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How To Calm Anxiety Before An Interview

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Think About What You Have To Offer The Company

3 Mindset Tricks to Calm Interview Anxiety

Write some bullet points of what you would contribute. Consider how you can show those points in the interview. Think of the interview not as a test or as a forum designed to trip you up or put you on the spot, or as a fake self-presentation. Instead, think of it as you and the interviewer having a conversation to figure out if you joining the company would be mutually beneficial. That way youll see the interview process more collaboratively and wont feel as much performance pressure. Alice Boyes, PhD, author of The Anxiety Toolkit

Remember You Are Having A Conversation

While nervousness is understandable, reframing how you think about an interview may help to relieve stress. Remind yourself that a job interview is just a conversation, about yourself, between you and another person. All you have to do is answer the interviewers questions and be honest about who you are. Nothing else is required of you in an interview.

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Take A Copy Of The Job Listing

You should also bring a copy of the job listing with you to the interview. You can use this as a point of reference when speaking about your qualifications and how they correlate with the requirements for the job. Arriving with a copy of the job listing also shows that you are prepared and have taken the time to thoroughly understand what the job requires.

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Ways To Calm Your Nerves Before A Job Interview

By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail. Roy Keane

Investing plenty of time into preparation is the best way to build up your confidence before an interview. Before your interview, be sure to set aside time to do the following:

  • Research the company
  • Prepare answers for commonly-asked questions
  • Conduct mock interviews
  • Gather all required tech for remote interviews by phone or email
  • Prepare a quiet space for remote interviews

Dont forget to schedule a chat with your recruiter before the interview. They will be able to give you useful information about the company as well as some insights into their hiring processes.

Breathe Deep And Slow

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When we are stressed our breathing patterns change: the breath gets shallower, the rate quickens, and our hearts start to race. Breathing techniques can help to reduce your heart rate and make you feel calmer.

There are many different breathing techniques out there, but one of the simplest centres on slow breathing: breathe in normally but focus on exhaling slowly and steadily until your lungs are completely empty. Extending your exhalation will naturally deepen your inhalation. Keep doing this for a few minutes until you feel more relaxed.

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If you can tell a story or a joke around the kitchen table then you can do it in a job interview. However, often the nerves and pressure of an interview situation can make us act differently. Our body seems to behave in weird ways and the sound coming out of our mouth doesn’t seem to be our usual one. If we don’t feel and sound like our normal selves then we will want the whole uncomfortable experience to end. To stop nerves getting the better of you, here are some tips and exercises to help you nail those interviews:

Four Ways To Recalibrate Your Nerves

Here are four ways you can get control of your jitters and deliver your best performance in job interviews.

1. Face your fears

The starting point, according to Benton, is to write down those things you fear when youre nervous. For example, you may be thinking, It will be catastrophic if I dont get this job. Or My family wont love me. Or Ill look like a loser. Writing down these thoughts, says Benton, will show how unsubstantiated they really are.

Of course, you cant put pen to paper in the middle of an interview, so if your nerves get out of control while youre being interviewed, engage in positive self-talk. For example, if youre afraid that it will be a catastrophe if you dont get the job, you might say to yourself, Even if this doesnt work out, I will have other opportunities.

Its a good idea to have a one-sentence mantra to deliver to yourself in the interview any time you got tense or nervous. It might be, I am an accomplished PR professional, or I have a huge list of wins behind me.

2. Breathe deeply

Second, make sure you remember to breathe. When we are in high-stress situations, our heart goes a little faster, and our breathing becomes more rapid and shallower, says Benton. So consciously breathing more deeply helps us relax.

3. Think before you speak

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Have A Cheat Sheet Of Positive Thoughts

Taking control of your thoughts can help with job interviewing anxiety. Our thoughts can create our feelings and by choosing to focus on more positive thoughts, we can shift our emotions.

