After the last few months – a time that will no doubt go down in history – a lot of people found themselves without work or out of work completely. It was an incredibly stressful time – for me included. Nobody needed to work with bloggers because everyone’s businesses were closed. Now as the world slowly returns to normal, it’s likely a lot of us will be looking for jobs or attending job interviews again. Which is also a scary prospect. Everyone wants to nail that interview!

Nail That Job Interview Even Though You're Anxious

Photo by Jealous Weekends on Unsplash

Job interviews are anxiety provoking in themselves. The feeling of being judged. The fear of making an idiot of yourself. Being face to face with strangers. And for anyone, like me, with an anxiety disorder as well… interviews can be a truly terrifying prospect.

Of course it’s totally normal to be nervous at interviews. I’d be surprised if anyone didn’t display some sort of nerves in that situation. But remember that excessive anxiety that impacts your day-to-day life and doesn’t go away could be an anxiety disorder. If you feel like your anxiety is constant, check out the NHS page for generalised anxiety disorder for more information.

There are a variety of anxiety disorders that could make attending interviews even harder. Including generalised anxiety disorder, panic disorder, agoraphobia and more. Symptoms are different for everyone but if you’re feeling:

  • A constant state or dread or on edge
  • Restless or unable to concentrate
  • Physical symptoms of an anxiety or panic attack (palpitations, sweating, shortness of breath, headache etc)

Then it’s worth checking in with your GP to discuss how to manage these excessive feelings of anxiety (for example with therapy or anxiety medication) so you’re more comfortable day-to-day and can get to the root of the problem.

Anyway, are you ready to nail that interview you’ve been waiting for but are super anxious about? Here are my top tips!

Take measures to calm your nerves in the lead up to the interview

Big events, whether they’re good or bad, can definitely cause a lot of anxiety in the days and sometimes weeks prior. When my own anxiety was at it’s worst, I could worry daily about an upcoming event for months beforehand. I wrote a post about my number one strategy for calming your nerves which you should find helpful if you’re particularly anxious about an upcoming interview!

Be organised for your interview the day before

Organisation is key for staying calm and collected. The last thing you want to be doing on the morning of your interview is rushing around not knowing where you put your shoes. So I would suggest getting everything ready the night before: your bag, your CV or any documents you need to take and your outfit.

Related: 22 Ways To Seriously Organise Your Life

Wear something appropriate but comfortable

And speaking of your outfit, that’s a really important element of your interview. You’re not going to nail that interview if you rock up in tracksuit bottoms and a pajama top. Of course this point will also depend on the company you’re being interviewed for but a good rule of thumb is appropriate comfort. Especially if you tend to get irritable when you’re anxious.

Remind yourself of these 3 things before your interview:

  • The worst they can say is no
  • They are only people
  • Like everything else that has come before, I will get through this

Mindset is a powerful thing. Arguably the most powerful tool we have. It takes a while to train and shift our mindset but a good way to start with this is positive affirmations. Which are fantastic because they can be applied to any situation. Repeat the above affirmations to yourself before your interview, write them out on cards or on your phone.

Research the company beforehand and get a good idea of their ethos and values – you won’t only nail that interview but you’ll get bonus points for this one!

I’m sure you’ve heard this one before and it’s a pretty standard (but good!) tip on how to nail that interview. And that’s to do some research into the company beforehand and make a note (mental or physical) on their ethos or values and anything you particularly like about it or any questions you’d like to ask. It shows you’re interested and that they’re not hiring a house plant.

Nail That Interview

Be friendly and don’t forget to smile

I know, I know. The WORST thing someone can say to you when you’re anxious is to smile, when the last thing you want to do is smile (because you’re so focused on trying not to throw up). But when it comes to wanting to nail that interview… you might want to smile. Just a bit. They’re not there to judge you on your mental health, they’re there to assess if you’re right for the role. So don’t forget to offer a handshake, smile and be as friendly as you can!

Send a thank you note or email after the interview itself

Although this won’t necessarily land you that job, it is still a nice gesture to do. So providing they haven’t offered you the job on the spot, sending a short but precise thank you note to their address or an email of thanks for taking the time to interview you. It’ll give them a good impression, at least!

And don’t forget to treat yourself afterwards!

The anxiety leading up to a job interview then the actual stress of the interview itself can be exhausting. Particularly for people who suffer with anxiety, it can completely take it out of you. So as trivial as it may seem, don’t forget to treat yourself afterwards – regardless of how the interview itself went. A favourite takeaway. A bubble bath. A new item of clothing. Whatever floats your boat!

Have you got any of your own tips on how to nail that interview? Do you get particularly anxious before job interviews? Let us know in the comments!

108 Comments

  1. I am absolutely dreadful at interviews. I clearly give off the worst first impression as I have been rejected from all kinds of jobs – including one for a company I’d already worked at for two years! I don’t think my anxiety helps, so these tips are perfect for helping me to remain calm and chill if I’m ever offered an interview again!

  2. These are some really great tips! I’ve had my job for such a long time that an interview would make me so anxious x

  3. These are all such great tips. If you’ve researched the company and the role, you’re as prepped as you can be. Trying to relax and be confident that you’ve done all you can is so much easier said than done but I find that they go so much better if you walk in calm and approachable. You’re right, it’s just another person (or a few other people), it doesn’t need to be scary x

    Sophie

  4. Popped on to read this just in case I ever have to interview again. I HATE them. I get so anxious before hand and then stumble over myself (or so I would think). I’ve heard feedback that I interview well but internally I’m usually screaming!

