It is not a comfort to hear that “everyone” experiences interview anxiety. You know it is not normal. Your mind should not be racing like this. Why is your heart fluttering so much? Oh no, you have just forgotten all your accomplishments, and why are you qualified for this job again…?
Take a breath, slow down, and continue reading. Sean Haggard of Interview Backdoor provides insight into three signs of job interview panic and the ways you can boost your confidence by preventing them.
Perhaps one of the strongest signs of interview anxiety is avoiding the process altogether. Have you ever stopped yourself from applying for a job because you were “certain” they would not want you? Have you ever let an interviewer’s call go to voicemail because you were afraid of the news you might receive or the questions you might be asked?
You are not alone. Unfortunately the reality is that, without action, you will not get the job. If you do not mention your desires, no one will know you are looking for a job. If you do not apply, no one knows you are interested in the position. If you do not interview, no one knows you are qualified. And if no one knows all the great things about you, no one is going to see your confidence and hire you.
As much as you hate rejection, you must go through with the interviews to get to the prize. Follow these tips to reduce the pain:
1. Remember you are in control too. This is not just a one-sided evaluation. You are in this job interview to see if the position is a good fit for you and if you believe you would enjoy working for the company.
2. Consider the interview to be a conversation instead of an inquisition. Find ways to enjoy and appreciate the experience, such as the opportunity to scope out the inner workings of companies or the ability to meet interesting people.
3. Practice makes each step easier. Work with a friend or interview coach to prepare for each interview. Take notes (and keep them with you) so you always have a reference for what interview answers you want to give and what questions you want to ask.
Thinking Something Bad Is Going To Happen
When you do take steps toward a job interview, you may immediately feel “certain” that something bad is going to happen. You may be convinced that you are not going to get the job, so why bother. You may predict that the interviewer will not like you due to the way you look, act, speak, smile, shake hands, and so forth.
As our thoughts worsen, they may spiral out of control. We may start thinking about how not getting this job will leave us destitute, homeless, and without our family’s support. You need effective ways to control your interview anxiety and break this horrible, downward spiral. Do the following:
1. Learn effective interview strategies. Just like you are more likely to receive an A on a test if you study, you are more likely to pass an interview if you are prepared.
2. Consider what is the worst that could happen. In many causes, our worst scenario is that we do not get the job. What happens then? Are you projecting an artificial “doom and gloom” scenario, or is it more realistic to say that not getting this job just means another interview later? You must be confident that you can handle whatever circumstances come along.
Feeling Nauseous For No Reason
Finally, the most obvious physical sign that you are anxious over your job interview is when you feel nauseous for no apparent reason. The fear of an interview leads to a flipping, uneasy, sick feeling in your stomach, and possibly even vomiting or diarrhea. How can you exhibit confidence when you feel so horrible? Use these tips from the Cleveland Clinic to prevent interview nausea and feel better quickly:
1. Eat a small breakfast, and avoid heavy or greasy foods. Something like a bagel with cream cheese may be bland and filling enough to keep your stomach calm. A bowl of Cheerios may be another option, but keep in mind that many people feel increased interview nausea after consuming milk.
2. Sip cold water slowly. Avoid coffee (including lattes, see milk reference above), soda, and juices.
3. Often the nausea is triggered by another source, and if you can relax your mind and your body, you will feel much better.
By taking a look at what is going on, you can understand how interview anxiety is making you feel these ways. Then you are able to take the best actions for you, and ultimately bask in your confidence, preparation, and shining interview skills.