Calm and Confident

Written by Karine Rayson

Written by Karine Rayson

Want to know how to calm the nerves and stay confident in your interviews? Crew Coach Karine Rayson shares her advice.

Do you ever feel anxious before an interview or think you could have done afterwards? A common statement I hear from crew is, “I think I rambled too much!” I suffered from performance anxiety when it came to interviews, and it wasn’t until I changed my mindset that the pressure to perform was alleviated. 

Job interviews can be nerve-wracking experiences, but they also present opportunities to showcase your skills, qualifications, and personality to potential employers. One of the key ingredients for interview success is confidence. Confident candidates leave a lasting impression and are more likely to make a positive impact on interviewers. Getting to grips with strategies and techniques to help you boost your confidence, will in turn help you excel in job interviews.

Prepare and Practice
Before the interview, prepare answers to common questions. Write down key points you want to cover and practice delivering your responses succinctly. This will help you stay on track and avoid going off on tangents. If you are unsure of what the common questions may be, ask department heads or the captain – they have all been interviewed by owners or their representatives, other captains or crew agents before.

Focus on the Question
Listen carefully to the question being asked. Make sure you understand it before you start answering and if you’re unsure, ask for clarification. Addressing the specific question will prevent you from going off-topic. It also demonstrates to your interviewer that you are unafraid to ask for help. This is a key factor in reducing accidents from occurring on board. 

Use the STAR Method:
For behavioural questions about specific situations, use the STAR method (Situation, Task, Action, Result) to structure your response. This framework encourages you to provide a concise overview of the situation, the task, your actions, and the results you achieved.

Practice Active Listening
Pay attention to the interviewer’s body language and cues. If you notice them starting to lose interest or if they’re trying to move on, wrap up your response. Active listening will help you gauge their level of engagement.

Breathe and Pause:
When you feel yourself starting to ramble, take a deep breath and pause. It will give you a chance to collect your thoughts and re-focus your response.

Stay Concise and Avoid Over-Sharing:
Think before you speak, and try to answer each question within one or two minutes. This timeframe is generally sufficient to provide relevant information without over-sharing. While it’s good to provide context, avoid anecdotes that don’t directly relate to the question and stick to the relevant points.

Practice with Mock Interviews:
Conduct mock interviews with a friend, family member, or career advisor. This will allow you to practice your responses and receive feedback on your delivery.

Be Mindful of Nervousness:
Nervousness can sometimes lead to rambling. Practice relaxation techniques before the interview, such as deep breathing or visualization, to help manage your nerves. And focus on what you can control, nerves are natural, but you’re in charge of your preparation, demeanour and question responses. This can help redirect your energy away from anxiety and toward confidence.

Embrace imperfection
This technique is what helped me! Remember that no one is perfect, and interviewers understand that. It’s okay if you stumble over a word or need a moment to collect your thoughts. Don’t let small errors undermine your confidence.

And lastly, learn from rejections: Not every interview will result in an offer. Instead of dwelling on rejection, view it as an opportunity to learn and grow. Every interview experience can contribute to building your confidence for future opportunities.

Confidence is a skill that can be developed and honed over time. You can boost your confidence and shine during job interviews by preparing thoroughly, practising, and adopting a positive mindset. Remember, your unique experiences and skills make you a valuable candidate. Embrace your strengths, stay composed, and let your confidence guide you toward interview success.

To unlock more great tips, workshops and mentors, head to our exclusive membership waitlist TCC Tribe.


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