How to Handle Stress During a Job Interview
Picture this – you’ve just received a notification from a company about a job position that you recently applied to. The company likes your proposal and invites you to be a part of their interview process.
Eager to fulfill your sense of purpose from within, you attend the interview and realize that you are moments away from a potential job offer.
But then a strange, indiscernible feeling creeps in. Your imagined depiction of a successful interview suddenly starts to fracture. Your anxiety levels heighten, and you begin to sweat. The casting of doubt and overthought begins to cloud the depths of your mind. “What is this feeling?”, you begin to ask yourself. What is this feeling that is so overbearing, so powerful that it has caused your achievement to become negated?
That feeling in question, is called “stress,” and on a daily average it affects roughly sixty-one percent of hard-working Americans just like you, so you’re not alone.
But does it really have to be this way?
As a natural byproduct of a human’s survival mechanism, stress can be a hard thing for most people to control, making it seem nearly impossible to maintain.
However, we believe that by you following our guide on information related to job interviews and by utilizing our 9 unique tips on how to manage stress during such interview, you’ll be a professional at managing your stress in no time.
THE PURPOSE OF A JOB INTERVIEW
Companies far and wide utilize job interviews to ensure that the best and most qualified applicants are fit for the necessary positions they have to offer.
It also gives the hiring company further insight on what you are like in person and not just on paper. The interview can pose a great opportunity for you as well.
The job interview process is a very important milestone that will allow you to do three of the following things:
- Sell yourself. Companies will be looking for individuals whose experience matches their expectations. You can present to them your accomplished achievements and express what you have to offer and how their company can benefit from you. Anything pertaining to numbers — with regard to cutting costs of certain projects, staying within certain allocated budgets or saving your prior company money — can vastly show your value to your interviewer.
- Obtaining more information about the company. This is the perfect opportunity to establish further if this company is the right fit for you. Meeting at the job site can allow you to observe the employees and get a feel for the environment that you would be working in. It would also allow you to see certain aspects of the company’s work environment that can include their dress attire and their personalities.
- Showcasing your communication skills. Being face-to-face with an individual may be awkward in some situations, but this is a job interview we’re talking about. A face-to-face meeting with the person who could potentially further your advances with the company is a great opportunity to expand your horizon and to embrace your interviewer with open eyes (but don’t ever stare) and an open mouth. This gives you the opportunity to show your manners and articulation of thought.
One of the byproducts of the job interview process that has remained constant over the course of many years has and probably always will be is – stress.
The reasoning behind this being that all human beings, when threatened or fearful, utilize stress as their natural detriment to certain stimuli. But too much negative stress can affect a person psychologically both during and before a job interview.
One way, however, to understanding the solution to maintaining stress more efficiently, can be found by the simple act of understanding just what exactly stress is.
GOOD AND BAD STRESS AND ITS CORRELATION TO JOB INTERVIEWS
|Fight –||the human bodies’ natural reaction to deflecting predator’s attacks. Though this form of the stress procedure can help in certain situations, it may be unnecessary for other situations; in which it can damage relationships and reputations (which is why you want to make sure that you treat your interviewer as a friend and not as a foe.|
|Flight –||it symbolizes a “good” stress in that it allows us as human beings to perceive certain threats we may not have been aware of without it. This however, can prove unreliable during a job interview, in which it hinders your ability to handle stress head on by simply walking away (and you can’t just walk away from your job interview).|
|Freeze –||probably the most important during an interview process, freezing can show your interviewer that you may be unprepared for the interview and unable to handle any amount of stress. You want to always build up yourself and your self-esteem so that you can come off with a strong sense of urgency, but also a calm, humble manner as well.|
Stress can cause you to sabotage your chances with your interviewer and destroy your chances for plausible employment with the company.
Most cases of stress during the interview process can be caused by the constant over-thought that you may go through and have a negative outlook on what may happen after the interview (believing that you may not have a good interview or get a call back).
You have to get control over these feelings and understand that the job interview is in everybody’s best interest. Your anxiety can also be one of the biggest obstacles that you face with regards to stress.
But stress, however, as stated above, has many good qualities as well.
Always remember that stress is an inherent ability from within and with that ability comes great responsibility. You must learn, most importantly, how to find a balance between good and bad stress and how to utilize the two in a way that can be beneficial but at the same time not a detriment to you.
You now understand the importance of a job interview, why it is needed, and the stress that come as a product of it. Now it is time to implement the principles that will allow you guaranteed confidence over the stress that you hold deep within and lead you to a great job interview process.
9 UNIQUE TIPS THAT CAN HELP YOU MANAGE YOUR STRESS DURING YOUR INTERVIEW
1. Being prepared.
Rehearsing your interview approach with yourself or another individual can greatly impact your perception of the outside world and your perception of self. Having another person’s opinion about your interview skills can also help with areas that you may be struggling in. Studying the landscape of the location your interview will be located at can also be helpful.
This gives you the chance to become aware of the location of the company and can help you to arrive on time and allow time to find even better directions.
Researching the company’s history can provide great details about the company that can be used during the interview process. It’ll show that you have done your homework and have an extensive amount of knowledge on the company, which could potentially impress your interviewer in the process.
Extrinsic research, the utilization of sources like Cleverism.com, can also add additional information as well. The maintenance of your health will definitely be the most important portion of an interview beforehand.
Sleeping two nights prior to the interview and having a nutritious breakfast before your interview will definitely improve your physical and mental stamina prior and during the interview.
You don’t ever want to appear sluggish or as if you’re not there. Period. That will mean an automatic dismissal of your interview, regardless of how well the company thought of you before the interview.
2. Knowing yourself and who you are.
Understanding all your faults and limitations and working on them to make them your strengths can bring success, but never immediate gratification.
