If your everyday nervousness regarding job interviews escalates to full-on anxiety, we have some interview anxiety tips for you. Negative thoughts, dread, upset stomach and similar symptoms are more than you should have to put up with before or during the interview.
1. Thoroughly Prepare
Not only could anxiety come from the nagging doubt that you’re not fully prepared, but there is often a soothing quality to preparing. Really putting your head down and going over possible questions, researching the company, etc., is inherently beneficial in this regard. Often, people experiencing job interview anxiety find that it goes away with great prep. Now, once you take a break or finish preparation and head to the interview site, it may come back some. That’s only normal. Don’t let it get to you or throw you off your game.
2. Reduce the Unknowns
Anxiety is a nasty thing. It comes up from possible insecurities or very reasonable doubts and fears and turns itself into something else. A person suffering anxiety starts to be a bit irrational. One can start worrying about spilling something one his or her outfit, not being able to find a parking spot, not being able to find the right building, etc.
While having one’s outfit ready and having good directions are always good practice, if you’re feeling anxiety, you may do a full practice run, going to the site if practical, getting a mock interview from a friend or colleague, etc.
3. Fight Anxiety with Nutrition
The night before the interview could be a time for some emotional eating. Some sweets or deep-fried foods can get the serotonin pumping in a way that can really help. You’ll also want to avoid too much caffeine, Vitamin B and Vitamin D. The morning of the interview, or in the hour or two before it, be sure to temper caffeinated stuff with some nutritious food that can soak it up. You don’t want coffee slamming your brainwaves five minutes into the interview.
4. Stick to Script
For the most part, you’ll probably feel better once the interview starts. However, people suffering from job interview anxiety don’t have a lot of margin to get thrown of, make a gaffe or two, have a joke fall flat, get confused, etc.
Therefore, since you’ve prepped quite a lot and have a game plan, as much as possible, try not to improvise or to get cute. You have a few “talking points” ready, so try to stick with them as much as you can. Now, you have to be able to adjust to questions that you may not be prepared for. Ideally, some answers you feel in control of will calm you down and build some confidence that will allow you loosen up and handle possible curve balls.
Probably the meta-advice we can give is just to recognize that you won’t appear as nervous as you are. And furthermore, they kind of like it when you’re a bit nervy! You’ll get through it.