You've successfully subscribed to Kick Health Blog
Great! Next, complete checkout for full access to Kick Health Blog
Welcome back! You've successfully signed in.
Success! Your account is fully activated, you now have access to all content.
Success! Your billing info is updated.
Billing info update failed.
How To Calm Nerves Before an Interview—A Quick Guide

How To Calm Nerves Before an Interview—A Quick Guide

Interviews can stir up a mix of emotions. The anticipation, pressure to perform, and fear of the unknown can all contribute to a heightened state of anxiety.

While a little nervousness may help you stay focused and alert, too much can be overwhelming. It’s an experience shared by many, from fresh graduates to seasoned professionals—but it doesn’t have to be this way.

With the right strategies and tricks, you can manage and even overcome unease. This article describes how to calm your nerves before an interview, helping you do your best when it matters the most.

Interview Anxiety Explained

Interview anxiety is a type of performance anxiety that occurs when you’re preparing for a job or school interview. It’s typically characterized by worry, nervousness, or insecurity about the upcoming event. The symptoms can be physical and psychological and vary in intensity among individuals.

Check out the table below for a breakdown of the typical symptoms of interview anxiety:

Physical Symptoms

Psychological Symptoms

  • Rapid heartbeat

  • Sweating

  • Shaking

  • Nausea

  • Dry mouth

  • Difficulty concentrating

  • Fear or excessive worry

  • Negative thinking

  • Memory problems

The Physiology Behind Interview Anxiety

Interview anxiety, like other forms of anxiety, is rooted in the body’s natural response to stress—often called the “fight or flight” response. When faced with a stressful situation like an interview, the body releases stress hormones such as adrenaline and cortisol. These hormones cause physical changes in the body, resulting in accelerated heart rate, rapid breathing, and heightened senses as your body prepares to respond to the perceived threat.

These physiological changes can induce psychological and emotional reactions. For instance, the rush of adrenaline can cause feelings of restlessness and unease, while high cortisol levels can lead to fear and apprehension. Over time, these feelings can build up, leading to a state of general anxiety.

The following factors can exacerbate anxiety:

  • Uncertainty—Not knowing what to expect regarding the questions you’ll be asked, the interview format, or the interviewer’s expectations can contribute to stress
  • Pressure to perform—Intense desire to do well and make a good impression can create a lot of pressure, leading to anxiety
  • Fear of negative evaluation—Worrying about being judged negatively or making mistakes can heighten anxiety levels
  • Lack of preparation—Inadequate preparation for an interview can result in a lack of confidence, contributing to nervousness
  • Past experiences—Previous negative interview experiences can cause anticipatory anxiety for future interviews

Source: George Milton

Using Medications To Calm Nerves Before an Interview

Specific medications can be effective in managing interview nerves for some people. These drugs alter the chemical balance in the brain, helping reduce symptoms of anxiety and promote a sense of calm. Medications for interview anxiety fall into four main categories: 

  1. Benzodiazepines
  2. Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs)
  3. Serotonin and norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors (SNRIs)
  4. Beta-blockers


Benzodiazepines are primarily prescribed to patients with acute anxiety disorders. These drugs boost the effect of gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA), making it more effective and decreasing nerve activity in your brain and spinal cord. This results in feelings of relaxation and calm, alleviating the symptoms of interview stress and helping you stay focused.

