This post will help those who suffer from interview anxiety! With the increasing unemployment rates, the job market has become more competitive than ever. It’s that much more important for job seekers to make every interview count.
For many of us, especially those who are just starting on their career, the thought of sitting through an interview can be terrifying. The stress that comes with job searching can be enough to prevent us from presenting our best selves to employers during interviews. But – if it’s any comfort, a study revealed that 93% of people experience anxiety related to job interviews, meaning – you’re not alone and this is extremely common.
If you’re in need of some tips on how to manage interview anxiety, then keep on reading!
Shift your Perspective
There’s often a misconception that job interviews are set up solely for recruiters and hiring managers to grill candidates with a billion questions. However, as a team of seasoned recruiters, we want to say that this is NOT true at all! A good recruiter always roots for the success of every candidate they meet. Our job is to make sure that the company is a good fit for you, just as much as you are for the company. So, interviews should always be treated as a two-way conversation. You want to ask the interviewer lots of questions as well! Before your next interview, remember to change your perspective. Prepare some thoughtful questions that can help you learn more about the business, the team you’d be joining, expectations in your first 90 days (and year), and your potential manager.
Preparation is Key
This tip may sound like a broken record for some, but being prepared really helps with alleviating interview anxiety. Before an interview, it’s important to research the company, the industry they’re in, and the role you’ve applied for. You also want to prepare a few questions to ask, and most importantly – practice for the interview.
Something that I personally do when practicing for an interview is to:
- Type out a list of potential questions that might get asked on a document.
- Craft out answers based on the questions. (Only write down the key points to bring up in order to avoid memorizing a whole paragraph and sounding like a robot) You can also use the STAR method to craft your answers.
- Practice answering those questions in front of a mirror or on zoom! Do this repeatedly, until you’re comfortable. If you can, ask a friend or family member to role-play and interview you – it’s nice to get feedback!
In addition to research and practice, don’t forget to take care of yourself physically and mentally. Times are hard, and we need to be intentional when it comes to self-care. Remember to eat well, exercise, stretch and partake in activities that are proven to help calm the mind such as yoga. If you’re still feeling overwhelmed, it can be helpful to talk to a health professional on further ways to manage stress and anxiety. When your mind and body are taken care of, it’ll be much easier to manage anxiety.
The Day of the Interview
On the day of your interview, remember to look your best and dress accordingly. It’s your time to shine! If you’re currently being interviewed virtually like most people, make sure you prepare a neat and quiet space that’s free of any distractions. And if you’re being interviewed in person, remember to allow extra buffer time to get to the location early.
If your anxiety riles up in the hours leading up to an interview, it might help to do a quick work out before. Even stretching and some breathing exercises prior to the interview can help with the fight or flight feeling.
When it’s time to finally go in for the interview, don’t forget to breathe and smile! Stay in the moment when talking with the interviewer. Remind yourself that the interview is as much as an opportunity for you to ask questions about the employer as it is for them to learn about you. If you ever find yourself stumbling on a question, there’s nothing wrong with asking for time to consider a question in order to provide your best answer. Being thoughtful in your response will get you higher brownie points than trying to respond quickly to every question.
As the interview is coming to an end, don’t forget to ask for the next steps and when you can expect to hear back! This shows the interviewer that you’re serious about the position and that you are expecting to hear back. It also helps decrease the chances of not receiving a follow-up call or email.
If you feel like you didn’t do your best, now is the time to stop thinking about it and move on! Sometimes, it really does take a few bad interviews until you get comfortable and more confident. Improve on what didn’t go well and remember not to linger on the negatives for too long,
To wrap everything up, remember that recruiters often go through hundreds of applications a day and if you’ve been chosen for an interview, it means your resume stood out and that they see potential in you – so don’t sell yourself short!