Job interviews can make even the most experienced professionals anxious to the point of being fearful. Since interviewing is an integral part of the hiring process, not taking steps to deal with the fear of it can hold you back from presenting yourself in a confident manner and landing the job. Fortunately, being comfortable interviewing isn’t an inherent trait – it’s a skill that can be improved with practice. Overcome your fear of interviewing with these tips:
Change Your Mindset
If you continue to tell yourself that you’re bad at job interviews, you are likely to self-sabotage your confidence and ability to improve. Instead, make it a point to change your mindset. First, every time you feel nervous, tell yourself that it’s just a simple conversation and nothing to fear. Also, remind yourself that interviewing is something that you may not be naturally good at, but you can get better with practice and experience.
Remove the Fear of the Unknown
Often the root cause of job interview fear is simply not knowing what to expect. Ease your concerns by removing as much of the unknown as possible. Look up directions to the interview location, or even travel there ahead of time so you know you won’t be late or get lost. Decide how you’ll introduce yourself, and come up with some responses for likely questions. The more prepared you are, the less the interview will feel out of your control and nerve-wracking.
Reflect on Past Interviews
Rather than engaging in the unproductive and demoralizing practice of berating yourself for your past unsuccessful interviews, see what you can learn from them. Reflect on your past interviews – what went right, what went wrong, and any unknown variables in between. This can give you a starting point on where to focus your improvement efforts for your future interviews.
Practice in a Low Stakes Environment
Give yourself a chance to do a trial run before the real deal by practicing in a low stakes environment, such as a mock interview with a friend or video recording yourself answering interview questions. While you don’t want to give stilted, overly rehearsed answers during your real interview, practicing allows you to become more comfortable with the interaction and crafting responses in real time without becoming flustered.
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