Interview fear is natural, but it doesn't have to be debilitating.
Nerve-racking and stressful, anxiety-inducing and pressure-packed. These are all appropriate descriptions of job interviews, but let's be honest. When we put the grown-up words away, it comes down to this: Interviews are downright scary.
And understandably so. There's a job on the line — that means your career, lifestyle, and income may be determined by your performance in just 30–60 minutes. No pressure, right?
If it's any consolation, you're not alone — not in the least. In fact, there are a number of interview fears so common that you may recognize them as your own. Here we break down some of the most popular anxieties about job interviews and what you can do to conquer them.
“What if I can't effectively articulate my points?”
You know what you've accomplished throughout your career, and you know how your skill set qualifies you for the job at hand. The struggle is that the hiring manager doesn't know those things. The interview is your opportunity to communicate this to them — to make your case for why your skills and experience make you right for the job. That means that articulating all of this clearly is paramount.
Of course, this is easier said than done. It's not just a matter of getting out the words — it's about getting out the right words. To really succeed in an interview, you need to shape your responses to be clear, concise, and impactful. This is where interviewing becomes its own art, and where professional interview coaching is most valuable. A coach will work with you on the details, helping you find the right words and mold your points into answers that impress.
“What if I say the wrong thing?”
Asking about salary too soon, complaining about an old boss, responding that you don't have any weaknesses — there are a number of things that should not be said in a job interview. That said, we all make mistakes, especially when the pressure is on. If slipping up and mentioning a big interview “don't” is one of your greatest fears, we understand.
The best way to keep yourself on track is to lessen the possibility of the mistake. How? Preparation of course! When you have an idea of what to expect in your interview, you can shift your focus from the fear of saying the wrong things to saying the right things instead. Whether it's by reading up on online advice or taking a look at common interview questions, thorough preparation will guide you in the right direction with your responses (and keep you there).
“What if I blank on my biggest selling point?”
This fear is perhaps the worst of all. You've worked hard in your career and likely racked up some impressive accomplishments along the way, and you just know that certain elements of your work experience are job-interview gold. You finally get asked the question that allows you to share why you're perfect for the role and … crickets.
The silence in your brain is deafening.
Believe it or not, you already know the answer to conquering this interview fear. Just like avoiding major mistakes, the key to remembering everything you want to say is careful preparation. Here, however, is where more expert prep work can be valuable. By working with a professional coach from TopInterview, you'll undergo a mock interview where you can practice answering the big questions. That way, when you're sitting in the interview room, you've already rehearsed incorporating your biggest selling points into your responses, making it less likely that you'll forget them in the moment.
“What if I'm not good enough?”
I'm going to stop you right there. You are good enough!
There's nothing like a high-pressure situation to make us question our abilities, but remember: It was your resume — your combination of skills, specialties, and experience — that landed you this interview. And you are still that person.
The key to dispelling this fear is keeping perspective. Imposter syndrome is real, and it happens to everyone. As you walk into your interview, keep in mind why you applied for the job in the first place: because you think you are a good fit. Focus on this and your surplus of qualifications and you'll uncover the calm confidence you need to hold your head up high.
With so much on the line, it's no surprise that job interviews bring about so much apprehension. However, there's no reason you can't conquer it and excel. With the right state of mind, thorough preparation, and the help of a professional, you'll be able to put those fears aside and concentrate on acing the interview. When you put your best foot forward, nothing can stand in your way.
Expert-driven practice is your ticket to confidence in the interview room. Learn more about working with a professional interview coach from TopInterview.