Learn about common benzodiazepines typically prescribed to patients with anxiety disorders below:

Drug Name

Typically Taken For

Treatment Horizon


  • Anxiety disorders

  • Panic disorders

Eight weeks maximum or as needed


  • Anxiety

  • Seizures

  • Muscle spasms

Four weeks maximum or as needed

Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors (SSRIs)

Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) are a type of antidepressant that can help reduce anxiety symptoms. The mechanism of action of SSRIs involves three key steps:

  1. Increasing serotonin levels—SSRIs boost the levels of serotonin, a chemical that helps transmit signals in the brain
  2. Preventing serotonin reabsorption—Normally, once serotonin has transmitted its message, it gets reabsorbed by the nerve cells (a process known as reuptake), but SSRIs prevent this process
  3. Enhancing mood and reducing anxiety—By preventing the reabsorption of serotonin, more of this chemical is available to transmit messages between nerve cells, enhancing the feeling of calm and reducing anxiety

Check out the table below for information on common SSRIs taken for anxiety:

Drug Name

Typically Taken For

Treatment Horizon


  • Anxiety

  • Major depressive disorder

  • Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD)

  • Bulimia

Long term


Long term

Serotonin-Norepinephrine Reuptake Inhibitors (SNRIs)

Serotonin-norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors (SNRIs) are typically prescribed to patients with anxiety disorders, depression, and chronic pain. These drugs influence two key neurotransmitters in the brain:

  1. Serotonin
  2. Norepinephrine

SNRIs inhibit the reuptake of these neurotransmitters back into the nerve cells in the brain, leading to an increased concentration of these mood-regulating chemicals in the brain’s synaptic cleft, where communication between nerve cells occurs. Their action can elevate mood and reduce feelings of anxiety, providing relief for individuals experiencing interview nerves.

Learn about some of the SNRIs typically taken for anxiety in the following table:

Drug Name

Typically Taken For

Treatment Horizon


  • Social anxiety 

  • Generalized anxiety disorder (GAD)

  • Depression

  • Panic attacks

Long term


  • Chronic anxiety disorders

  • Depression

Long term


Beta-blockers are primarily prescribed to patients with high blood pressure and heart disease, but they can also be used off-label for situational anxiety. These drugs work in three steps:

  1. Blocking adrenaline—Beta-blockers inhibit the effects of adrenaline, a hormone your body produces naturally in response to stress
  2. Alleviating physical symptoms—By blocking the receptors adrenaline binds to, these drugs can help reduce physical symptoms of anxiety, such as rapid heartbeat and shaking
  3. Promoting calm—With the physical symptoms of anxiety reduced, individuals often feel calmer and more in control, which can help to alleviate feelings of anxiety

Check out the table below for information on the beta-blockers commonly prescribed to people with performance anxiety:

Drug Name

Typically Taken For

Treatment Horizon


  • High blood pressure

  • Irregular heart rhythm

  • Angina

  • Situational anxiety

Only as needed for occasional anxiety


  • High blood pressure

  • Chest pain due to poor blood flow to the heart

  • Heart failure

  • Performance anxiety

As needed for situational anxiety

What’s the Best Drug for Pre-Interview Stress?

The best drug for pre-interview stress depends on your health status and specific type of anxiety. Beta-blockers are typically used for managing short-term anxiety about particular events rather than long-term issues. If you only experience occasional anxiety during interviews, tests, public speaking, or stage performances, consider propranolol or atenolol, but if you have chronic anxiety disorders, consider benzodiazepines, SSRIs, SNRIs, and other long-term treatments. 

How Do You Get Medications for Interview Anxiety?

Medications for anxiety can only be obtained with a prescription from a healthcare provider. These drugs can be potent since they affect your body and mind, so you should only use them under the guidance of a medical professional who can monitor your progress and adjust the dosage if necessary.

To make the most out of the medications, you should have an open and honest conversation with your doctor about your symptoms and concerns. The biggest challenge is the stigma associated with using medications for performance anxiety, so some people are hesitant to discuss these issues openly with their doctors.

On the bright side, telemedicine clinics have emerged as a convenient and discreet alternative for those seeking help with situational anxiety. Platforms like Kick allow you to consult healthcare professionals online and receive prescriptions for anxiety medications, making this a more comfortable option if you prefer a private and convenient way to seek help.

