That feeling of elation you experience when you are asked to come in for a job interview can fade pretty quickly as you get closer to the day of the interview. You know how it goes; you need the job, you are not feeling in control, your anxiety spikes and then you start to make silly mistakes. You sweat too much, you fidget, you talk too fast and your answers are not particularly articulate. It is important to overcome job interview anxiety before you walk into the actual interview. A high level of stress or anxiety will affect the first impression the interviewer forms about you.
Nervousness and a little bit of anxiety are perfectly normal feelings to have before a job interview. In fact, they are actually a blessing because they make you more alert and conscious of your actions and words. However, a high level of anxiety will work against you. You will come across as lacking in confidence, unsure of yourself and not particularly capable of dealing with stress. So, how can you get your anxiety under control?
6 Ways to Overcome Job Interview Anxiety:
1. Be Well Prepared and Plan Ahead
If you only follow one of these 6 steps, make sure it is this one. Nothing will be more effective at overcoming your job interview anxiety than being well prepared. Prepare answers to as many job interview questions as you can. Thoroughly research the company, its products and its competitors.
- How to Thoroughly Research Any Company Before An Interview
- The Complete Job Interview Checklist
- How to Succeed in Different Job Interview Situations
2. Run A Mock Interview
Once you have your interview answers prepared, ask a friend to help you run through a mock interview. Don’t just practice answering the questions. Make sure you wear your interview outfit and go through every step of the actual job interview. Practice good body language, good flow with your answers and ask the interviewer some questions too. This will ensure you have been through all the key steps before the actual day. It will help you overcome the job interview anxiety you feel when you do something for the first time.
Exercise is a great way to reduce anxiety. It produces endorphins in the body and makes you feel more relaxed and calm both physically and mentally. Try and get 40 mins of exercise before your actual job interview and you will be surprised how much less anxious you feel.
4. Eat Something
A good meal before the interview will make you feel full, calm and reduce your level of irritation. Try and stick to mainly healthy foods with a sustained energy release. There is nothing worse than being hungry before the interview. You end up focussing more on stopping your stomach from making weird noises than giving great answers.
5. Listen To Music
Listening to music can affect our mood in so many ways. Playing slow sad songs makes us cry while fast, catchy songs make us run faster on the treadmill. Think about what songs leave you feeling upbeat and positive. It does not have to be the latest music, it just needs to be music that works for you. If Survivor’s ‘Eye Of The Tiger’ does it for you, then that’s what you should listen to on your way to the interview.
6. Think and Act Positive
Go into every job interview thinking positive and acting like you are guaranteed to get the role. Believe it or not this does affect your anxiety level and the impression you make on the interviewer. Be careful of your body language. Use powerful, positive poses throughout the interview and always believe you are a winner. It will come across in your actions and answers.
Athletes train every day to become the best at their sport so it makes sense that you need to train a bit to become really good at job interviews. Part of this training involves utilizing the tips above to help you overcome your job interview anxiety. Try all the steps above, take a moment to breathe and put the interview into perspective. It’s a job interview, your life does not depend on it. You will be fine.