We all know that job interviews can be immensely stressful, whether you are a first-timer or a veteran. It is perfectly normal to feel anxious about the experience, but letting your nerves get the better of you and getting into a panic might jeopardize your chances of success.
Your anxiety can actually motivate you to be better prepared, provide you with energy, and keep you alert during the process. But anxiety can also prevent you from doing your best by distracting you or weakening your memory.
Here are a few tips to keep your fears in check.
It is important to realize that interview nerves are not necessarily a bad thing; if you learn to leverage them you can even become a better interviewee. With your brain engaged and your senses heightened, you can make connections quicker and perform well when put on the spot. Remember, interviewers will expect to see some nerves as it can indicate enthusiasm and a desire to get the job.
Be careful what you eat or drink prior to an interview. It probably goes without saying, but avoid caffeine before the interview. Eat something light before your interview so your stomach isn’t growling or you get light-headed. A heavy meal can make you tired, so eat moderately.
Control what you can by preparing for the interview. You can’t always control what you will be asked or what will happen in the interview, but you can control how you prepare for it. Research the organization, practice responses to interview questions, and practice relaying your skills. The more prepared and knowledgeable you are about your potential employer, the better you are likely to perform in the interview.
Write down your fears. Make a list of everything that’s popping into your head. Writing can be one of the most therapeutic and helpful tasks you can do to reduce your anxiety generally, beyond just at job interviews.
Before the interview begins, take as much time as you can to gather your thoughts and work with your body, not against it. If you have the opportunity, taking a short stroll around the block can be immensely helpful.
Take it easy on yourself. Try not to critique yourself too much; don’t say anything to yourself that you wouldn’t say to a good friend. You will likely always experience a certain amount of anxiety at an interview, and that’s not necessarily a bad thing. But if it is debilitating or keeps you from moving forward in the job search, remember, it’s always OK to reach out for help.
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