For example, lets say your fear is Im not going to know what to say. You could address that by saying to yourself Ive practiced my responses to different types of interview questions and am prepared to ask a few good questions. In this way, youre challenging your anxious thoughts with evidence to the contrary. To reduce your anxiety, create a cheat sheet of positive thoughts to keep in mind whenever negative thoughts pop in your mind by jotting down your fears along with a few helpful coping statements. Dorlee Michaeli, MBA, LCSW

Practise What You’ll Say

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Read the job description again and see how you can apply what you have done. Sometimes employers list the skills and experiences they’re looking for as:

  • ‘essential’, things you need to have
  • ‘desirable’, things it would be good to have

You’ll need to give examples that show you have relevant skills and experience. These can include:

  • things you did in school, college or university
  • any work, internships or volunteering experiences you’ve had
  • any training, workshops or courses you’ve done
  • things you’ve learned outside work

For example, the job description says you need to be organised. You could show your organisation skills by talking about:

  • planning travel in advance to consider your access needs
  • organizing a group or leisure activity you take part in

If you only have some of the ‘essential’ skills and experiences, talk about other skills you have.

For example, you could say: “I do not have experience of that, but I’m a fast learner and enjoy learning new things.”

You could then give an example of being a fast learner. This could be something like learning to use new software to access online events or to keep in touch with family or friends.

Write answers to the questions you find and read them out. You could also get family or friends to ask you the questions as a mock interview so you can practise speaking in front of someone. Try this over video if you’re having a video interview.

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Don’t Take Mistakes Too Seriously

Everyone makes mistakes during an interview, whether it be slipping up when answering a question or forgetting some aspect of the job description. While making a mistake can leave you feeling embarrassing, it’s important to remember that no one is perfect and that mistakes are completely normal when interviewing for a new position. Don’t take your mistakes too seriously and simply apologize when appropriate and move on.

Prepare With Mirror Work

Stand in front of a mirror at home and talk to your reflection as if youre in the interview responding to potential questions. Be aware of body language, eye contact, and rate/tone of voice. This helps to build self-confidence for the interview, communicate clearly, and helps to decrease anxiety. My clients who use this technique sometimes say they feel silly or awkward the first time they do it, but after practicing it they tell me how effective it can be. Insha Rahman, LCSW

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Make An Interview Cheat Sheet

Just as important as preparing for the worst is preparing, period. The more you have set to go, the less you have to worry about. So, start a note on your phone and jot down all the necessitiesthe building address, the hiring managers name, the time, the three main things youd like to get across in the interview, your questions, whatever else you can think of. Then, pull that baby out right before you get called in and youll feel so confident youve got it all covered.

Start Giving Yourself Pep Talks Early

How To Stay Calm During An Interview

A pep talk addressed to yourself seemed helpful for me when I had my own job interview. It helped me clear out my anxiety days before my interview. Try to calm your nerves to avoid coming in with a clouded mind. Feeling confident will calm your nerves and in return, you can answer their questions properly and overall improve your performance. You can also show up wearing your best corporate attire. Looking good can boost your confidence. Dress for success, as some might say. William Taylor, Senior Recruitment Advisor at VelvetJobs

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The Aftermath: Dont Forget About Compassion

Congrats! You made it through the interview. Now breathe deeply because the hard part is over. The next part, waiting, just requires patience, and a lot of compassion for yourself.

Practice radical acceptance: In other words? Know that you will be OK regardless of the outcome. Sometimes the first or even fifth job that comes along isnt the right fit, but that doesnt mean the right job isnt out there for you!

The more you have an attachment to an outcome, the more likely youre going to grasp, cling, and strive for that outcome, increasing the chance of your suffering if the outcome doesnt go your way, says Joree Rose, a licensed marriage and family therapist. So go in with confidence and preparation, and let it be OK if you dont get it.

Celebrate no matter what: It helps to have a plan to celebrate regardless of how the interview went. Make a plan with a friend to grab dinner or drinks after the interview.

Doing something positive no matter how the experience went can give you something to look forward to, and having a friend available to give you perspective will help mitigate your anxiety. The last thing you want to do is go home alone and have the interview on replay in your head for the entire night!

Dont overthink your follow-up: Sending a Thank You email to whomever interviewed you is great form when it comes to job interviews, but dont let it add to your stress. Theres no need to overthink the email!

What Is Interview Anxiety

Interview anxiety is nervousness or panic that you may feel due to an approaching interview. Symptoms may be physical, such as an increased heart rate, or mental, like racing thoughts. Interview anxiety can exist by itself or be related to generalized anxiety or social anxiety disorder.

