Updated: Jun 22
Trying to find a job can be a stressful process. We can submit numerous applications daily and seldom hear back from businesses. But what about when we get to the dreaded interview stage? That is a difficult process for most people but if you have anxiety, it can seem like a living nightmare.
There was one job interview I went to and mentally, I was prepared for a certain process. As this was my first proper interview, what I had in mind isn’t exactly what came to be. I had to wait in a small hotel bar-type area with a bunch of strangers. The atmosphere was horrible as we are all aware we are there for one job role and practically competing against each other. The interview was then delayed by two hours! The longer I had to wait, the more anxious I became. Eventually someone came out and then said we had to go into another room to sit through a presentation with these strangers and that’s when I had to leave. I just couldn’t take it any longer. I have also had some good interviews since (thankfully), so hopefully these tips can help you.
1. Be Prepared
If there’s one thing you can learn from my mistake it is to be prepared. Often they will send you some kind of itinerary but if you suffer from severe anxiety, it may be worth ringing up someone from the company beforehand to ask what the day will entail so that you can be as prepared as possible. They might omit things but as long as you did your best then it doesn’t matter.
2. Practice at home
Try to recreate an interview environment at home and get a family member or friend to be the interviewer and you be the interviewee. The more you practice it, the less nervous you should be. When you turn up to the actual interview, it should feel more familiar and may even remind you of the funny moments you perhaps had with the pretend interview.
The more times you practice, the more points you may think of that you would like to say. Make notes during the practice runs so that you can remind yourself on the day.
3. Go with a loved one
On the actual interview day, go with someone you trust. That’s something that is so important, especially if you struggle with anxiety. Having someone there to support you means that you have someone to turn to if things go wrong and also someone to help distract you beforehand.
4. Mention your qualities
If you’re anything like me, you probably hate the thought of only talking about your skills and qualities. In one of my interviews for university, I didn’t mention the fact that I can speak another language. In my head, it didn’t seem relevant or something that they would be interested in but it came about in the conversation. When they found out, they asked why I didn’t mention it and I explained. They then said that you should always mention any other skills you have, even if they may not seem relevant to the job or the course. It gives the interviewer a chance to get to know you as well as seeing your versatility and capability.
5. Be personable
Try to treat the interview as just two people talking; don’t be too relaxed like you would be with your closest friends but also don’t be too uptight. It’s okay to laugh or to stumble on your words. They want to find out about you, so it’s an opportunity for you to present the best version of yourself.
Some interviews will go well and some won’t, but that’s alright. Everything that happens presents an opportunity for you to learn from and to gain confidence. Don’t be disheartened if you don’t get the job or you don’t hear back; sadly that’s how many businesses operate. As long as you try your best, then you should be happy. Make sure to reward yourself after the interview so that you can de-stress and end the day on a good note!