Dealing with Job Interview Anxiety
As you sit in the lobby waiting for your job interview, you feel your hands getting clammy and your face starting to flush. The longer you wait, the more your heart and breathing start to race. Soon, you are nearing a full panic attack, only to hear them call your name.
You are suffering from job interview anxiety. While common, this problem can turn what would have been a positive interview into a disaster quickly as you tap your foot nervously or stammer when answering a question. These job interview techniques will help you tame the anxiety so you can ace the interview.
Take a Deep Breath
Your body’s natural response to the job interview anxiety is to increase your heart and respiratory rate as you prepare for the “fight or flight” response to stress. This is a holdover from an earlier phase of human evolution, when we were much more likely to be attacked by enemy tribes or large animals. You don’t need to fight, and you certainly don’t need to flee, when you’re in a job interview. So, learn to slow your breathing, and hopefully your heart rate as well. US News and World Report recommends breathing in for three seconds, then out for three seconds to calm the jitters. A quick search for meditation techniques on the internet may prove helpful, too.
Remember You’ve Passed Step One
Interviewees often face the interview process with fear and trepidation, but if they stop to remember one important factor, they may face less anxiety. When you go for an interview, the company already likes you. They’ve already chosen your cover letter for freelancers or your resume as one of the few among the hundreds they received for an interview. Your skills have impressed them, so all you need to do is seal the deal. You’re getting on stage, yes, but for an audience that already wants to hear what you have to say.
Think of Yourself as the Product
One way to help improve your chances at the interview, and calm your nerves, is to have a game plan. If you can think of yourself as a product you are marketing, you can create a plan for acing the interview before you go in. Your only job at the interview is to prove to the interviewer that you are offering the right product for their needs. In everything you say or do at the interview, you need to be showing how you can benefit the company. You are both Don Draper and the Kodak Carousel.
Be Fully Prepared
Nothing will make your palms sweat and your heart race quite as quickly as hearing a question that you have no idea how to answer at the interview. While this can happen, you can limit it as much as possible by being fully prepared. Know the company you are interviewing for inside and out, and have a clear picture of how you can benefit them, as CareerBuilder.com recommends. Think of answers to potential interview questions before you go in, and you will be armed for whatever they ask of you.
Be Willing to Let Go
Much of your anxiety when heading into a job interview comes from a fear of rejection. Instead of viewing a “no” as rejection, try to view it as the answer that you are not the best fit for the job. Remember, the company is looking for someone that can clearly fit their needs. If you are not that person, you won’t be happy in the job anyway. Give the interview your all, and then be willing to let the job go if it’s not the right fit, and you’ll feel your anxiety dissipating.
Anxiety is a normal part of the interview process, and your interviewer expects a measure of it. If you can practice these job interview techniques, you can keep that anxiety at a manageable level, you will be able to enter your next interview with confidence and poise. If you need further help, contact us today to learn more about job interview skills and how to alleviate job interview anxiety.
Nicole H is a freelance writer available on WriterAccess, a marketplace where clients and expert writers connect for assignments.