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Getting invited for a job interview is exciting, but it can also cause stress and anxiety. An interview can result in sweaty palms, a racing heart, and irrational fear. This can disrupt sleep and other daily routines and make you want to avoid the interview altogether even if you really want the position.
Accept Your Anxiety
Anxiety about a job interview can be viewed as social anxiety. When we experience anxiety about an upcoming job interview, we often want to push that anxiety away to avoid it. Trying to avoid the anxiety can actually make the anxiety worse.
Instead of trying to avoid or suppress the anxiety, embrace it and use it to your advantage. The stress that develops as the interview arrives can help you prepare mentally. Your preparation can, in turn, reduce the amount of anxiety that you experience. The fact that you are having anxiety in the first place means that you care about the interview so use this anxiety to prepare and make it more likely that you will do well.
Research shows that embracing the stress and anxiety can be better than attempting to reduce it. Once you accept and embrace the anxiety, you can face the challenge with a new perspective. Feeling anxious can help us to engage in the things that we truly care about. This includes the job interview that you are having stress and anxiety about.
The day before your interview, you can try to collect your thoughts that are racing through your mind as a result of the anxiety. This can help you put the thoughts into perspective and remove them from your mind.
After you have your thoughts down on paper, think about them individually. Ask yourself whether they are true or not. You can also try to think about each one logically to see if your fear is unfounded or irrational.
This can help you get these types of thoughts and questions away from your emotions and allow you to think about them in a concrete way. Then, if these thoughts develop again before or during the interview, you will be able to address them in a similar way. This can allow you to regroup and refocus because you will not be distracted by unaddressed thoughts.
Mindfulness can be a beneficial technique before your interview because it can help us increase our own awareness of the physical cues that develop when we experience anxiety. Then, we can calm the body and mind using different techniques that ground us. Meditation and mindfulness techniques can help us limit our anxious thoughts and develop coping mechanisms.
Sleep and Nutrition
Quality sleep and a healthy diet can go a long way to provide healthy fuel to our bodies. In addition, you can avoid sugar and caffeine that can put our system into overdrive and cause us to crash at a later time.
Some people also like to listen to music in order to distract and relax their body and mind. Music may help the recovery of the nervous system and can limit the psychological response to the interview. Different types of music work for different people. Some like to have energetic music to pump them up before an interview while others want soothing music to relax. Find something that works for you.
Radical acceptance is the thought that you will be okay no matter what the outcome of the interview. There is a job that is perfect for you and this may or may not be it. Either way, there will be future opportunities that you can take advantage of.
In addition, no matter what happens after the interview, you should have a plan to celebrate. Do something enjoyable and relaxing after you finish the interview. Make plans to go to the movies or out to dinner. Doing something that brings joy and positivity after the stressful experience can provide something that you can look forward to.
Then, having a friend or family member available after the interview can also help give you an objective perspective and someone to calm you down. Not only that, but it also gives you a person to speak with about the interview itself and how it went.
Being prepared enough to practice the interview can go a long way. This will help you feel prepared. It may help to write down possible questions and prepare for them individually. You may also want to practice with a friend, family member, or in a mirror to see how comfortable you are with the information.
You can also research the position so that you are knowledgeable about what you can look forward to during the interview. Just the simple fact that you are prepared can help to ease the anxiety going forward.
It is a good idea to imagine a successful interview. Visualize you doing a great job, asking and answering questions, and behaving in a professional way. This can help to improve your performance because it prepares the brain to act in a certain manner.
Interview the Interviewer
Sure, it is true that you are going to be interviewed. However, a lot of people forget that the interviewee is also seeing if the employer is a good match for them. It can help to prepare questions that you want to know about the position or the organization. This can also help you research and prepare for the interview. Write down questions that you want to know the answer to that you can refer to at the end of the interview. This will also show the interviewer that you are prepared and care about the position.
So, you have an interview coming up? Well, do not worry! Instead, embrace the anxiety and prepare for the day. Then, you can go forward knowing that you did your best and be okay regardless of the outcome. This will help you relax and move forward to the interview and beyond. However, if you suffer from prolonged symptoms of anxiety or if your anxiety is disrupting your daily life or impacting your wellbeing, it may be a good idea to seek the help of a mental health professional. For more information on therapy, please check out this article.