Interview anxiety can be a problem that many suffer from when looking for a job. It’s natural to feel anxious about a job interview. Having to talk to strangers who are in a role of authority, having to talk about yourself, being assessed and judged on your appearance, demeanour and ability to sell yourself would make most people anxious. If you get anxious about job interviews, the following tips should help you manage your anxiety.

Be cautious of what you eat or drink before an interview

It more than likely goes without saying to avoid caffeine before an interview. It’s also never a good idea to have an alcoholic drink before an interview, even if you think it will “relax” you. Try not to have a heavy meal before your interview as this could make you feel lethargic. Try and eat in moderation but at the same time make sure your stomach isn’t grumbling. Have a look in the mirror too beforehand to make sure there is no food stuck in your teeth.

Practice makes perfect

Preparation is a great way to get over those interview nerves. One must realise that a bit of anxiety in a stressful scenario is healthy. A few nerves may make you more alert and focused and help you perform better. The problems occur when a small bit of nerves becomes an unbearable case of anxiety. However, if you do your homework you will be much more confident. This will put you in a much more positive mindset. Strangely it may even make you look forward to the interview. Confidence can help you control your nervousness and put you in a positive mindset. The more you practice before an interview, the more confident you will feel thus avoiding stutters such as um, ohh, like. It will help you feel much more in control when answering any questions.

Focus on Success

A lot of athletic and job coaches believe visualising images of success can help ease the feelings of anxiety. Try to conjure up images in your mind of positive interactions with the interviewer, especially in the hours leading up to the interview. Counsellors advocate relaxation techniques like progressive muscle relaxation or breathing exercises to deal with anxiety. If the anxiety is too overwhelming for you then you should perhaps consider seeing a psychologist, to see if they can detect if there is an underlying problem that can be dealt with more effectively.

Redirecting Questions

Realistically you aren’t going to know the answer to every question and perhaps it’s because the interviewer wants to see what way you react to not knowing the answer to a question. The best way to treat these tricky questions is to direct the question towards a similar subject you are accustomed to. Try and highlight your strengths as you do it. Always make sure to stay composed. Don’t get bogged down because of one difficult question. Don’t dwell on that question just move on and try and finish the interview on a high note.

Keep in mind that if you don’t get the job position don’t panic, there will be more opportunities. If it’s not meant to me, it’s not meant to be. Learn from the experience and use it to your benefit in your next interview.

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