Just like it takes time getting to know yourself inside and out, so, too, does it take time to see the successful results of all your efforts. Ways that you can structure your self-image to deflects stress include:
- Giving yourself pep talks or watching others’ pep talks.
- Having a friend berate you with questions about yourself and the company
TED talks, a nonprofit organization that’s devoted to the spreading and implementation of ideologies, can also be a great source to utilize.
3. Have your job interview in the morning.
Having a job interview in the morning has been proven to alleviate the stressor of having to await an interview.
This usually can result in you allowing too many negative thoughts to crowd your mind and can end in you overthinking the experience, which could make for a very bad interview that might have been good. As the saying goes, “do it now before it comes back to bite you”.
4. Arriving early but never too early.
Get to your interview 10 to 15 minutes before it actually starts. Doing this lessens the anticipation of waiting, which can be very stressful when you have everything that you know you’re going to say and still have to wait.
But you never want to arrive too early. Arriving in too early can cause anticipation to creep in, something that can be very stressful and cause you to forget how you were going to present yourself in the first place.
Try doing an activity to keep yourself occupied in the off chance that you do arrive too early; walking around the company building, playing a game and even listening to music can help pass the time and keep your mind focused (just as long as you don’t become so distracted that you miss your interview).
5. Being confident.
Probably the most important tip among all the other tips within this guide. If you’re show signs of low self-esteem during the interview you can come off as unbelievable.
Always remind yourself of your abilities and accomplishments and why you’re the best fit for the company. Remember that someone within the company thought that your resume was a great representation of what the company needed.
Know that you have a purpose and that the company understands and sees the potential for your purpose, hence the interview. If you tend to be more of an extrovert, then this tip can be very useful to you.
It’s good that you’re an outgoing person but being overly confident can adversely affect your interviewer’s perception of your good nature, and have your interview thrown out.
6. Treat the interviewer as your friend.
If you consider yourself to be more of an introvert, then this tip can be very useful for you. Take your time. Remember that mistakes can happen during the question portion of the interview.
Try to see the interview as a formal conversation with you and one of your friends. Give engaging responses that can bring in the interviewer.
Remember, however, that this is an interview for you and not the other way around. Allow them into who you are. Don’t over-stress. The interviewer is your friend. They want what you want which is a great employee for a great company.
7. Ask the interviewer when a decision will be made.
Another source of stress comes from not knowing when a decision will be made with regards to your interview. It can cause self-doubt.
Remain calm and do not be shy when you’re asking the question. The interviewer understands your position as they are the ones who deal with applicants as yourself every day.
8. Expecting success but being prepared for failure.
The advent of failure will always be your biggest stress throughout the whole process (hence why we’ve left you two videos because we know the significance of getting knocked down) and throughout life as well; especially way after the interview has concluded.
If, by any chance, you do have a bad interview or have a good one and the company decides to go a different route, don’t give up.
9. Never allow your future of success to be controlled by someone other than yourself.
Always make sure to take initiative.
Applying to jobs before and after the interview allows for the probability of you landing another interview with another company, and by utilizing these 9 unique tips, you could be having a successful interview that may guarantee you a job with the company.
MORE THINGS TO CONSIDER ABOUT STRESS
Other things to consider for the job interview process are introvert and extrovert personalities. One of the key ingredients to you having a great interview lies in knowing exactly who you are and only you know the answer to that question.
The interviewer’s job is to “interview.” Of course, they want to get to know you further, but it takes two to tango.
This is an adult experience that could greatly impact your foreseeable future. So, make it your obligation to understand your limitations and accept them and build on them in order to be the candidate they know you are.
Find the reason why you may be introverted or extroverted and experiment with other people, regardless if they’re your family members or random strangers, to find a foothold for growth past it.
All interviews aren’t going to be created equally. You may study this guide, apply all of its principles, follow our 9 unique tips and still find that the interview itself wasn’t what you expected it to be.
Sometimes this can be a result of “stress interviews,” in which an interviewer pressures you with numerous questions at a fast pace to see how well you can work under pressure. These types of interviews, however, can make the applicant, who could be a great employee, uncomfortable.
Your integrity is also an important part of the process. Never choose a job for the sake of money or working. We know that times are hard in this world and we understand that stress does not make it any better.
But the last thing you want to do is lie to yourself and tell yourself that any job that hires you is a great place to work for because it will not always be true. There are plenty of opportunities and if you look hard enough you’re bound to find one that will make you happy.
IN CONCLUSION OF HOW TO MANAGE YOUR STRESS
The job interview process is more than meets the eye. There are so many intricate mechanics that go into the before and after the process of a job interview. So much so, that more than most average Americans struggle with the process, and thus fall prey to their own inherent, stressful antics.
But not you. You, who have finished our intricate guide and had read through our several tips on how to manage stress before and after an interview, are finally able to go through with the implementations of your newly acquired knowledge. You have the keys to the cage of control, and within that cage you’re finally able to lock up your stress, utilizing it whenever necessary.
But always remember that a job is promised to no one. Only with hard work, you can achieve your goals over all the stress, and one of those stresses without a shadow of a doubt will always be the possibility of failure.
Understand that, failure is very real, and it happens to everyone daily, but so too, is the virtue of patience. It’s natural to be stressed from the thought of failing. It’s natural to be stressed during a job interview. It’s natural that you learn this guide and still fail.
But if you are not patient enough to see it through, then it will never happen. If you work hard enough for what you believe in, then it will happen. And remember – practice makes perfect!
The job interview can sometimes seem more like an interrogation rather than a friendly discussion …
Whether you're a hiring manager that wants to assess the emotional intelligence of a potential …