7 tips for handling anxiety in a job interview

Alex Curran
By Alex Curran
6 Min Read

When a recruiter calls you to tell you they are interested in your profile, it is normal to feel a roller coaster of emotions. On the one hand, joy and a sense of accomplishment for the possibility of having a new job, while on the other, anxiety and fear for the dreaded job interview.

What will they ask you? What if it all goes wrong? Your mind begins to explore the darkest corners of your imagination and to think of worst-case scenarios. On this occasion, we bring you some recommendations to get you out of this situation and prepare you to capture the attention of your interviewer and master your nerves.

1. Research the company and the position

Do a brief search on the Internet about the company’s history, values and objectives. It will demonstrate interest and research skills to your interviewer. It will also help you better target your answers to relate them to what they do or are looking for.

It is also important that you are clear about what they are looking for in the vacant position, so you can identify which of your skills they might be most interested in and highlight it in the interview.

2. Practice

Ask one of your friends to play the role of the interviewer and ask you questions. You can even rehearse in front of a mirror or just go over in your mind what you will say and answer in the meeting.

Think about your career goals, doubts about the position, your greatest accomplishments, and anything else you think your future employer should know about you. It’s even a good idea to prepare yourself to deal with an awkward silence, as you’re likely to face one.

3. Arrive in good time

If your interview is in person, plan your route to get there and consider the time it will take you. But that doesn’t mean that your notes or maps of paper help review your path to the place of interview better than internet technology. So, you can just use Google Maps. Leave early because if there is something worse than arriving at an interview with nerves, it is to add the nerves of arriving late.

If your interview is online, be confident! Turn on your computer ahead of time, test your microphone and camera, and enter the link that you have been sent a few minutes before to check that it works. Make sure the background where you are taking the meeting is clear, and have your notes ready. The important thing is that you feel ready so that you keep nerves and anxiety at bay during the interview.

4. Trust yourself

This is fundamental. If you are confident in your abilities and that you are the ideal candidate for the job, it will be easier to convey this to your interviewer. It is one of the reasons why it is important not to lie on your résumé, as you may be anxious about being caught in the lie.

5. Play it down

We are not advocating that you don’t take the interview seriously or that you are irresponsible. We believe that anxiety in a job interview is because we give it a very high value, and our mind decides that it is a crucial moment in life and imagines the worst scenarios. Of course, it is important, you need to work, and this job excites you a lot. However, the worst that can happen is that you don’t stay, which is not so bad, right? There are many more opportunities, so remind yourself of this so your mind can calm down and know it’s not really in danger.

6. Be yourself

This tip is essential in all areas of life. Show authenticity, and you will gain empathy from your interviewer. Think of the interview as a conversation with a friend where you want to tell them about your skills and what you can help them achieve in their company. Don’t try to come across as someone you are not because it will be more difficult for you to carry the conversation and sustain an image you don’t identify with.

7. Don’t try to hide your nerves

If you concentrate on not showing how you feel, your nervousness will increase since you will not only be anxious about the job interview but also about hiding it. Don’t worry! The interviewer knows that you are nervous (maybe he is too), what matters here is that he sees that you know how to handle it and that it doesn’t affect your performance.

Remember that feeling nervous is not a bad thing; it’s part of the process. And it is also an opportunity to show yourself and your interviewer that you know how to deal with difficulties and that anxiety about a job interview does not paralyze you.

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