Job Interview Nerves

There's not a human being on Earth who hasn't had a case of nerves at some time about doing a job interview.

It's perfectly natural… to a point.

People do worry about the unknown.

But there is such a thing as overdoing it.

Job interview nervousness is a pretty pointless form of worry.

Here's why:

  • Job interviews are a normal part of your working life. They have to be done, like any other part of a job. They're not about to be abolished, either, and blowing one interview means you'll have to do another, and another, until you get it right.
  • Nervousness does nothing but get in the way of your answers. It disrupts your thinking. See below for a few ways around that.
  • It's really a form of self-induced stress. Stress releases stress hormones, which power up the adrenalin. Exactly what you don't need. Adrenalin is for life or death survival situations, not conducting your next move in your career. Unless the building's burning down, it doesn't help. Ironically, in most survival situations, what works is usually a result of clear thinking.

Consider the environment of an interview:

You're sitting in a room talking to people. You've done that before, and you'll do it again.

You're there because you do know your stuff, and you do know the job.

You're there because your application was successful.

The interviewers are there to find the right candidate. They've already culled out the people who weren't up to standard, and you made it.

So- What are you worrying about?

Something you've talked yourself into worrying about.

Anxiety is sometimes an instinctive reaction to a new situation. It's more physical than mental, in some cases.

There's a lot you can do about that.

Deep breathing is particularly useful for any physical ailment. Extra oxygen helps the circulation work efficiently, reduces muscle tension, and actually increases the oxygen supply to the brain.

If you do Yoga or Qigong, (aka Tai Chi), both of which have advanced breathing techniques, some of the exercises will take a lot of the edge off the interview nerves.

Other kinds of physical exercise are also good, because the body reacts to exercise with some endorphins and a rest mode, which slows things down for post-exercise recovery.

A bit of orientation prior to the interview doesn't hurt, either. Have a look at the place before the day of the interview, find your way around, so you don't feel like you're lost in the jungle.

If you can think your way into a state of anxiety, you can also think your way out of it.

Do your research and homework for the interview, think about your answers, really pay attention to the essentials.

This means sharpen your wits, basically, because your conscious mind will edit out useless distractions, of which anxiety is definitely one, when you're busy. Your subconscious mind will also react to your extra concentration, by editing out irritations. The human brain does know what it doesn't like, and it prefers to choose what it's thinking about.

IMPORTANT: Give the alcohol or any other 'helpful' chemicals a miss. You could wind up as a pretty ineffectual mess. They tend to irritate the nervous system, which has to deal with them,too, as well as the way you're feeling about things.

For younger people doing their first interviews:

Remember that this is all about getting a job, no more, no less.

The interviewers are doing their jobs. They will understand a lack of confidence, because they've been there themselves, believe it or not. They'll also try to do a bit of guidance, as much for their sake as yours, to keep your answers on track.

This is a step to maturity. It's one of life's situations that has to be dealt with, and you'll find that you do learn from the experience. This is what becoming an adult is about. It's your ticket to independence, and controlling your destiny.

There isn't really anything to worry about. Out of ten applicants, one will get the job. Giving yourself a disadvantage before you even start is a bit silly.

This is a competitive process. You're there to win, if you possibly can.

Remember also that most of the other applicants are probably worrying.

If you're not, you have an advantage.

Interviews, like life, are very much what you make them.