Struggling with Interview Anxiety? Here’s How to Overcome It
Being nervous about an interview is natural, but you can beat the anxiety.
Whether you’re shooting for your dream job or just looking to to kick some tires, most people get some level of anxiety when heading into a job interview. The good news is that interview anxiety is completely normal and can actually be a positive sign. Imagine an elite athlete or professional musician — do you think they get butterflies before an important performance? You bet. And as a matter of fact, research shows that pre-performance anxiety is not only normal — it can actually help you do well. It’s all about making those jitters work for you not and not against you.
Turning interview anxiety on its head is hard work, but there are plenty of tools you can use and exercises you can do to help you achieve peace of mind. Believing that it is within your power to turn your nerves around and choose your thoughts is a great way to begin.
To turn your anxious butterflies into happy ones and feel grounded on interview day, here are a few things that you can do:
Cross your T’s and dot your I’s
Preparing for your interview will involve a variety of simple tasks that need to get done like printing your resume, picking your outfit, and ensuring that your car has gas in it. These tasks are pretty effortless, but if left undone until interview day they can feel like big weights and leave you unnecessarily overwhelmed and flustered.
Avoid this unnecessary pre-interview anxiety by creating a list of all these tasks and setting appropriate deadlines for yourself. Think of all this as strategizing your time so that you can get the simple things out of the way and focus on the important task of achieving a positive mindset. The last thing you want is to be flustered, hungry, or lost on interview day.
#ProTip: Eat a protein-rich meal beforehand with a reasonable amount of slow digesting carbs — it will fuel you well without making you feel bloated.
Practice your words
Interviewing is a skill like any other, which means that we can get rusty if we don’t take the time to practice. When it’s time to get some much-needed interview training in, talking to yourself is a great approach.
Speaking about our professional experience, accomplishments, and ambitions is not something we do everyday. We may think about these things frequently, but that’s not the same as speaking aloud. Being able to articulate clearly and speak with ease about these subjects is what will set you apart from other candidates. To achieve that smooth delivery, practice by talking to yourself aloud, to a friend, or with a professional interview coach.
A good technique is to imagine what questions the interviewer may ask and practice some mock answers aloud. Questions like “Why are you interested in this job?” and “Tell me about yourself” are common ones that you can expect, so definitely prepare yourself to answer them coherently and confidently. Practicing speaking aloud about yourself will help you work out the kinks in your speech and come off as a clear, prepared communicator.
#ProTip: Working with a professional interview coach is a great way to develop the speaking skills you need to rock the interview room. Check out our interview coaching services to learn more.
When you’re in a calm mindset, you can think clearly and portray confidence, convincing your interviewer you are someone they should keep talking to.
Mindfulness exercises and engaging your senses are good ways to get calm and ground yourself. Going through this practice will help you breathe deeply and reduce your blood pressure, which in turn will make you feel more at ease. If you need some help gathering your breath, you can try an app like Calm that has guided meditations and breathing programs.
Another way that you can shift your mindset is to practice power posing. Power posing uses body language to shift the message and beliefs about yourself into stronger, more confident messages. It’s a fake it ‘till you make it strategy — and it works. Uncovering the power in your body language through power posing, smiling, or simply clasping your hands together will not only ground you in the moment but also ensure you are portrayed as a confident, collected candidate.
#ProTip: There’s a hidden magic in smiling: It reduces your blood pressure.
Knowing that a little interview anxiety is healthy, normal, and key to good performance goes a long way. Recall this the next time you feeling nervous about an interview. Take a deep breath, smile, and strike a confident pose!
Feel more confident in your interview by being coached by an expert! Learn more about our interview coaching services.