Let’s be completely honest here, the idea of a stranger judging your worth based on your appearance and ability to “sell yourself” in a single conversation is terrifying.
It is no surprise that so many of us feel tremendous anxiety around interviews. Luckily though, some simple tips can help us alleviate interview anxiety and that is exactly what we’re going to talk about today!
Before the Interview
When people think of “interview anxiety” they often think of those dreaded hours, minutes, or even seconds before the interview begins. And while this isn’t the only place where anxieties and stressors can come up around an interview, these before interview anxieties are often the easiest to address.
So, without further ado, here are a few tips to help you lessen your anxiety before your interview begins!
Practice Good Self-Care
It is a good idea to make sure that you have eaten something before your interview begins. After all, you wouldn’t want a loud stomach growl to interrupt your carefully crafted answer to a question, right?
But, while eating something is a good idea, make sure that you are not eating anything too heavy as this can make you feel tired during your interview.
It is also important to make sure that you have hydrated before your interview to avoid getting light-headed during the conversation. However, it is not a good idea to drink beverages with caffeine or any alcoholic beverages before an interview as these can heighten feelings and make you feel even more anxious.
Do Your Homework
Feeling knowledgeable about the position and the employer is a great way to reduce the stress you’re feeling about going into the interview. So before your interview, take the time to do some research. Learn as much as you can about the employer, job opening, and come up with answers to some popular interview questions.
Try thinking about these questions before your interview, and of course, feel free to come up with some of your own as well!
- Who is the employer?
- What is their main goal or foundational ideology?
- Where is the interview located?
- How long will it take you to get there?
- What type of clothing should you wear?
- What is the position?
- What are the responsibilities of the position?
- How are you qualified for that position?
- Why should they hire you over other candidates?
- What can you bring to the company that other candidates can’t?
Feeling prepared can also greatly improve your confidence and help to reduce feelings of nervousness or anxiety for an interview.
So how can you be prepared?
- Make sure you have all of your important documents ready (resume, cover letter, references, licenses, etc).
- Have a notepad and pen to take notes.
- Prepare some questions so that you can avoid the awkward silence when your interviewer asks if you have any questions.
- Do a mock interview if you can.
- Make sure you have done your homework!
In a quiet space, simply close your eyes and visualize yourself doing well in the interview. This helps to put your brain into a more positive state which can help you to behave and feel more confident when the time comes.
When we feel anxious our breath becomes very shallow. Try to combat this by taking the time to concentrate on your breathing and make sure that you are taking full, deep breaths.
Maybe try a simple breathing exercise such as a short hold — inhale for a count of four, hold the breath for a count of two, and exhale for a count of four. Try doing this for a couple of minutes to calm down.
If you’re finding a breathing exercise difficult, try sighing. This can help to quickly and effectively relax your body as well.
Write What’s on Your Mind
Try taking a few minutes to just write down any thoughts you are having. This can be a great exercise to help clear your mind and reduce your feelings of anxiety or stress.
Get Out of Your Head
Sometimes when we are stressed out we can become very self-focused. Try to step outside of this self-centric feeling by actively focusing on others.
Greet the receptionist at the front desk of your interview location. Ask your interviewer how their day has been going.
Whatever you do, just try to bring your focus to others instead of focusing on just yourself, your anxiety, and your interview.
During the Interview
Many people feel like once they get into an interview, there is nothing else they can do to help them relieve their anxieties and they are simply stuck with them until the interview is over.
Luckily, this is not the case.
Remember, an Interview Is a Two-Way Conversation
Think of an interview like a dating app. Yes, the interviewer is trying to find out if you are a good fit for the job, but you are also trying to find out if the job is a good fit for you.
Do you want to get hired for this job? Are the responsibilities of the position something you are looking for and comfortable with? Are the company’s atmosphere and philosophy a good match for you?
Keep these questions in mind as you go through your interview — and remember, you’re interviewing them just as much as they are you.
Take Your Time
You do not have to answer every question immediately. Truthfully, taking a few seconds to think over the question is often seen as a good thing — it shows that you are actually thinking about your answer.
Release Your Anxious Energy
Sometimes our anxiety has a way of showing up in rather obvious ways — such as causing us to fiddle with buttons, jewelry, or our fingers.
Releasing this energy is important, but try doing something more discreet, like wiggling your toes, to avoid appearing nervous.
Do Not Try to Ignore or Repress the Anxiety
Contrary to popular belief, ignoring something doesn’t make it go away. In the case of feelings of anxiety, ignoring often only makes the anxiety worse.
Rather than ignoring it, try accepting that you are or will be anxious and use that feeling to motivate yourself to work through the feeling and do the best you can in your interview.
After the Interview
A lot of us stress just as much (or even more) after the interview is over. We spend hours thinking about a better answer to a single question or continuously refresh our mailboxes for a response.
So, here are just two things to keep in mind once your interview is over.
Avoid Pouring Over Every Detail
Sitting, after your interview, and thinking about how you could have done better is nothing but a waste of time. You can’t change what happened in the past,
Do Something Enjoyable
You just made it through an interview! That is an extremely stressful experience and to congratulate yourself, do something you enjoy doing.
Maybe for you, that is…
- going for a walk.
- getting coffee with a friend.
- reading a book.
- watching a movie.
- doing some painting.
Whatever you do, you deserve that little break and congratulations for making it through an interview!
For additional guidance on how you can alleviate interview anxiety (either before, during, or after an interview), please don’t hesitate to reach out to us at Love Heal Grow.
We understand that meeting a stranger who is evaluating you on your looks and ability to talk about yourself can be incredibly stressful and trigger anxiety in a lot of people. But just because you’ll be interviewing on your own does not mean that you have to handle the anxiety alone.