Most people experience some level of interview anxiety. For some, it’s noticeable, like sweaty palms, a flushed face, or a shaky voice.
For others, it’s less noticeable but still bothersome, like a dry mouth or a pounding heartbeat.
Why does this happen?
Interviews often come with high stakes, such as the potential to secure a job that can have an impact on your livelihood, career progression, or personal goals.
There is also the fear of being judged by the interviewer and the concern about making a mistake or saying something wrong. The pressure to appear competent and perform well can intensify this fear.
There can be a lot on the line, but here are some strategies that can help you address and manage these concerns.
1. Come to the interview with your research complete and ready to explain how your skills and qualifications align with the job requirements. Familiarize yourself with common interview questions and practise your responses. The more prepared you are, the more confident you’ll feel.
2. Rehearse by conducting a mock interview with a friend, family member, or career coach. Ask that person to play the role of the interviewer and pose questions to you. Critique your answers and ask your friend to do the same. The more you practice, the better you become.
3. Know that you are a qualified candidate. Remember, interviewers don’t waste time meeting people who are not qualified. You’ve been selected for a reason.
4. Avoid last-minute panic. Take care of everything the day before such as printing extra copies of your resume and figuring out what you are going to wear. If you are being interviewed by Zoom, ensure you have the link and that the technology works.
5. Whether you are being interviewed in person or by Zoom, select clothes that make you feel strong, confident, and professional.
6. Do something physical on the day of the interview. Perhaps a good gym workout, a brisk walk in a park, or quiet time in private. Taking care of your physical and mental well-being will make you feel more relaxed in the interview and reduce overall anxiety levels.
7. Instead of viewing the interview as a high-stakes, one-sided evaluation, consider it as an opportunity to determine if the job is right for you. Does it align with your values and goals? Is the salary in line with what you want? Will the work be challenging? Will you like the people? This perspective will boost your confidence.
Remember that overcoming interview anxiety takes time and practice. Be patient with yourself and celebrate each step of progress you make. By implementing these strategies and focusing on continuous improvement, you can perform better in interviews.