How to Decrease My Interview Anxiety
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You finally got a call back from the company you applied to work with, they've set up a job interview, and you are feeling excited. However, as you begin to prepare for the interview, and the pre-interview nervousness begins. You are nervous about what you will be asked, how you will respond, and if there are any unpredictable questions or other factors that you haven't yet considered. Relax - There are ways to prepare for a job interview and decrease interview anxiety.
Take a look at these 10 techniques to reduce interview nervousness, which are origionally described by My World of Work. Apply only one or all of these strategies simultaneously, and prepare for a great interview experience!
10 Techniques to Reduce Interview Nervousness
1. Preparation. Preparing can help you have the confidence to have a good interview. Research the company and if possible the interviewer. If you know someone at the company, call them and ask questions about the specific job. The more you are prepared, the less anxious you will feel.
2. Be Alert. Make sure to have a good night sleep. 7 to 8 hours of sleep can help your brain and body to relax and recharge. It will also make you look healthier. Although falling asleep might be challenging if you are very anxious or are having racing thoughts, you can relax by practicing yoga, mediating, or even drinking some tea. Find what helps you to relax so you can get sleep. Stay away from alcohol or staying up too late.
3. Know Your Directions. This is in keeping with the "Be prepared" strategy - Knowing the actual directions to your interview can helpt to decrease anxiety, because you will know what type of traffic to expect and how to best prepare for being on time. Plan your trup the night before, and prepare to leave early to account for any delays such as weather, traffic or accidents. Delays are very common, so plan accordingly so that you arrive early, instead of being stressed out about being late. Remember being early leaves a good impression over being late.
4. Nutrition. Eating a small meal is important. If your interview is in the morning, have something small to give you energy and keep away grumbling tummies. If your interview is in the afternoon, eat a small lunch, but try to stay away from foods that might upset your stomach or linger on your breath. You can use mints or gum, but remember to spit out your gum before the interview. Chomping on gum can interfere with a first impression. Chewing gum does not look professional, and you may not even be aware of the noises you are making or how it looks to the interviewer.
5. Take Deep Breaths. Taking in deep breaths helps to regulate breathing patterns and heart rate. My World Of Work recommends that if you “Rest your hand on your stomach and breathe in through your nose for a count of four – then breathe out through your nose for a count of five. You should feel calmer.” It is also recommended to try breathing in slowly through your nose and hold. Then exhale through your mouth slowly. Do this repeatedly, somewhere between 5 to 10 times. You can continue to do this until you feel calmer. You can also do this as often as needed.
6. Think Positive Thoughts! Think positively about the interview. Imagine the interview and that you have control and that the interview is going well. Imagine that you are able to gracefully answer all the questions and that you successfully get the job. Remember to think positively before, during and after the interview. Remember to smile during the interview. The more confident you feel, the more confident you will appear.
7. Stay Cool. If you are coming from a hot environment, sweating can make you appear to be nervous. Remember to control your sweating by staying cool. If you are feeling sweaty, drink some cool water. Run cool water over your wrists or wipe your face with a towel of cold water. Try not to get any water on your suit or clothes.
8. Remember Strengths. We all have strengths and weaknesses, so be aware of both. Many times an interviewer wants to know both so that you can demonstrate self-awareness of what you can improve on. Knowing your strengths can help you identify what you can offer to the company. Make a list of all your strengths and weaknesses. Look at the company to identify how your strengths can benefit the company.
9. Don’t Dwell. After the interview it's normal to review some aspects of the interview in your mind, and it's normal to replay the whole event a few times. Take the time to think about the positives and negatives of the interview. Think about what you would do differently next time if you would like, and let it go. Learn to let it be and think positively. You just may get a call back.
10. Post-Interview Feedback. My World Of Work suggestst that "Whether you get the job or not it’s important to ask for feedback on how you performed. Honest feedback means that you can go on to improve your interview style by working on the areas you didn’t do so well in. This means that you’ve already started your preparation for the next interview and those sweaty palms will be a thing of the past”. I have been a hiring agent for many years and I have never been asked, “how do you think I did?’ I have mixed feelings about this suggestion. I am not sure the interviewer would tell you if you did poorly. Instead, I would suggest paying attention to what the interviewer is saying as you are preparing to leave. Sometimes an interviewer will give you clues about what they are thinking. For example, “I think you would do well here”, “I like some of the ideas you have”, “We will definitely be calling next week”.
- Kim B.
10 top tips for handling interview nerves. (n.d.). Retrieved January 8, 2015, from http://www.myworldofwork.co.uk/content/10-top-tips-for-handling-interview-nerves