Kick—A Quick Solution for Performance Anxiety

Source: Henri Mathieu-Saint-Laurent

Kick is a secure, private, and easy-to-use platform for individuals dealing with performance anxiety. Through Kick’s program, you can get two effective beta-blockers—propranolol and atenolol—which are commonly prescribed for occasional anxiety.

Once you sign up, our expert will review your health status to determine the most suitable treatment for you. The medication will be delivered directly to your door or local pharmacy in discreet packaging with clear instructions on how to use it.

Because the consultations happen online, you can access the service from any location and at any time, making Kick a convenient option if you have a busy schedule. If you have any questions, you can always reach out to your designated doctor through the online platform.

How To Get Started With Kick

To benefit from Kick’s performance anxiety program, follow these three steps:

  1. Go to the signup page to start your brief consultation
  2. Complete the questionnaire to fill us in on your health status and anxiety issues
  3. Enter your payment and delivery details

If our team decides Kick isn’t the best solution for your specific issue, you won’t pay for the initial consultation, as per our Doctor Guarantee.

Kick’s program has numerous positive reviews on Trustpilot, demonstrating that it has helped many individuals cope with situational anxiety:

“I’d heard a few people mention, and been debating about trying. I ended up being selected to move forward in a competitive job search, which required many interviews. I'd been told that I came off as anxious in interviews previous so decided to give it a shot. The process was so fast, easy, and informative! Delivery was also fast, and it's working great!”

Lizzy Holly, U.S.

Source: Tima Miroshnichenko

Common Side Effects of Anti-Anxiety Medications 

While medications can help alleviate the symptoms of interview nerves, they carry the risk of side effects. Potential unwanted reactions to anti-anxiety drugs are:

  • Dizziness
  • Drowsiness
  • Dry mouth 
  • Headache
  • Cold hands and feat
  • Weight gain
  • Fatigue

This list isn’t exhaustive. Inform your doctor immediately if you experience unwanted reactions while on these medications.

Preparing for the Interview—The Key to Building Confidence

Preparation is crucial for managing interview nerves. It involves understanding the job role, researching the company, and rehearsing your responses to potential interview questions.

Start by researching the company and the role you’re applying for. Some of the helpful tips include:

  • Understand the company’s mission, values, and culture
  • Familiarize yourself with the job description and the skills required to tailor your responses and show how you can add value to the company
  • Anticipate potential interview questions and rehearse your responses
  • Consider conducting mock interviews with a friend or family member to get feedback and improve

The more you rehearse, the more confident you’ll feel during the interview.

Practical Techniques To Calm Nerves Before an Interview

Source: Christina Morillo

Some of the techniques that can help you relax, focus, and present your best self during the interview are:

  1. Breathing exercises for instant calm
  2. Visualization techniques for confidence building

Breathing Exercises for Instant Calm

Deep breathing exercises can be a quick and effective way to reduce anxiety during interviews. Here’s a simple method you can try:

  1. Find a comfortable and quiet place with minimal disruptions
  2. Sit or lay down
  3. Put one hand on your belly and the other on your chest
  4. Take a slow and deep breath through your nose, ensuring your belly rises more than your chest does
  5. Hold your breath for about four seconds
  6. Slowly exhale through your mouth, ensuring your belly moves in as you expel all the air out
  7. Repeat the steps above several times 

Visualization Techniques for Confidence Building

Visualization is a powerful technique that involves picturing a positive outcome in your mind. To boost your confidence using this approach, follow these steps:

  1. Find a quiet place
  2. Close your eyes and take a few deep breaths to relax
  3. Visualize yourself during the interview, along with details like the room, the interviewer, and the clothes you’re wearing
  4. Imagine yourself answering the questions confidently and competently
  5. Visualize the interviewer nodding and smiling, clearly impressed with your answers
  6. End the visualization with a positive affirmation, such as telling yourself that you’re prepared and will succeed

To benefit from this technique, repeat this exercise as often as possible.

Featured image source: Gustavo Fring