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As seen in the previous blog, even though job interviews are very common, job interview anxiety is real and may affect a person’s interview performance. Powell, Stanley, and Brown (2018) discovered that there is a link between those people who experience great anxiety before an interview, and poor interview results. Consequently, even though interview anxiety might be totally unrelated to one’s competence in the particular job, such anxiety might make good candidates lose the opportunity of being hired, as they might be overlooked by interviewers.

We will therefore have a look at some ways of coping with/managing this anxiety.

How to prepare beforehand:

  • Research possible questions to be asked and think of the most appropriate answers to be given. Focus on those tricky questions which are regularly used.
  • Do mock-interviews to prepare yourself on how best to behave
  • Seek emotional support from loved ones and use such messages as reminders during times of anxiety.
  • Make sure you have all documentation prepared beforehand (Certificates, Reference Letters, etc.)
  • Get enough sleep the night before
  • Do something that relaxes you the day/hours before. Go for a walk, exercise and spend some time with your family
  • Give yourself ample time to prepare and get to the venue on the day

What about during the interview?

  • Do not supress your stress, but try to release it in the least obvious ways for example by wiggling your toes
  • Take deep breaths when possible
  • Sit up straight as this will help stop your body from tensing up
  • Smile! This not only presents a positive image to the interviewers, but will also make you feel more positive

What is always important to remember is that it is better to know how to manage one’s anxiety rather than suppress it. Feeling a little anxious before an interview is not only normal, but also healthy as it keeps you on your toes, however, too much anxiety is never good.

References:

Powell, D. M., Stanley, D. J., & Brown, K. N. (2018). Meta‐analysis of the relation between interview anxiety and interview performance. Canadian Journal of Behavioural Science/Revue Canadienne des Sciences du Comportement, 50(4), 195–207.

Brooks, K. (2020). 10 Ways to Calm Your Interview Anxiety. [online] Psychology Today. Available at: https://www.psychologytoday.com/intl/blog/career-transitions/201503/10-ways-calm-your-interview-anxiety.

Ann Julene Hili is a Career Guidance Practitioner with Willingness. She specializes in working with teens and young adults who are in their educational and career transitions. She can be contacted on annjulene@willingness.com.mtor call us on 79291817.