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Interview Anxiety: What is it & How to overcome it

Ever felt the chills and a rollercoaster going to town in your stomach before an interview? Don’t worry, we got you! Giving interviews can often be unnerving but that doesn’t mean you can’t still ace them. The team at PsyKessa firmly believes in the power of the human spirit and we completely understand the importance of the last-minute pep talk. So fret no more and let’s dive in.

What even is Interview Anxiety?

Interview anxiety is extremely common (even if you feel you're well-qualified for a job). Meeting strangers in a position of authority; talking about yourself; being evaluated and judged on your appearance, demeanour, and skill to sell yourself—are all triggers for nerves and stress. With each employment interview, you're meeting new people, selling yourself and your skills, and sometimes getting interrogated about what you know or do not know. And, you would like to remain upbeat and enthusiastic through it all. This becomes a challenge, especially when you're interviewing for a job you'd like to get hired for.

Why do we get nervous?

Nerves are the body’s natural response to perceived threats, both real and imagined. When the stress response gets triggered, the body starts preparing to fight or flee, which may end in physical reactions like rapid heartbeat or breathing, pale or flushed skin, clamminess and trembling. These responses are involuntary, and while they're helpful during a dangerous setting, they will cause feelings of nervousness when the threat is minimal. Fortunately, there are several practices and techniques you can use to ease your case of the interview nerves.

How to make Job Interviews seem less stressful-

  • Just a touch of preparation can go a long way.

The longer you take beforehand to get ready, the lighter you'll feel during said interview. Prioritise researching about the organisation and do your homework. Researching the corporate for even an hour or two will offer you great opportunities during the interview to point out how deep your interest in the company goes.

  • Practice, practice, practice.

Getting good at something often takes practice. Getting good at interviewing isn't an exception. Look up common interview questions and practice answering them aloud. “Sometimes what sounds good in our heads actually is extremely awkward when spoken, so get comfortable talking about yourself.”

  • Practice Self-Care

Taking care of your body can go an extended way toward alleviating nervous energy and helping you feel calmer. Avoid caffeine, get enough sleep and exercise regularly. Keeping yourself healthy is paramount when facing potentially stressful situations.

  • Visualise Success

Find a quiet space where you will not be disturbed, close your eyes and visualise yourself being successful in your interview. Visualising success is direct positive thinking. When done correctly, it prepares your brain to behave in a certain way which might prove extremely beneficial.

  • Take action for what is in your control

It is normal to feel anxious before a job interview. Taking proactive action may be a powerful antidote to the fear that always accompanies interviewing for jobs. For instance, you'll find it helpful to practice your elevator pitch with a trusted friend, loved one, or career coach. Additionally, carve out time to calm your nerves immediately before the interview. Spend a couple of minutes focusing on your breath and keep at it throughout the interview.

  • Build Rapport

Building Rapport includes looking the interviewer straight in the eye and shaking their hand. Strengthen your visual communication by maintaining good eye contact. Focus on your posture as well, sitting up straight and staying as pleasant as possible throughout the interview will even give the interviewer positive insights into your behaviour.

  • Remember you're just having a conversation

Reframing how you think about an interview can help to alleviate stress. Remind yourself that a job interview is nothing more than a conversation, and definitely not an interrogation. The interviews are just trying to work out if you'd be a good fit for the role. Having questions at the ready and being curious can help to make a more equal power dynamic and lessen feelings of intimidation.

If you still need a helping hand to guide you through the process of preparing for a job interview, be sure to reach out to us at We have got you!

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