Anyone who has ever searched for a job is likely to agree that interviews are extremely stressful situations. There you sit, alone, actively judged by an interviewer or a panel of interviewers. You are exposed, you are vulnerable, and your entire career hangs in the balance. It’s enough to make even the coolest among us to break into a sweat.
If you suffer from interview anxiety, you are not alone. Nearly everyone gets nervous before sitting in the proverbial hot seat. However, there are effective ways to calm your nerves and psych yourself up before your meeting. Here are three strategies to help you banish interview anxiety.
Act Like An Athlete
If you’ve ever watched a sporting event on television, you have noticed athletes engaging in pre-performance routines. These routines may be a little bit different for everyone, but they help focus attention, eliminate distractions and build confidence.
You may not engage in free-throw drills or practice kicks before your interview (or perhaps you will, if that’s what gets you going), but a pre-interview routine will help tame your nerves and get you in the right frame of mind. Your routine might be a hearty breakfast, a hot shower, and a playlist of upbeat pop tunes. It might be 30 minutes of yoga and meditation. Maybe you sit down and read an inspirational book before you leave for your interview. Everyone is unique so it doesn’t matter what you do, as long as you choose a routine that relaxes you.
Practice, Practice, Practice
There is a reason why athletes, bands, actors and performers practice before they go on stage or take the field. Practicing hones your skills and lets you think clearly under pressure. Find a friend to help you stage a mock interview and play the role of interviewer. Mock interviews help you prepare yourself for the tone and pace of an interview, and they allow you to work out the kinks before sitting in front of a hiring manager.
Mock interviews also give you a platform for receiving feedback. The mock interviewer can let you know where you need to improve. They’ll not only work with you to help you develop thoughtful answers, but they will also point out things you might need to watch such as body language, tone, response time, and how often you use words such as “uh” and “like.”
Give Yourself a Pep Talk
Which statement do you find more motivating?
“Don’t screw this up!”
“You are going to knock their socks off today!”
The self-talk we offer ourselves matters when it comes to our frame of mind and attitude about a high-pressure situation. Telling yourself not to fail is technically positive, but it puts a negative spin on it, as you are assuming that you are likely to stumble.
Before your interview, give yourself a positive pep talk. Focus on what you want to happen during the interview, not what you don’t want to happen. Tell yourself you are strong and focused. Remind yourself of your achievements and the obstacles that you’ve overcome to get to this day. Banish negative words and phrases like “fail,” “mess up,” “lose,” etc. from your self-talk.
If you suffer from pre-interview anxiety, there are people who can help you hone your skills and give you an edge over the competition. A professional recruiter will work closely with you to ensure you are able to play up your strengths and successes, and they offer constructive feedback on your interview skills. If you are ready to move your career forward this year, reach out to the recruiting experts at CSS today. We’ll help you banish your interview anxiety once and for all.