too nervous when answering difficult question in the partner interview, although I was good enough in every other respect.

But I have had so many interviews and rejections that it is quite ridiculous really! But the last few A/Cs and interviews that I have had I have just gone in there knowing that I am more than capable of doing the job, and treat each one as a bonus as there will be plenty more round the corner. Which has resulted in two offers… which is a nice Christmas present.

Your obviously doing well to get to the assessment centres/interviews, so you will come good in the end. The hard part is maintaining motivation to keep applying, but I have an optimistic and laid-back attitude to the world, not getting a grad job although disappointing the day you get rejected is not the end of the world, and if the org doesn’t want you then you probably don’t want to work there.

But practice makes perfect, and as I have done so many interviews I have the competency-based questions rehearsed a lot and only really prepare for Why X? What issues does X face? etc. Just a quick refresh in my mind the day before about what examples I can use that best suit the organisation. It also helps a lot to have something interesting or unique to talk about with the interviewer(s), a really exciting project outside of uni/work, grew up abroad, traveling, anything you enjoy(ed) lots and can talk about passionately.

probably read that sort of stuff before… but in my experience it is best to just give it 100% and if that doesn’t work move on to the next company…

Don’t give up, keep aiming high!



Got rejected by RBS… I kno this thread is two years old!
Content remains applicable! Thanks people…

Pulling myself together for yet another application! Then +1 then +1…
Dunno when its gonna end, I can feel it will end… Am not going to die jobless :wink:

Thanks again,