With today’s economy, even the most experience workers with a resume or CV filled with valuable information may not get the job if they are unable to wow their interviewers, because employers have become far more selective, and the application process more cutthroat.
That increased pressure has caused candidates a great deal of stress and anxiety, especially before a job interview. Unfortunately, that anxiety can also impact your ability to provide valuable, thought provoking answers that impress hiring managers, preventing you from landing the job.
That’s why it’s important that you learn effective anxiety reduction tips to take with you to the job interview. The more you can control your anxiety and stress, the better your interview will be.
Anxiety Reduction Tools and Strategies
Preparation and practice are easily the most effective strategies. Holding mock interviews and preparing answers to common interview questions are going to give you the best opportunity to learn how to think on your feet and answer questions with ease. However, consider these strategies as well for calming yourself down for an interview:
• Condition a Tic
One of the most interesting methods of controlling anxiety is to give yourself an anxiety tic that calms you. You can do this by conditioning yourself to feel calm through a small, unnoticeable behavior. An easy one is tapping your thumb against your index finger gently. Any time you’re anxious in life, tap your thumb and index finger together until you calm down. Over time, the act of tapping will help calm you when you feel stressed. Then, during the interview, you can tap your fingers together very gently as you talk to the interviewer to experience less anxiety while the interview proceeds.
• Keep a Happy Memory On Hand
Another strategy involves keeping something on hand that acts as a happy memory, such as a photo of you and your romantic partner. Place that item (which should be small and difficult to notice) somewhere secret that you can touch without drawing any attention. Any time you feel stressed, place your hand over that area and think about what you’re touching. This small behavior can be very calming in those that find interviews to be overwhelming.
• Exercise Thoroughly Before the Interview
While the phrase may have become cliché, the reality is that the mind and body are connected, and the way the body feels can affect the way your mind thinks. That’s why another valuable strategy is to jog or exercise thoroughly until about an hour before your interview. Exercise will reduce all of the excess energy in your muscles, which can make it much harder to feel the symptoms of anxiety that would otherwise disrupt your interview ability. It also improves mood and decreases stress hormone. It won’t eliminate stress at the interview, but it will make it harder for that stress to affect your interview skills.
Additional Anxiety Reduction Strategies
Job interviews are meant to be stressful, because in many ways your interviewer is looking to see how well you handle stress. That’s why anything that reduces the amount of stress you experience at the interview can be valuable. In addition to the tips above, some people find that faking confidence, listing to upbeat music, and practicing deep breathing exercises are all additional useful ways to calm yourself before and during an interview.
Whatever you choose, the key is to find something that makes an interview feel like a less stressful event. Practice is most important, but if you can also integrate some of these anxiety and stress reduction strategies into your interview preparation, you should find that the amount of stress you experience decreases fairly dramatically.
Ryan Rivera’s intense anxiety caused him to struggle often during job interviews. Now he helps others control their anxiety at Calmclinic.