3 strategies for overcoming your nerves and acing the big job interview

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Going into an interview for a new job is always a nerve-racking experience, especially if the position you're going after is a step up from your current one. If you're an entry-level employee trying to climb into middle management or a manager looking to reach the executive level, just getting that interview is a major step up.

The best way to ace the interview is to overcome the nerves, stay focused and be yourself.

It's easy to get nervous in a situation like that - after all, your career is hanging in the balance. But the best way to ace the interview and put yourself in position to advance is to overcome the nerves, stay focused and be yourself.

The following three strategies should prove helpful:

1. When in doubt, prepare better

Often, when you're feeling nervous about an impending job interview, it's because you're worried that you didn't prepare enough. Forbes notes that this is a common problem for interviewees, and the more you study for an interview, the less nervous you'll be.

Learn every detail you can about the company and the position you're applying for, so that no matter what question comes your way, you can answer confidently. Also, preparation doesn't have to be limited to the interview itself. Handling little details like transportation to the office and parking can help you de-stress and allow you to focus on acing the interview.

2. Know when to stray from the script

Preparation is good, but the last thing you want to do is look like you've overly prepared, like you've simply memorised lines from a script. Psychology Today pointed out that if your interview answers appear overly polished, it might make you seem like a less genuine candidate.

If your interview answers are obviously scripted, that's not a good look.If your interview answers are obviously scripted, that's not a good look.

There's a balance to be struck between preparing well and being yourself. You want to speak in a relatable, conversational style that will allow interviewers to see your personality. The hope is that people will like you for you, not the alternate persona you scripted.

3. Give off an image of confidence

If you act nervous in the interview setting, hiring managers are very likely to notice, and that can count against you. That's why Monster.co.uk recommends "acting the part" and giving off an image of confidence that the job is yours. Even if you're terrified on the inside, don't show it outwardly.

Use the right gestures to show your confident approach. A firm handshake, good posture, clearly defined body language and solid eye contact during conversations can all help drive that point home. In the end, the hope is to show, as well as tell, that you're worthy of a promotion to the next level.

By Heather Hoskins