Do you feel stressed about job interviews?

If you’re like most people, you probably do. It’s normal to be nervous about job interviews—we all want to succeed, and we all want to do our best in the world we’re trying to enter. 

It is not uncommon for people to feel their heart racing, palms sweating, and butterflies in their tummy before an interview. This is called interview anxiety, and most people will feel some sort of anxiety before an interview, even if they are very qualified.

Some signs of interview stress are; racing heart, nausea, sweating, blushing, breathing difficulties, dizziness, and irrational thoughts. Check out Drexel University for more information on common stress symptoms that you may feel during an interviews.

Meeting with a stranger who is in a position of authority and talking about yourself and your experience, qualifications, and your ability to sell yourself, while also being assessed on appearance, body language, and expressions can be very daunting.

So, if you find yourself feeling anxious or irritated during your next interview, Philip Fredric, Job Counsellor at PsyMood, and us at PsyMood created some tips for coping with interview stress: 

  1. Get to know and understand the company you are working with. Go beyond just a quick Google search and skimming their website. 86% of job seekers will use the company website to seek information, and only 54% of people will use other sources such as LinkedIn or Glassdoor. Try finding the company’s LinkedIn as well as the LinkedIn of who you are interviewing with. This will help you feel more prepared, confident, and make you stand out from the other applicants. 
  2. Find a way to relax before the interview. If possible, take a few minutes to find a quiet place where you can really get comfortable and calm down before your interview starts. This can be as simple as going outside or taking a walk around the block. You can also try doing some breathing exercises. Interviews are stressful, it is totally normal to feel jittery before and during the interview.
  3. Practice, practice, practice. Practice  your answers in advance. It is impossible to know exactly what questions will be asked during the interview, however, you can try searching what are common questions asked for the job you are applying for. Then you can have an answer ready for any question that might come up during an interview. Make sure that your answer is honest and sincere, but also professional and respectful of their company culture (even if it might not fit with yours).
  4. You will also get some common questions such as what do you know about our company; “how does your previous employment relate to this position” “what qualifies you for this role”,  what appeals to you about this role, “why should we hire you” , ”what are your strengths”, etc. These questions are asked at most interviews. You can prepare by writing down your answers and practicing out loud how you will answer.
  5. Master the 30 second elevator pitch, this will help you with questions like, “Tell me about yourself?”, “What is your background?”, “Please describe yourself?”, (Philip Fredric, 2022). 
  6. When meeting someone for the first time, you form an opinion about them almost immediately. It is really important to make a positive first impression at job interviews. Those first Impressions can be based on – body language, punctuality, your handshake, eye contact, and most importantly, how you dress. When you look confident you feel confident, (Philip Fredric, 2022).
  7. Remember to listen to the questions being asked and pace yourself. Don’t try to rush through an entire interview, it is not  a race. Take breaks when needed, and remember to breathe! It is okay to take a short pause to catch your breath or think about your answers. Be careful not to ramble, if you think you are, STOP! It is better to be clear with your responses than to ramble, (Philip Fredric, 2022).
  8. Don’t over think your answers. It is really easy to fall into those negative thoughts telling you, “that answer is wrong”, “why did I say that”, “they know I am not right for this job”. Stop yourself from giving into these thoughts. It will only make you more stressed and increase your anxiety. 
  9. Interviews are a two way street so remember to ask questions! Bring some good questions to ask at the interview to make sure that the role, the opportunity, the environment, the team and culture are all a good fit for you! Asking questions is a good way to look interested, confident, and will help you stand out from the other candidates, (Philip Fredric, 2022).
  10. After the interview make sure to relieve all that stress that you built up before and after the interview. Don’t dwell on and over think how the interview went or what could have been done to make it better. The best thing you can do is treat yourself to something fun and enjoyable. Kickback and watch a movie or go for a stroll. Whatever you choose to do make sure you do something to alleviate any leftover jitters.

A Note From PsyMood

Feeling anxiety during interviews is normal, it happens to almost everyone. But there are ways you can be prepared and help minimize that pre-interview stress. If you are feeling anxious about an interview, PsyMood is here to help!  You can contact any counsellors like Philip Frederic to assist you on your journey.

PsyMood is a digital tool designed to help you find the support you need in the language that you are most comfortable with. PsyMood considers cultural background, geographical location, interests, and personal needs, amongst other factors, to pair you with service providers for either online or in-person therapy sessions.