How to best manage interview anxiety

man and woman in an interview

Your temperature begins to rise, your heart begins to race a little faster and you feel a tremble in your voice. These are not unique signs but rather very common symptoms many of us experience in the lead up and throughout the interview process.

“Job interviews can be extremely stressful. Experiencing interview anxiety is a completely normal phenomenon and may affect even the most confident and experienced individuals,” said Edward Hooper, Consultant at Robert Walters.

When anxiety becomes bad

Despite common perception, anxiety may actually be helpful during the interview process because it can motivate us to improve our performance and after all, this is the main goal of an interview.

Anxiety only becomes a problem when it takes over your ability to perform well. “Anxiety is brough about from the pressure to perform well during an interview and with the knowledge that making mistakes could be costly,” continued Hooper.

We look at the 3 key steps to reduce your anxiety:

1. Be prepared

Make sure you learn as much as you can about the company, have in-depth understanding of your experience including major achievements you may want to discuss and make sure you arrive to your interview ahead of time.

Additionally, you may want to consider practising your responses in a mock situation with a friend.

Plan ahead for the day of the interview - map out your journey to the interview location and allow plenty of time to get there. If you're there early you can always find a coffee shop or cafe to sit and prepare, but running late will only make the pressure of the interview situation even greater.

2. Ask questions

There is no perfect way to overcome interview nerves but that adopting these steps will help aid in the process.

Your interview is an opportunity not only for you to impress, but also to find out more about the role and if it’s something for you.

Focus your questions around company culture, learning and development opportunities, salary expectations and any other specifics that you want to find out about the position.

3. Be confident

Don’t let the interviewer see through your nerves by making sure you are dressed to impress, your body language is strong, you greet your interviewer with a strong handshake and you maintain eye contact during your interview.

Bearing in mind your ultimate goal when interviewing, it is important to know that there is no perfect way to overcome interview nerves but that adopting these steps will help aid in the process.

Need more advice on answering interview questions? Click here.

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