Interview Anxiety | 3 Tips to Calm Your Pre-Interview NervesJennifer Abcug Feb 13, 2023 10:00 AM
You’re on your way to a job interview! You must be so excited, right?
Then why do you feel like throwing up, why is your shirt soaking wet, and what is that ringing in your ears? It’s your friendly sympathetic nervous system doing its job by shifting into gear as your body responds to its heightened state of stress.
How can you possibly answer questions in this state? While you may think your anxiety will prevent you from having a successful interview, perhaps it won't. Maybe—even while stressed—you can use your anxiety to your advantage and reflect on why you're experiencing these feelings in the first place.
Anxiety can be a form of excitement (and that’s a good thing!)
A recent study found that subjects who used a technique called “anxiety reappraisal” in high-stress situations reported reduced negative emotions and an increase in positive emotions.
For most of us, our conditioned reaction to stress (in addition to that soaking wet shirt) is fear. This is called the threat mindset, and it negatively impacts our response to high-stress situations (like job interviews). But what if you could reframe your mindset to embrace the panic rather than run from it?
To channel your energy and attention into your job interview, here are some tips for working with your pre-interview anxiety:
Befriend your sweat
So, wipe your brow, pack an extra shirt, and walk into that interview with excitement and anticipation (and your opportunity mindset engaged). And remember, you can feel stress and still remain present enough to ace the interview.
Life 101 plug: Remember that anxiety reappraisal is not just a technique specific to interviewing. I was the most present I’ve ever been that time I parasailed—fear of heights and all. But had I allowed my threat mindset to override my opportunity mindset, it would still be on my bucket list and I would have missed an experience of a lifetime.
Did you enjoy this post? There's plenty more where this came from! Subscribe here for updates.Jennifer Abcug Feb 13, 2023 10:00 AM
Jennifer Abcug, LCSW, is a licensed psychotherapist in New York City, where she specializes in women’s life transitions. Prior to this, she counseled patients and families at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center. Convinced the earth moved after reading Mary Oliver’s poem, “The Summer Day,” the question: “What is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?” has become a focal point of Jennifer’s practice.