Face the Fear: How to Overcome Job Interview Anxiety
It’s natural to feel anxiety about a job interview. Someone is about to scrutinize your appearance, mannerisms, what you say, and how you say it.
If he likes you, it could mean a job offer, a sweet salary, and the corner office. And if he doesn’t like you, you soon might find yourself living in a van down by the river.
So yes, the stakes are high. The other fear factor in a job interview is that someone else is in control. You don’t know what he’s going to ask or how he’s going to behave. For many (especially Type A overachievers), loss of control can lead to additional stress and anxiety.
Preparation is the best way to overcome interview nerves, along with remembering that a certain amount of anxiety in a stressful situation is healthy. A bit of nervousness and anticipation may actually make you sharper and help you perform better. The problem arises when that little bit of nervousness becomes a debilitating case of anxiety.
If you do your homework preparation will lead to more confidence and confidence puts you in command — and can even make you look forward to the interview (seriously). Confidence can also help you channel your nervous energy into a positive force.
Accentuate the Positive
The self-help gurus are right: It pays to think positive, at least when it comes to job interviews. The job search can be brutal and it’s easy to get cynical — even the best candidates face repeated rejection and rude behavior.
While cynicism and bitterness can be entertaining at a dinner party, these qualities can really hurt you in job interviews. Nobody wants to hire a candidate with an attitude problem.
Don’t Give In to Desperation
No matter how desperately you want the job, remember that it’s just one opportunity. Your entire future is not dependent on landing this particular job. You don’t even know that much about the position yet. Sure, it looks good on paper, but it’s not your only option.
From the interviewer’s point of view: Enthusiasm is good, neediness can be a bit awkward. Think about it like a first date. You want to impress and show off your best qualities.
No matter what happens, this interview will be a learning experience that will make you a better job candidate and savvier professional in the long run.