As a professional resume writer, I help many job seekers craft effective documents for their job search. But one of the most difficult aspects of a job search is the interview. There are many different suggestions for managing anxiety; below are several suggestions that I offer my clients to help manage anxiety and stress during job interviews.
- Preparation – You will never know what questions will be asked during the interview; however, you can prepare for many of the possible questions. Research the company using internet resources, annual reports, and news articles.
- Practice – There are certain questions that you are sure to be asked at just about every interview. You can expect to be asked about your strengths, your weaknesses, and why you want that position or to work for that company. Practice your answers to these questions but don’t memorize a word-for-word answer. Memorizing can keep you from sounding natural. Practice to be prepared for specific questions, but still be natural in your delivery.
- Breathe – Be sure to inhale deeply and exhale completely. Lack of oxygen to the brain will exacerbate anxiety. Breathing deeply will ensure enough oxygen and give you a focus that will relax your muscles and help alleviate stress.
- Engage others – In the midst of anxiety, it is difficult to think of others. With the nervousness and agitation that come with the interviewing process, it is easy to become self-centered, focusing only on yourself. Get out of yourself by greeting everyone you meet. Ask the interviewers questions – something as simple as how their day has been – and then pay attention to the answer. Listen and respond appropriately.
Experiencing anxiety, stress, and nerves during an interview is normal. But these feelings can be managed and their impact on your ability to interview effectively can be controlled. Implement these suggestions to improve your interview performance.