10 ways to cope with job interview anxiety

by / Monday, 09 February 2015 / Published in Blog
Some anxiety before an interview is a good thing. It means you’re interested in working with the company and want to leave a good impression. Paralyzing anxiety, however, can be damaging to your health and prevent you from advancing in your career.

Since most employers want employees that exhibit confidence, too much stress can send you into a downward spiral as repeated attempts to get a job end in failure and more stress. While you will never entirely eliminate interview anxiety (nor should you want to), the following 10 tips will help you cope with anxiety and let your true self shine through.

1) Prepare well. It’s not enough to review the job description and look at the company website. Preparing for an interview involves thinking about the questions the interviewer will ask you and how you plan to respond. There are plenty of websites that can help you prepare. One of the best is Glassdoor.com. In addition to information on companies and salaries, Glass door provides in-depth information on working conditions and interview questions. The more you know about your potential employer, the more comfortable you’ll be during the interview.

2) Practice. Like athletes train for competition, you should train for a job interview. Once you have an idea of the questions you’ll be asked, spend time rehearsing your answers. Find someone you trust to help. Role-play the interview, taking turns to play interviewer and candidate. Knowing how it feels to be an interviewer will help you respond to questions in a way that relieves stress.

3) Take care of your body. Caffeine, energy drinks, and many over-the-counter medicines may heighten your anxiety. If at all possible, avoid them for at least 24 hours prior to your interview. Make sure you get a good night’s sleep and try to exercise on the morning of your interview. With the release of endorphins, exercise will improve your sense of well-being as you head into your interview.

4) Take care of your mind. Multitasking on the way to an interview is a sure-fire way to dull your senses and slow your thinking. Multitasking takes mental energy. If you deplete your reserve, you will be forced to rely on adrenaline to get you through the interview. To make the best impression, eat a full breakfast, get to your interview early, and take a few minutes to settle your mind before you walk through the door.

5) Make yourself comfortable. Just because a suit is required for an interview, it doesn’t mean you have to be uncomfortable. Whatever you do, don’t wear new shoes or a shirt with a collar that is too tight. Before you wear them to an interview, take your clothes on a field trip to a movie theater or museum. If you’re comfortable there, you’ll be comfortable on an interview.

6) Take your time. Taking your time to answer questions will help you maintain control over your anxiety. Even if you are confident of your answer, take a few seconds to respond. Since most candidates start thinking about their answer before the interviewer finishes their question, your responses will be more thoughtful and organized.

7) Focus on the present. Anxiety is always based on future events. Most thoughts that provoke anxiety begin with “What if,” like what, “What if I screw up the interview?” or “What if I don’t know an answer?” Since none of these actions have occurred, there’s nothing to feel anxious about. If you have prepared, you will be the best you can be on that day.

If you find yourself pulled into the future by a “What if” question, acknowledge the thought like you would an old friend. Then concentrate on the present by focusing on the environment around you. Take a deep breath, feel the cool air coming through your nose and feel your lunges expand to meet your ribs. You’ll be just fine.

8) Be your best self. When you are sitting in front of an interviewer, be your own role model. Fill your mind with positive thoughts. Concentrate on how you have helped others rather than what others have done to hurt you. Imagine you are being honored for the work you’ve done. While you tell your story, be humble but confident in your abilities.

9) Concentrate on the things you can control. Your interviewer may be late, grumpy, or just not very good at interviewing. Rather than concentrate on their weaknesses, remember that you are there to tell them how you can help their company grow and prosper. The object of an interview is to get a job offer. Once you have it, you can decide what to do with it.

10) Celebrate success. Getting from a telephone interview to an in-person interview is an accomplishment. Celebrate it. Getting from a first interview to a second interview is also an accomplishment. Celebrate that too. Marking every milestone with a celebration will lead you down the road to success. It will only be a matter of time before you get the job you deserve.

Anxiety is part of life, but it’s not the whole thing. If you find yourself unable to break the cycle of stress and anxiety as you go to interview after interview, you may need professional help. Consider seeing a behavioral therapist if your anxiety keeps you from living your life freely. Don’t suffer through a bad career because you are afraid of going to that next interview. The solution is easier than you think.

For employment opportunities within the security industry contact the SIG GROUP on 1300 788827 We can help you get started in the right direction.

Ray Mancini

CEO – SIG GROUP

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