How to Beat Interview Anxiety

Nov 20, 2019

Wouldn’t it be great if you could walk into your next interview feeling confident and anxiety-free? 

In this post, we will share tips on how to beat interview anxiety before, during and after your interview. 

What is interview anxiety? 

Anxiety is the state of feeling uneasy such as feeling fearful or worried. 

We all experience feelings of anxiety at some point during our lives. 

Feeling fearful or worried about an interview is common. 


Interview anxiety can range from being mild to severe.  Some job seekers feel worried just before their interview, whilst others miss interviews due to severe interview anxiety. 

How to Beat Interview Anxiety before an interview

Here are some tips on what you can do to reduce your anxiety before your next interview.

Prepare 

Being prepared for your interview will help to reduce your anxiety. 

It is important that you research the: role, company and industry in detail. 

During your interview, you will need to convince the interviewer that you can do the job. Therefore, you will need to prepare for competency-based interview questions. 

When it comes to researching the company, it’s not enough to skim over the website. Be sure to find out as much as possible about the company especially the company’s mission and values. 

We offer interview coaching that is designed to teach you lifelong interview skills. Over the past decade, we have helped hundreds of people who came to us feeling anxious about their upcoming interviews. 

We also offer an online interview course called: “Nail That Interview“. We condensed our learning from our one-to-one coaching to design this course.

The course is divided into 9 modules and contains 8 downloadable guides.

Be organised

As well as preparing for your interview, it is important that you prepare the following in advance:

  • What you will wear to the interview
  • The directions to where the interview will be held
  • What you will bring to the interview i.e. your CV, notebook and a pen
  • plan to arrive at the destination of your interview 20 minutes early
  • Decide what you will have for breakfast on the morning of your interview day
  • Plan to have a good night of sleep before your interview

Having all of the above ready in advance of the interview will help you to beat your interview anxiety.

How to Beat Interview Anxiety

Reducing anxiety on the day of your interview

So, you’ve prepared for your interview well and you’ve organised everything you will need for the interview in advance. This will significantly help you to reduce your interview anxiety.

However, as it gets closer to your interview, you may notice a spike in your anxiety levels.

On the day of your interview, it is important to stay as calm as possible.

Use the S.T.O.P method to reduce feelings of nervousness and anxiety on the day of your interview.

S = stop what you are doing and focus on your thoughts
T = take some deep breaths
O = observe what is going on in your mind and body
P = proceed with an action that will help you to feel more confident

The S.T.O.P method is a cognitive behavioural technique used to nip racing thoughts in the bud.

If you are sitting in the waiting area before an interview and start to feel anxious do the following:

  • Stop and acknowledge your anxious thoughts and nervous energy
  • Take 5 deep breaths to reduce tension
  • Observe how you are feeling and what you are doing. If you are fidgeting, stop.
  • Proceed by taking positive actions. Sitting up properly and taking further deep breaths can help to reduce your anxiety.
interview nerves before an interview in a waiting room

Get into the right mindset

Block out anxious thoughts by rationalising the situation. Remind yourself that an interview is a conversation. The interviewer isn’t trying to catch you out and this is your opportunity to demonstrate that you can do the job.

Be present with your thoughts instead of thinking “what if my mind goes blank” or “what if I don’t get the job”. Focus on the task in hand.

How to reduce anxiety during interviews

Ask for a glass of water

You will normally be offered a glass of water at the start of the interview.

Don’t decline the offer as there are many advantages of drinking water during your interview.

  • If you are asked a challenging question, taking a sip of water can give you extra time to gather your thoughts.
  • It will help you to stay hydrated. nervousness or anxiety may make your throat feel dry. To prevent this sip on some water during the interview.
  • Drinking water may help to reduce your stress levels

Check out our blog post on the benefits of drinking water during an interview.

Speak slowly

Many people speak very quickly when they are feeling nervous or anxious. However, even if you are feeling this way, speaking slower can help you to come across as being calm and confident.

Don’t worry if you hesitate. It is ok to take some time to think about your answer before you start speaking.

Taking just a few moments before responding, thinking of a strong answer and speaking slowly can help you to give better answers.

Remember, the interviewer will understand that you may feel nervous

Most candidates feel anxious during interviews.

The person interviewing you has most likely interviewed several nervous interviewees. The likeliness is, if they sense that you are feeling particularly anxious they may try to make you feel at ease by encouraging you to take your time with thinking about your answers.

Remember, the interviewer is just another human being. There is even the possibility that they feel a bit anxious during your interview as well.

Dealing with post-interview anxiety

Waiting to hear back from hiring managers after an interview can be extremely nerve-wracking.

You may start to over analyse your performance and the responses you gave.

Some people experience job offer anxiety.

Job offer anxiety is the stress and anxiousness experienced by someone who is waiting for a call back to learn about the outcome of their interview.

Continue your job search: After your interview, continue your job search. Having other opportunities on the horizon will put you at ease regardless of the outcome.

Put things into perspective: if you don’t receive a call back the next day, it might be because the people involved in the interview process may not have had the opportunity to meet yet. So don’t worry if you haven’t heard back after a few days.

How to beat interview anxiety: summary

We hope that this post has helped you to reduce your interview nerves.

Job interviews make most people feel anxious. Feeling a bit anxious can be advantageous, but if your anxiety is negatively impacting your interview performance, it’s time to take action.

If you have been receiving rejections after your interview check out our post called: “Why do I keep failing at interviews?

Here at Graduate Coach, we offer coaching and career advice for students, graduates and career changers. Our coaching helps candidates to land the right job. We also offer support with CVs, cover letters, video interviews and more.

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