Let’s face it, interviews are make-or-break moments during the job search process. Job interviews can be a stressful and nerve-wracking experience for many people. It’s natural to feel anxious when you’re being evaluated for a position that could potentially impact your career and livelihood. However, excessive job interview anxiety can be debilitating and could potentially harm your chances of getting the job. In this blog post, we’ll discuss some strategies you can use to overcome job interview anxiety and improve your chances of success.
Have you ever heard the saying, “A pinch of prevention is worth a pound of cure?” One of the most effective ways to overcome job interview anxiety is to be well-prepared. This means researching the company and the position you’re applying for, practicing your responses to common interview questions, and rehearsing your body language and tone of voice. The more you prepare, the more confident and relaxed you’ll feel during the interview.
- Have your resume right in front of you.
- Have the job description and identify the unique particular skills that you feel 110% comfortable and confident, but also identify the ones that you’re like, “Oh, if they ask me about this. I don’t know what I’m going to say. I’m freaking out.” Because the honest truth, as most of us may know, a lot of the questions that they’re going to ask are based on the job description and based on the particular role. So if you’re able to prepare beforehand, of course you’re never going to know all the things that they’re going to ask you, but it’s just coming from the place of these are my unique areas of strength. These are my unique areas of improvement, so let me take a hold of those things. I regularly print the job posting old school style and write notes in the margins. Highlighting those key things, those areas of improvement, those unique skills, you should be having a running list of all of those things, including examples of previous challenges that you had to overcome or barriers.
- Research the company online. Find out what is important to them and write down a few bullets on how you fit into that picture.
- Research the product or service
- Research the specific role
- Research the company culture
- Contact the employer/recruiter beforehand
- Ask questions like
- “Who will be interviewing me?
- What is the format of the interview?
- What is that interview going to be focused on?
- Is there anything you suggest I prepare for?”
- You’ll be able to have a better sense and be able to prepare effectively to the best of your ability.
- Ask questions like
- Use our Job interview checklist. This is intended to be a start guide not the be all end all of interview preparation. Adapt it to your style and circumstances.
Practice relaxation techniques
I know for myself, one of the things I had to learn is that I talk fast, like really really fast, especially when I’m nervous, so you have to slow down. You have to remember that it’s okay to take a quick pause if you need to collect your thoughts. All of that is normal. Any pause that you feel is amplified 10 times in your head. Relaxation techniques such as deep breathing, progressive muscle relaxation, and visualization can help you calm your nerves and reduce anxiety. Before the interview, take a few minutes to practice these techniques to help you feel more centered and focused.
I know this one might be a little “new-age” for some of you but stay with me. Visualization is a powerful tool that can help you overcome job interview anxiety. Imagine yourself walking into the interview room feeling calm, confident, and prepared. Visualize yourself answering questions with ease, making a positive impression on the interviewer, and ultimately getting the job. This positive visualization can help you build confidence and reduce anxiety.
Shift your focus
Negative thoughts and self-doubt can exacerbate job interview anxiety. Challenge these thoughts by reminding yourself of your strengths and accomplishments. Focus on the skills and experiences that make you a strong candidate for the position, and avoid dwelling on your perceived weaknesses.
I think a lot of people, their worst nightmare is to get asked a question that they just don’t have an answer for. It’s okay to say, “Oh, I don’t know, but I’m really interested to learn more about that.” You should never lie, because it’ll definitely show. Or there’ll be people that yes, you could be nervous and be like, “Unfortunately, I do not have experience in that area of practice at this time or with that particular database. However, I am someone that is very eager to learn. I really want to be able to implement these changes” But absolutely be honest, don’t lie.
Challenge negative thoughts
Instead of focusing on your anxiety, try to shift your attention to the interviewer and the conversation. Be okay with no body language, no affirmation or validation on the other side. Listen carefully to the questions and respond thoughtfully. Engage with the interviewer and try to establish a connection. By shifting your focus away from your anxiety, you’ll feel more present and engaged in the interview.
Remember that it’s okay to be nervous
It’s natural to feel nervous during a job interview, and interviewers understand that. Remind yourself that it’s okay to be nervous and that it doesn’t necessarily reflect poorly on your qualifications. Accepting your nervousness can help you feel more relaxed and confident during the interview.
Job interview anxiety is a common experience, but it doesn’t have to hold you back. By preparing thoroughly, practicing relaxation techniques, visualizing success, challenging negative thoughts, shifting your focus, and accepting your nerves, you can overcome job interview anxiety and improve your chances of success.
Remember, you’re in control.
Nothing happens without you. And even if you get the job, you could turn it down. So it’s not like you have to do anything.