Calming Nerves During a Job Interview

health care careers

Here is the first thing you should remember about nerves. Everybody has them. They affect the best of us, whether studying for health care careers or otherwise. Politicians, successful business professionals, sports superstars, even world leaders all have experienced some form of anxiety and stress in their lifetime.

The job interview is the epitome of stress. The mere mention of it is nerve-inducing. It’s completely normal to be nervous. The key to success is how you deal with those feelings. If you’re a Concorde student pursuing health care careers in nursing, respiratory therapy, dental assistant or something else, there are things you can do to control your nerves and land your dream job.

Utilize your support system

The first rule of thumb in calming your nerves during a job interview for health care careers is to utilize your support system, according to Cassandra Geddes, Director of Graduate Employment at Concorde’s campus in Jacksonville, Fla. In the case of Concorde students, this is your Graduate Employment team.

  • Practice makes perfect. So practice, practice, practice!
  • Be prepared! A few things to remember: know the location of the office prior to the interview, anticipate travel/traffic time, print a new copy of your resume, know who you are scheduled to meet with and arrive no more than 15 minutes early.
  • The day of the interview, be sure to eat a healthy meal and try to relax prior to leaving home (meditation, soft music, peppermint tea or just simply quiet time can help with relaxation).
  • Try to think of the interview as a meeting, a two-way communication process. Ask questions, be confident, be positive and claim your job.
  • It’s normal to be nervous during a job interview, but never let them see you sweat. Shake off the jitters, take a deep breath, gather yourself and walk in proudly, ready to go.

Bill Lacey, Director of Student Affairs at Concorde’s campus in San Bernardino, Calif., said it’s all about breaking the ice up-front.

“When you walk into the interviewer’s office, take a quick glance around, find something you can talk about,” Lacey said. “A picture on the wall, art work, paper weight, anything and inquire about it out of curiosity. While they are answering you, this is your opportunity to get yourself and emotions under control while listening to the tone of the interviewer’s voice and gauging what type of interview it is going to be.”

More tips while seeking health care careers

Undercover Recruiter (www.undercoverrecruiter.com) recently posted a list of 5 Ways to Shake Off Your Job Interview Anxiety.

  1. Plan ahead. This can’t be stressed enough. Most knots in the pits of stomachs occur because job applicants waltz into an interview unprepared and not knowing what to expect. Think through worst-case scenarios and have solutions ready. Jot down the answers to questions you fear being asked the most. And, know about the company going in.
  2. Have a dress rehearsal. Pick out your outfit, get your documents in order and have a friend or relative interview you. As part of the dress rehearsal, it might be a good idea to actually take a drive and go by the place where your interview is taking place. That way, you can rest at ease that you know exactly where you’re going that day.
  3. Have a good laugh. Laughter not only is the best medicine, but it also reduces levels of stress hormones and anxiety.
  4. Listen to music. Either listening to music that soothes or some rock ‘n’ roll that pumps you up, it can leave you feeling inspired to go in and show your best self.
  5. Be open about nervousness. It’s OK to admit it. If you start to stumble during a question, it’s OK to say something like, “I apologize, I’m extremely nervous. This is my first interview.” Or, “It’s been quite some time since I’ve been in this position.” Either way, it only makes you appear more human, and the interviewer just might be able to relate to you more.
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“Without the support of certain instructors … I would not have pushed myself to grasp the concepts and pass my boards on the first attempt. Once I passed my boards, it was less than one month after that I landed my first Respiratory Therapist job where I am currently working with so much joy every day.”


Marcus Streator
Respiratory Therapy graduate

“I decided to go to school because I was tired of working dead-end jobs. … When I found out I was pregnant, I realized that I needed a better life for me, for my child, for my husband, and just to better myself.”


Trenisha Jones
Dental Assistant Graduate