Interview anxiety is a genuine problem that can sabotage your chances of success in your next job interview.
You are competing against other job seekers whose aim is getting ahead. If you don’t have the right techniques to deal with anxiety, it can sneak up on you and stop you from performing at your best.
Unfortunately, studies show that candidates who are anxious at the interview often do not get the job offer.
The great news is that you can improve your chances of succeeding in your next interview if you work on your ability to control your nerves.
This article will show you some of the most effective tools you can use to combat interview anxiety.
An important note before we get started. If you suffer from a serious condition such as anxiety disorder, social anxiety disorder, or bipolar disorder, consult your doctor and discuss formal treatment. Your mental health is always a priority!
When you are preparing for your interview, you might feel like no one else is going through the same experience as you. It might seem that other candidates are much more confident than you are.
These thoughts might make it particularly challenging to stay calm and relaxed. On top of that, if you are interviewing for your dream job, the stakes are even higher. So is the pressure.
The truth is that you are far from alone in this experience. For an overwhelming majority of Americans, an interview is an excruciating experience. A survey conducted by Everest College found that over 92% of adults in the United States experience interview anxiety.
Job search is stressful and takes a lot of effort. The interview nerves you are feeling are not only normal but also very common. The good news is that this means that you and most other candidates start from a level playing field.
Luckily, there are reliable techniques you can use right now to fight job interview anxiety once and for all.
Here are some of the most effective tips for managing your interview nerves if you are feeling anxious.
A study conducted by management researchers Todd Maurer and Jerry Solamon found that 91% of people who took an interview-training program felt that they performed better in their interviews.
Your ability to prepare for an interview can become one of your greatest assets in overcoming interview nerves.
Research the job description so you can anticipate the interviewer’s questions. Understand the company’s requirements and review your skills and qualifications. Research the trending topics in your industry.
You can also watch career videos, review interviewing tips, or seek career advice. These are are all excellent ways to prepare.
The day before your interview, review your resume, cover letter, and any research notes. Once you finish your preparation, focus on taking care of yourself. Drink lots of water to stay hydrated. Eat well to nourish your body. Try listening to music that relaxes you.
If you can, go to bed early.
Getting a good night’s sleep will go a long way towards preventing your pre-interview anxiety. It will also help you wake up energized.
Make sure to eat a healthy breakfast on the day of your interview. Also, try drinking green tea instead of a cup of coffee. This will help you get energy but it won’t make you feel jittery.
For most people, sweaty palms and increased heart rate are a sure sign of nerves.
However, research conducted by Alison Brooks from Harvard Business School shows that our brains perceive nerves and excitement as the same feeling.
One of the best methods to use it to your advantage when you feel stressed is to avoid telling yourself you are anxious. Instead, try saying: “I am excited.” This simple technique is called “anxious reappraisal”.
Doing this might feel counterintuitive, but it can help you reframe your anxiety, turning it into excitement.
Focusing on your breath could be the most crucial thing which you can do to ease job interview anxiety. Unfortunately, it is also one of the easiest to forget during the job search.
The good news is that practicing breathing exercises can be a great help. This can be particularly helpful to control your heart rate.
Start by using simple breathing techniques for stress relief. Concentrate on slow, deep breaths. Breathe in through your nose and out through the mouth. You can do this before and during the job interview to calm your nerves and increase your concentration.
Another great technique, box breathing, is used by navy seals to stay calm and focused. To practice box breathing follow these steps:
Visualization is used by many sports coaches to improve athletes’ performance. The same technique can help you when you are preparing for your interview.
Focus on visualizing yourself as being successful in your interview. Picture yourself feeling confident and envision receiving a job offer. Your mind cannot differentiate between real and imaginary, which is why it will accept it as truth.
You may find that giving yourself a pep talk is also helpful in putting yourself in the right frame of mind.
Another excellent technique to reduce stress is Progressive Muscular Relaxation. To relieve the tense feeling in your body, squeeze a group of muscles, i.e., your hands, and hold it for a few seconds. Then, relax as much as possible. Repeat it with other muscles, especially those where you feel the most tension.
Our bodies find it difficult to smile and be negative at the same time. Smiling can make you feel more confident and even more likable.
This technique is particularly powerful when you combine it with visualization. If you are struggling with this, you might be spending too much time thinking about the interview. Instead, try to do something else to take your mind off it. The more exciting and engaging the activity, the better.
Remind yourself that the job interviewer wants to fill in the vacancy. He or she is hoping that you are the right person for the job, just as much as you do.
Remember that the company selected you for the interview. They already like something about your experience or qualifications. The worst thing that can happen is that you might not get the job. That is not the end of the world. If you don’t get this job, you will get the next one.
Each interview gives you a chance to practice your interview skills. Each practice increases your chances of succeeding in the future.
A mock interview can make a dramatic difference in your performance. If you don’t have extensive experience with interviews or public speaking, you can practice in front of a friend.
If you don’t have much time, you can even do it in front of a mirror. This exercise will help you prepare before you go for the actual interview. Besides, this is a great way to practice your body language so you can ensure that you don’t send wrong signals.
Additionally, make sure to review your achievements and success stories. You should always go to a job interview with a list of your ‘must mention’ accomplishments.
Knowing in advance how you might answer some of the interviewers’ questions will boost your confidence. It will also help you stay calm during the meeting itself.
Make sure that you know ahead of time where you are going. Give yourself plenty of time to get to the interview site. This way, you won’t have to rush, and you won’t arrive stressed and feeling anxious.
Before the interview starts, scan your resume and job description. Review the key points you want to mention, so it is all fresh in your head.
Finally, be kind to yourself. Try not to critique yourself as you go through the process. Regardless of the outcome, you have done a great job. Each interview brings you closer to your perfect job. Don’t be afraid to congratulate yourself for taking the chance!
Treat the solutions above like a toolkit that you can use at any time you need. Try each one of them and see what resonates best with you.
These tips will significantly help you to calm your interview anxiety. Use them whether you are applying for your first job; you are a seasoned professional or looking for a career change.
The chances are that you will be able to use many of these techniques in other stressful situations.
Learning how to overcome job interview anxiety is one of the best tools you can use to prepare for an interview and land your dream job!
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