Contributed by jooble.org
Anxiety is a crucial evolutionary feature of the human brain. Whenever there is a danger or a high-stress situation, our bodies prepare by releasing hormones: blood pressure rises, heart rate spikes, pupils dilate. This feature is a big advantage if you are running from a tiger amidst the savanna desert. The problem is that the body responds likewise to uncertainty and challenge, even in situations where the cool head is vital for correct decisions and a good impression.
Have you ever sat in the hall, waiting for the interview? Your hands are wet and cold, shaking, it’s hard to think straight, and thoughts are rushing through your head: what if I screw up? What if I don’t remember the answer? What if I misspell the interviewer’s name? This experience is common, especially for inexperienced candidates. Here we’ll list a few ways to help you manage the interview anxiety.
Sharpen Your Arguments
It always helps to be prepared. Go through the material you may need: theoretical aspects, the tools you use, etc. Make sure you know the matter thoroughly, if you had difficulty answering some questions in the previous stage of the interview – learn the necessary information. Chances are, these same questions will be asked again. Don’t limit yourself to the general understanding of the job. Look up both the most common and more specific questions for your position and try to come up with structured answers. Maybe even write the bullet points to memorize them.
Most interviews start with general questions about you and your previous work experience. People usually think: “I know my own experience. Why would I prepare for this?” But giving a concise response may be difficult, especially when you are anxious. Go through the CV you sent to this employer and sum up your work experience in a few paragraphs. This is even more important for interviews in a foreign language.
Prepare Your Body
Anxiety manifests itself as a physical reaction, and it is possible to reduce it with physical preparation. Make sure you get a good sleep a few nights in a row, as sleep deprivation increases an anxiety level. Remember that alcohol reduces sleep quality, so using it to fall asleep faster is a bad idea.
If you have other ways to reduce anxiety, such as rituals, gym, or running – by all means, use them. It is also a bad idea to drink coffee right before the interview. If you always drink it – have a cup in the morning, a few hours before the event, and have a good breakfast with it. Don’t go to the interview being hungry, as blood sugar spikes also contribute to anxiety.
Gather Your Tools
Anxiety management is not limited to preparation. There are actions you can take just before the interview to calm down and focus on the task. The easiest way to do that is to breathe slower. Our body’s natural response is to lower heart rate and decrease blood pressure. There are specific techniques and breathing patterns people use to do this. Yet, there are no obvious reasons for them to work better than simple slow breathing.
Make sure you have options, even if they aren’t optimal. It is very stressful to be in the only interview on which your career depends. Instead, find multiple vacancies for your position and send a CV there. Even the existence of these options will release some of the mental pressure.
Here we listed several ways to reduce anxiety levels before the interview. Remember: a calm and focused mind is key to making a good impression and acing an interview.