  5. I love these tips, and I really needed to hear them, so thank you for sharing these Jenny!! I’m hoping to get hired, but it seems like so many companies aren’t interested in new hires because of the pandemic. In any case, I’m going to keep all of these in mind! Thank you again xx

  6. Love these tips, interviews alone can feel daunting, with anxiety it’s even worse. Saying positive affirmations is a great way to start the day and focus on channeling your inner warrior. Researching the company beforehand and smiling are great ways to show your interest and friendliness. Thank you for sharing!

    Tx. // Tajinder Kaur

  7. Great post! I 100% agree with everything in this post.
    Before my anxiety began I would get nervous before an interview but still manage to get through and do myself proud….but now just thinking about going for an interview is enough to trigger Anxiety for me these days i don’t think I’d even manage to leave the house 🤦🏼‍♀️I am so great full that I am able to work for myself from the comfort of my home, It’s definitely a scenario I need to work on!

  8. Great tips! Definitely dreading getting back out there but I have never looked up a job before hand and that’s a great tip! I’ve been lucky at my last job because they were mass hiring 😅 but thank you! I’m keeping this pinned and sharing!

  9. Great tips! As an HR person, I had many nervous people in my interviews. Usually if you’re upfront about it they’ll understand. And I always say to send an email as a thank you after. It’s better than a real note because you want to be in their face straight away.

  10. Great tips! I always get super nervous before interviews and have to remind self, the worst that can happen is no. Just go in there and do it.

  11. I’ve just recently landed myself a 0 hours job after months of searching. I’ts not much but at least it’s something for now. I’ve had so many interviews and so many companies say no which is annoying. One thing I always do and you’ve mentioned is research the company and speak about recent events or statistics – this way the interviewer will know you’re actually interested in the position available and I find it always works.

  12. These are such good tips! I tend to focus on the what-ifs and think about everything that could possibly happen, so knowing the worst that could happen is that they say no is so comforting!

  13. A follow-up thank you note is such a great idea!
    I love your tips for nailing an interview; I know I get anxious when I try most things new so it is good to remember that the interviewer is also human. Smiling also helps me calm my nerves. 🙂

  14. I am naturally a very nervous person anyway but being nervous AND having to sell myself 😱 These are such helpful tips, ones that I’m going to save for the future. Currently I’m a stay at home mum but I’ll need these for when I look to go back to work ❤️

  15. These are great tips Jenny. I haven’t had a job interview in over a decade, but I have been an interviewer recently. And believe me that’s just as nerve wracking! Everything you’ve mentioned does help to make a good impression.

  16. The wearing something comfortable is so important – I remember one years ago where I was tugging at the shirt collar so much and just felt so uncomfortable the entire time! xxx

  17. Treat yourself! That’s my favorite tip. 🙂 This is a great article. Job interviews are sooo nerve wrecking. Thanks for this great guide to navigating the job market.

  18. These are all great! Especially since I am applying for new jobs at the moment and will at some point have to do an interview! I am such a ball of nerves when it comes to interviews 🙈 I defo agree with the prep beforehand because that is so important! Xxx

  19. These tips are so useful for anyone who may be preparing for an interview – they can be so nerve-wracking! I agree that it’s a good idea to research the company beforehand and say positive affirmations to yourself.

  20. These are such great tips! I always dread going for interviews because I have to show myself off and I can’t stand doing that! Thank you so much for sharing these.

  21. There are so many great tips here Jenny! ☺️

    The thank you note in particular is such a great idea!

    I have always sucked at interviews. Luckily I’ve worked from home for myself for the past few years but before that when I had to go in to interview for office work I was such a fail. I developed stutters I never knew I had and ended up a sweaty, red mess because I got so self conscious and awkward.

    I remember my last proper interview – the manager asked me what I had done to prepare for my interview and I said ‘I brushed my hair which makes a change and I drove around the car park 12 times to find a spot I was comfortable parking in’ so unrelated but it just came out.

    If ever I need to interview again, I’ll have to remember these tips!

    Love Lozza x
    http://girlygabble.com

  22. These are some great tips, I wish I’d read this post so much sooner as I suffer with anxiety and had an interview last week! But I love the ‘they can only say no’ and that’s so true, I definitely treated myself afterwards that’s for sure!

  23. My last round of interviews (3 in total!!!) were for my current job a year ago. Two were via Zoom and one face to face. TBH, it had been so many years since I’d had one before then that everything seemed slightly surreal. Added to the fact I had a streaming cold in interview one, a hacking cough in interview two, and had lost my voice by interview three. God knows why they hired me! I love all your tips (“hiring a house plant”!!!!!) and one I’d add of my own: they need to convince you that you want to work there too, interviews are a two-way process. Great post, Jenny, spot on for the current situation 🙂 xxxxx

    Lisa | http://www.lisasnotebook.com

  24. Luckily I have a graduate job lined up, but having done so many interviews in the past, I know how stressful they can be and I agree with all of your points you make! One thing I also remember is you can only do your best, sometimes you can get a super hard question which trips you up but as long as you did the best you can to prepare for the interview, then that is all you can do!!

  25. I don’t have any interviews coming up any time soon but this was really useful to read and I think a lot of the tips here can be applied to other things such as networking events x

    Roni | myelevatedexistence.com

  26. Oh I love the treating yourself after an interview idea! There’s some really great tips in this post x