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!
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.
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.
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!