Handling Job Interview Anxiety

Posted on Apr 17, 2019 10:13 AM


Sweaty palms. Rapid heartbeat. Tremblings hands and legs. Dry mouth.

Have you experienced any of these physical symptoms before or during a job interview? If so, you are certainly not alone. Job interview anxiety does not discriminate; it can strike anyone, regardless of his or her age, educational background, or professional experience. Research shows that over 90% of adults in the U.S. experience job interview anxiety. The best weapons for battling nerves and anxiety before and during an interview are preparation and practice. Whether you are a first-time job seeker or chronic job hopper, an introvert or an extrovert, it can be extremely helpful to think about what questions you will be asked prior to the interview and to rehearse your answers. This will help you approach the interview with confidence.

Below are some commonly asked job interview questions:            

-Why do you believe you are qualified for this position?

-What do you consider your most significant accomplishment?

-What do you like and dislike most about your current or last position?

-What are some of your career goals?

-What are some of your weaknesses (if any)?

While researching and rehearsing your answers ahead of time will help you feel more prepared, nerves and anxiety can still strike in the days leading up to the interview and especially during the interview itself. Here are some general tips to help combat nervousness and raise your level of confidence:

1. Plan ahead to avoid stress.

Last minute planning can create unnecessary stress. The night before, go through your interview checklist, set aside what you'll wear, and decide what you'll include in your morning routine (e.g., a shower, homemade breakfast, etc.). Be sure to get plenty of sleep in the days leading up to the interview.

2. Avoid caffeine on the morning of the interview.

Researchers believe that caffeine can increase tension levels. Avoiding caffeinated coffee, tea, cola, and chocolate may help reduce your anxiety levels.

3. Remind yourself of your strengths to build confidence.

Anxiety can suppress your confidence. Remind yourself why you are a top candidate and how you'll communicate that to the interviewer.

4. Don't over-analyze.

Interviews present many unknowns. Accept that you are as prepared as possible and cannot know exactly what the interviewer will be like or what types of questions you will face.

5. Breathe.

When we are overcome with nerves, it's common to forget to breathe. Taking slow, deep breaths while you are waiting for the start of the interview will help you to relax.

Finally, remember that a job interview is an exciting opportunity to share more information about yourself and learn more about an organization. Receiving an invitation to interview is already a sign that you are an attractive candidate for the position. So believe in yourself and consider each job interview experience as an important stepping stone in your lifelong professional journey.

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Topics: Career Skills, Interview Skills

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