You’ve got an interview coming up and those butterflies in your stomach are really starting to take flight.
It’s very normal to feel nervous before a job interview. And in times where just getting an interview is a challenge, there can be added pressure to perform perfectly.
But if you do land an interview, there are things you can do to prevent that nervous energy from getting the better of you.
In fact, feelings of anxiety can actually help your performance in an interview if you learn how to harness them, says SEEK’s Resident Psychologist Sabina Read.
Watch this video to learn how to channel your energy into some actions to help you get prepared and organised.
5 ways to manage your interview anxiety
According to Read, there are five effective ways to handle your feelings of anxiety and nervousness before or during an interview.
- Reduce external pressures
One of the easiest ways to bring your anxiety level down before an interview is to minimise any external pressures. “Things like working out what you’re going to wear and how you’re going to get to the interview sound really simple, but they go a long way to alleviating additional stress,” Read says.
- Prepare for success
Getting organised is a great way to help you feel calm and confident going into an interview. There are lots of aspects involved in interviewing for a position, but there are simple ways to feel on top of what’s to come.
One of the best ways to prepare is by practising answers to common interview questions. You can use SEEK’s practice interview builder to see the different types of questions employers tend to ask. Use the days leading up to your interview run your answers by a friend or family member and hone your responses.
Researching the organisation or business beforehand helps you feel more confident about what they do and what they look for in their employees. There are different factors to look into when researching a company, but generally you’ll want to have an understanding of its history, culture, mission, achievements and hiring process.
Finally, you want to familiarise yourself with all aspects of the role. Read through the job description carefully and make sure you understand what’s expected. If you’re not sure about anything in particular, you can always ask some questions at the end of the interview.
- Release your nervous energy
In order to make sure that you don’t let your nervous energy get the better of you on the day of the interview, Read suggests doing an activity that’s calming or will help you let that nervous energy go. “Go for a run, meditate or do something that you really enjoy,” she says. This will help you relax and refocus.
“If you feel nervous in the middle of the interview stop and take a deep breath,” Read says. It might sound overly simple, but it can really help calm you down. Breathing deeply helps slow down our thoughts, reduces their intensity and quietens our nervous response.
- Take perspective
While you may have your heart set on one particular role, Read says it’s important to take a broad perspective, rather than putting pressure on yourself to around this one interview or opportunity.
“There are always new opportunities, so even if you don’t get the role, you will have gained experience and your network will have broadened as a result,” she says.
It’s totally normal to feel anxious or nervous before or during an interview. While there’s no single best way to manage feelings of anxiety, implementing these simple strategies can help you prepare to face your interview with a little more ease and confidence.