Dealing with Stress at the Interview

interview stress

Going through the interview process can be a nerve racking and stressful time in someone’s career. However, by following a few simple steps, you can give yourself the tools to make the process an enjoyable and perhaps even an exciting experience.

    • Make sure that you have plenty of time to arrive. While being very early is almost as unacceptable as being late, at least you can always sit in your car and go over your notes if you arrive more than 10 minutes early. By planning to give yourself plenty of time for arrival, you will avoid a rushed and frazzled feeling which will show in your interview. In addition, there is no longer a reason to have to call and ask for directions. Be proactive and use either the MapQuest or Google applications on-line to find your destination.

  • Research, research, research! There are very few companies that do not have some kind of web page that you can research and study for information regarding the company and the position for which you are applying. You will feel much more at ease with the process if you have familiarized yourself with the entire team and products or services provided by the company. Find out the name of the President or CEO. Read and familiarize yourself with their motto and/or vision statement or look for facts that are relevant.
  • Breathing exercises really do work! It is a scientific fact that breathing in and out slowly assists the reaction receptors in your brain and triggers a more relaxed feeling. When you arrive to your interview, take a moment to sit in your car and do some breathing. Take a deep breath in and then release the breath slowly for about 5 seconds. Do this a few times until you feel relaxed.
  • Never let them see you sweat. It is very important that you at least “appear” to be at ease for your interview. Most hiring managers and HR Professionals will tell you that it is very uncomfortable when someone is close to hysterics in their interview. That person almost never gets the job, because if they cannot control themselves in an interview, then how are they going to handle a stressful situation in their position?
  • Do not fidget. Remember your mother telling you that at Sunday dinner? This is what she was preparing you for. When we are nervous, we tend to do all kind of things that if shown a video of ourselves later, we would die of embarrassment. DO NOT do the following: repeatedly touch your face or hair, adjust your clothing several times, fidget in your chair, keep crossing and uncrossing your legs, click your pen, speak very quickly, babble or ramble on with an answer, keep trying to make jokes to “lighten the mood”, and last but not least, NEVER chew gum during an interview.