Coping With Interview Anxiety

Nancy Anderson
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Feeling stress and fear ahead of a job interview is totally normal. However, when those fears become interview anxiety, your mind can interfere with your interview performance, which can keep you from landing a job. Discover some practical tips for dealing with this problem so you can get past it and move on with your professional life.

Why Interview Anxiety Happens

Interview anxiety occurs because there are so many possible triggers of nervousness during a job interview. Fear of public speaking, fear of failure, feeling inadequate, fear of being judged or financial stress may all come to the forefront at once. These overwhelming feelings can lead to feelings of anxiousness.

A survey conducted in 2013 reveals as many as 92 percent of interviewees stress over at least one aspect of a job interview. Of those, 17 percent chose nervousness as the top reason for the stress. People who have lower income levels cited stress more often than those with higher income levels. You aren't alone in your feelings of nervousness, so take comfort in the fact that other people understand what you're going through when it comes to interview anxiety.

Practical Tips

The first thing you can do to cope with anxiety is to realize that what's happening is normal. Landing a job is a challenge because you're competing with other candidates for a position that you really like and probably need to make ends meet. Prepare thoroughly for the interview by researching the company, finding out what the position entails, getting to know about the people who are interviewing you and networking with people who work for the company. Thorough preparation can help lessen anxiety.

Immediately before the interview, make yourself feel as grand and confident as possible. When you sit in a chair, sit upright and don't slouch. Keep your shoulders upright as you walk, and maintain eye contact with the people you encounter. These tips help boost your confidence on a subconscious level, making you appear less anxious during a job interview.

Do something physical to calm your nerves. Go for a walk before the interview. Take the stairs instead of the elevator. During the interview, focus on breathing, maintaining eye contact and mirroring the other person's movements. The physical activity stimulates your brain.

Make sure you're well-hydrated before the interview. Water helps your body's natural processes, but it also creates a short delay. This can be beneficial during interviews, as it this delay helps you slow down and think of an answer to a question before responding.

Own your mistakes when someone asks about them or if you mention one. Admit that you're nervous, and maybe even say what you've done to try to overcome your interview anxiety. If you maintain a positive attitude about the situation, your interviewers may be impressed.

Interview anxiety doesn't have to ruin your chances for landing a great job. Take some practical steps to alleviate this feeling, and jumpstart your professional career with confidence.


Photo courtesy of holohololand at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

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  • Nancy Anderson
    Nancy Anderson

    @Jorge S. thanks for your comment. So very true. However, for some folks, just the thought of an interview is enough to paralyze them. They sit in front of the interviewer and can't think of any responses... can't remember what they put in their resume, etc. Some people just struggle with the interview. So hopefully our readers can use your comment to help them in their next interview. So, right before you go in to meet the hiring manager - take a deep breath, let it out slowly and smile. They will help take off some of the edginess. All the best to everyone on their next interview.

  • Jorge S.
    Jorge S.

    Anyone can Ace an interview. all that you need, is to remain calm, speak to the interviewer as if he / she were a friend or a co-worker and, speak only the truth. No Lies or exaggeration.

    I have been through several interviews in my life and have passed all of them. At one interview, there were two department head that needed an additional person for their respective departments and they both wanted for me to work in their department. So, they went to the head manager of the place ask that they decide to which one I would be assigned. Just speak the truth, research the company,know some of the subject matter of the job to be and, wait for the question to be completely asked. Please, DO NOT assume what the question is going to be and, answer before they are done asking. Also, given the moment, make a light joke of what ever the subject might be at the moment. Remember, calm, listen to the questions being asked of you, DO NOT interrupt them while asking you any question and, think for a brief moment what your answer will be. If you do that, you will be okay.

  • Raquel A.
    Raquel A.

    The fear of The Lord Is the beginning of wisdom.

  • Sylvia I Rodriguez
    Sylvia I Rodriguez

    Exactly, say a prayer and go in and do ur best. That's all u can really do.

  • Jacqueline P.
    Jacqueline P.

    say a lil prayer

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