Tips for Beating Interview Anxiety

Do you feel uneasiness before an important job interview? Well, that is normal. It should not come as a surprise that you might experience anxiety about almost everything in the procedure.

This source of nagging concern is a common thing especially for those who are about to undergo an interview. So before we proceed, it would be worthy to discuss and elaborate on what interview anxiety is.

What is interview anxiety?

By definition, anxiety means a kind of feeling of worry, nervousness, or uneasiness typically about something with an uncertain outcome. And feeling worried about an interview is just a common thing.

A stress kind of feeling about a significant interview is a healthy sign that you want to succeed in this great moment. You can motivate yourself to stay active and alert during the interview. However, don’t forget that anxiety can also weaken your memory by distracting you from your focus.

Yet there are job seekers who miss interviews because of intense interview anxiety.

We compiled 11 quick but effective strategies in overcoming your anxiety and maybe, using it for your benefits.

  1. Don’t push yourself to stay calm – Unknown to many interviewees, forcing themselves to come down amid adrenaline rush would only increase their stress.

One of the best techniques to do is to remain calm. But not to the point that you would force your mind and body to do so. Listening to calm music and breathing methods before an interview are just some quick reliefs to stay calm.

  1. Take control of all the things that you can before the interview – During the interview, your interviewer has all the right to control things such as what he would want to ask you. But controlling yourself on how you would prepare for it lies in your hands. Instead of struggling against your anxiety, why don’t you use it to inspire yourself in preparing for that great moment?

You can do thorough research about the company, including its products and services. You can practice different responses to a variety of questions as well. Don’t forget that the more prepared you are, the higher the chance to pass the interview.

Another great thing to do is practice a mock interview. It is also a great way to become more prepared and relax. You can ask your friend to “conduct an interview”. You can give him some typical questions or your friend can generate questions related to the interview. And if you are going to travel for the interview, allocate enough time to get there. Never rush in since it will only cause too much excitement at your end. According to the Senior Vice President of People Operations at Google, practice and preparation are the keys to nailing an interview.

  1. Write down anything on your mind – Jot down every question that keeps on popping on your head. Don’t you know that writing down your thoughts is one of the most beneficial and helpful ways that you can do to reduce your stress or anxiety?

For example, your interview will be tomorrow. And for sure, there are many kinds of thoughts popping on your mind now and then. As much as possible, try to remember and write them down immediately. In this way, you can read down and assess the way you might behave and think during an interview. Take note of those things that could enhance your capability to think and stay positive during the interview.

  1. Ask yourself – Asking yourself is not an early sign of insanity. Rather, it helps you in decision-making. Not everything you feel is correct. So it is better if you try to dispute your subjective feeling from your objective point of view.
  1. Sigh – As simple as it may seem, sighing is the best alternative if you are having a hard time taking a deep breath. You can do this by taking a breath then letting it out just like a sigh. Repeat this if necessary. Once you feel that the tensions around your shoulders and neck started to relax, you would also notice that you can perceive things more logically.
  1. Practice breathing – When you are under stress, you may notice that your breathing is shallow. You can try this breathing technique that Dr. Andrew Weil has developed. Start by breathing in for a count of four, holding for two, and then breathing out for another count of four. This technique should calm your nerves and provide you a relaxing neck, shoulder, and arms.
  1. Success visualization – visualizing yourself being successful in your upcoming interview is far more than positive thinking. When properly done, your brain will behave in a particular way that would improve your performance.

It has been said that virtual reality (VR) may significantly help applicants in their preparation for their interviews. A study conducted to investigate the advantage of utilizing virtual reality (VR) in reducing stress and enhancing interview skills. It showed that the VR technique lessens anxiety.

  1. Wear the right mindset – Although this may seem easy to say, with a conviction and presence of mind, you can switch all your focus on the task in hand.

Getting into the right mindset means blocking any kind of negative energy that would only succumb to pressure. One good practice is to convince yourself that an interview is only a conversation between you and the other guy. So, instead of telling yourself that “I won’t get this job”, or “the interviewer is trying to catch me out”, try to showcase what you can do for the job.

  1. Before going to the interview, be aware of what you eat or drink – Before an interview, avoid caffeine. Taking an alcoholic drink before an interview is also a big no-no. A very light meal to make you not feel light-headed would be enough. A heavy meal will only make you feel tired, so better avoid it as well. It is also good to take plenty of water to maintain hydration before going to an interview.
  2. “Getting out of the box” – An individual who feels anxiety tends to become self-focused during the whole process. Instead of thinking about yourself, shift your focus on others, and start to be sympathetic. Greeting the receptionist at the lobby is one way. Asking your interviewer how his day is going on is another way.

Think about others. When someone tells you their name, try to remember them as much as possible. Engage in conversation with other applicants. These would surely provide you the feeling of compassion with other individuals. As a result, you are thinking outside your box.

  1. The power of a glass of water – At the start of the interview, your interviewer may offer you a glass of water. Should you accept it or not? Do not decline the offer. A glass of water at the start of an interview provides many helpful advantages. Let’s take a look at them:
  • If by any chance you are asked a difficult question, take a sip of water. By doing so, you will have an extra couple of seconds to gather your opinions and thoughts. A clever one, right?

  • Stay hydrated. Remember that nervousness can make your throat feel so dry. Take a sip of water to prevent this from happening.

  • They say that drinking a glass of water at the start of an interview may help in reducing stress levels. Well, this is worth trying.


The Interviewer

Now let’s talk about the interviewer. The person who is about to conduct an interview would have probably interviewed nervous interviewees before. Therefore, they can easily sense if you are feeling uneasy during the interview. And with that, they will try to make you feel at ease if not too comfortable during the interview. You might notice that they may ask you to take your time analyzing your answers. This one of their methods in helping you feel a little relaxed than before.

Funny thing is, candidates tend to think that interviewers are superheroes, while they (interviewees) are the villains. Do not forget that your interviewer is just another human being sitting in front of you. He has the same feeling and emotion as yours. And he fully understands the way you feel. More or less, there came a point in their lives that “they’ve been here, done that”.


Final words

Being anxious before and during the interview process is not unusual. All of us will always be likely to experience a certain degree of anxiety at an interview. However, we should not consider it as a bad thing or bad feeling we are keeping inside. But if it is weakening your will to move forward, it is a good thing to seek medical help.

Bear in mind that anxiety should never be used as an excuse for not performing well in the interview. Now you know that you can use it and take advantage of it in achieving success during an interview.

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