Some people may experience anticipatory anxiety, which appears in the days leading up to the interview marked by worries about what will happen. Others may experience more anxiety on the day of the interview and in the interview itself. Either way, interview anxiety can be managed with helpful tools and research-based strategies.


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Focus On Your Breathing And Pause Before You Speak

When youre not answering questions, focus on your breathing. The less mind-wandering you do, the less nervous youll be. Before you speak, pause for a moment and take a breath. Paying attention to your breathing aids in remaining calm, and pausing before speaking gives you more time to put together the best answer possible.

Show Time: Take Care Of Your Physical Health


The day of your interview is here. Youve practiced in the mirror, youve prepared yourself for the anxiety. Now its show time. If you take care of your physical health the night before and day of, youre likely to see positive results during the actual interview process!

Practice mindfulness: Increase awareness to the physiological cues in your body when you are feeling anxious. Remember those sweaty palms from before? They can serve as a reminder to ground yourself in the present moment by calming your body.

For example, if you feel a knot in your stomach, tightness in your chest, tension in your neck or shoulders, a clenched jaw, or a racing heart, use that as a reminder to bring your minds attention back to the here and now.

Take really good care: Get plenty of sleep and be sure to eat a nutritious breakfast that can fuel you for the long term. Consider something low in sugar and carbs to avoid a crash in energy later in the day! In fact, if you can do it, skip the cup of coffee right before the interview. Think of a cup of coffee as a treat for yourself after the interview is over.

Pack an essential oil with you, like lavender, which

Studies show that listening to music prior to a standardized stressor can help the nervous system recover faster, as well as the psychological stress response. Consider crafting a pump-up playlist, or listen to music that helps to soothe you as you drive or commute to the interview.

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Plan What You’ll Wear

Many people say they feel more confident when they dress smartly. Plan what you’ll wear to the interview a few days before.

You should still dress smartly even if you’re having the interview by video. Remember you want to make a good first impression.

Check with family and friends if you’re not sure what to wear.

Use Your Stress As Adrenaline

Nervousness and adrenaline are highly correlatedthats why studies show that getting pumped up instead of calmed down before public speaking produces better results.

So if youre shaking and your bloods rushinggood. Go with it. As Muse writer and consultant , By reframing your nervous energy as excited energy, you can still feel amped upjust in a way that helps you perform better instead of a way that hinders you.

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Bring A Bottle Of Water

It’s common to experience a dry mouth when you are nervous, so bringing a bottle of water with you to the interview can help alleviate this. Talking for extended periods of time can also leave you feeling parched, so don’t be afraid to take small sips of water during the interview. Keep your water bottle in your bag unless you’re using it so it doesn’t act as a distraction for you or the interviewer.

How To Calm Your Nerves Before A Job Interview: Key Takeaways

17 Best Ways to calm your nerves down before an Interview ...

Its natural to experience anxiety throughout the job interview process. However, it is possible to learn how to calm your nerves before an interview through the right combination of preparation and self-care. It may also help to approach a recruiter who can advise you on job interview techniques so that you feel more relaxed ahead of the big day.

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Tips For Staying Calm During A Job Interview

Youre in the hot seat. Your palms are sweaty voice is shaky face is flushed and mouth is dry. Maybe youre bouncing your knees and talking too fast. Perhaps your heart is racing or your stomach is turning.

Youre nervous.

Why does this happen to so many job candidates?

When we perceive that we are in a high stakes situation, the brain doesn’t distinguish the high stakes of a job interview–where it would help to be calm, cool and collected–from the high stakes of being under threat from attack , says Dr. Tamar Chansky, author of Freeing Yourself from Anxiety. The body responds the same way–gearing up to run or fight for our lives. We experience a myriad of highly inconvenient and uncomfortable reactions which would make complete sense if there really were a tiger there.

In most cases, it may be the first time that the interviewer has met you and they will be making some initial judgments or first impressions, says Nichole Lefelhoc, associate director of career development and internships at Mansfield University. We want them to be good, of course, which makes us nervous. There could be some outlying issues that make us even more nervous for example, being unemployed or having little experience with interviews.

Lack of preparation is another common culprit.

This kind of anxiety can make it difficult to think clearly, Chansky says. Our focus is on hiding our anxiety and so our attention is divided.


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