How to Handle Anxiety on Your First Job Interview

How to Handle Anxiety on Your First Job Interview

If you have never interviewed for a job before, the experience can be stressful. However, if you learn to prepare for the activity and remember some key tips, you can shine in all interview situations. This article covers the following subjects with respect to interviewing and staying calm.

  • Anxiety is a Normal Feeling
  • Why Job Candidates Feel Anxious
  • The Importance of Doing Your Homework
  • Why Preparation is Key
  • Some Interview Tips
  • Visualize a Successful Interview
  • Take Time to Breathe
  • Refrain from Talking Too Fast
  • Stay Focused and Positive

Anxiety is a Normal Feeling

First, it is normal to feel stressful about applying for a job an interviewing. After all, an employer is sizing you up with respect to your behavior, appearance and overall communications. So, you naturally want things to go well in all these areas.

Why Job Candidates Feel Anxious

What makes you feel anxious is the fact that another person is in control of the process. As a result, you are not sure what he or she may ask or their responses. So, the key is to try to reduce any pre-interview anxiety. After all, if you are overly nervous, it can lead to some interview mistakes – mistakes that may include spacing out, fidgeting, or sweating. You want the interviewer to remember you, but not in these ways.

The Importance of Doing Your Homework

Just as in school, you need to do some homework in order to do well in an interview. Let’s face it – if you give a speech in front of the class, you will also make some mistakes if you are not prepared to give the speech. So, preparation is indeed the best way to overcome nervousness. Also, remember that a bit of anxiety is not necessarily bad. Feeling a little bit nervous can sharpen your responses and assist you in communicating more clearly.

If you do your homework before you show up at an interview, you will feel much more confident. Confidence gives you more control and actually causes you to look forward to the interview event. Confidence also channels nervousness into positive energy. In addition, confidence keeps you from distractive habits or glitches in communication.

Why Preparation is Key

Now, that you understand that preparation is key. You will want to learn how to prepare for an interview during your job search. Remember, it is important to concentrate on the positive. After all, searching for a job is not an easy task. As a result, it is easy to feel negative. Even the best of job candidates who are rejected tend to feel glum when they are interviewing.

Some Interview Tips

However, try to avoid any negativity as this type of feeling can also prevent you from accentuating your skills and qualifications. So, make sure you go over the interview protocol in your mind. Remember the following tips to keep you focused and calm.

  • Arrive at the interview 15 minutes early. Never arrive late to an interview. An employer will immediately chalk you off as he or she needs you to be on-time to your job.
  • Show up at the interview with your resume outlined and professionally presented on one piece of paper. Include bullet points so it is easy to read. Write the resume as you would like to read it if you were an employer interviewing someone for a job.
  • When you meet the interviewer, maintain direct eye contact. According to research, employers said they are put off by job candidates who cannot look them in the eye. So, demonstrate to the employer that you are poised and confident. Firmly shake his or her hand and look him or her in the eye.
  • Also, make sure you look like you are serious about getting a job. You do not have to wear the latest trend-setting fashion in order to be considered for employment. Dress conservatively and make sure your apparel fits in with the working environment. For example, neutral-toned slacks or skirts are fine as are button down shirts, polos, or sweaters, depending on the job.
  • Be prepared to answer some of the more obvious questions. For instance, most employers will ask you why you wish to work in the job or what qualifications are you bringing to the table. They may also ask you why you feel you are a good fit for the job.
  • Always end the interview on a positive note by saying “thank you,” and showing the interviewer you appreciate his or her time. You also want to send him or her a note after the interview to show your appreciation. Normally, it is fine to send the note by e-mail. However, if you want to really stand out, you might consider sending a thank you letter through the mail.

Visualize a Successful Interview

In order to realize a successful outcome to the interview process, you want to visualize the interview beforehand. Picture yourself making a good impression. This is certainly better than seeing yourself making all sorts of mistakes. Combine your visual with positive thinking so your thoughts will be focused accordingly.

Take Time to Breathe

If you feel still anxious, practice breathing techniques to qualm your nervousness. Once you are seated in front of the interviewer, pause and take a deep breath to calm any feelings of panic. Anxiety is brought on by rapid and shallow breaths, all which can impact your voice and body language. So, if you still fee trepidatious, take time to breathe.

Refrain from Talking Too Fast

Also, it is important to pace yourself while speaking. If you are stumbling over phrases, you are talking too fast. Nervousness tends to make people speed up their behaviors and speech. Also, it is okay to pause while you are interviewing. After all, you need to stop and think before answering some questions.

Stay Focused and Positive

Do not let one tough question alter an interview’s tone. Simply concentrate on answering the questions to the best of your ability and make sure you leave your appointment on a positive note. If you are prepared and follow the foregoing tips, your nerves will not take over and sabotage your job-search efforts or activities.

So, what would you do to calm any feelings of nervousness? How do you think you should handle any feelings of self-consciousness? What do you think is the best way to prepare for an interview?