How to Overcome Job Interview Anxiety & Get the Job You Want

Job hunting can be high-stakes. You want the job so that you can progress with your career and possibly improve your standing in life. All of the potential upside of finding a good job makes the stress, fear and anxiety that come with job interviews extremely potent. Here we answer the question ‘what is interview anxiety’ as well as showing several interview anxiety remedies that can be implemented quickly to give you the strongest chance of getting the job you want.

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There are very few situations in life that require you to put yourself out there like a job interview. You have to face someone in a position of authority, make a great impression on them, and sell them on the fact that you’re the best person for the job.

The stakes are high, and it’s only natural that you might be feeling a little anxious. You might also worry that you’ll get nervous during the interview and that the jitters will prevent you from putting your best face forward.

If that sounds familiar, you’re not alone. According to a 2013 survey by Harris Interactive and Everest College [1], 92 percent of American adults stress over one or more aspects of a job interview. The respondents cited nervousness affecting their performance as their top concern, followed by not being able to answer tough questions.

Overcoming Interview Anxiety Key Takeaways

Without completely spoiling the rest of this article, here are the most interesting & useful takeways about Overcoming Interview Anxiety:

  • Interview anxiety is a sensation of overwhelming stress and anxiety in the run up to, and sometimes during, a job interview. It has been shown that an estimated 92 percent of American adults stress over one or more aspects of a job interview.
  • Solutions for overcoming interview anxiety include increasing the amount of research and preparation carried out before an interview, slowing down our thought process, visualization techniques and increasing HRV through physical activity.

It’s never easy to interview for a job that you really want. But for people who suffer from anxiety, the stress of an interview can be debilitating to the point where they might even avoid seeking new career opportunities.

But don’t worry, there’s good news! You don’t have to let nervousness get in the way of you and your dream job.

There are things you can do to calm your nerves and remain collected and confident during the interview.

Here, we’ll take a closer look at what interview anxiety is, and we’ll also discuss some tips on overcoming the jitters before the big moment.

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What is interview anxiety

It is entirely reasonable to feel a little bit of stress before a big interview. A lot is riding on the outcome, and you want to make sure that you prepare well and perform at your highest level.

In fact, you can even use a little stress to your advantage. You can use it as the fuel to prepare better, and increase your alertness and focus during the interview.

But for people that are prone to social anxiety disorder (SAD), a condition that makes them irrationally fearful of being judged and humiliated, the nervousness can get out of hand during an interview. It can cause them to get jittery, impacting how they present themselves [2].

If you suffer from social anxiety, or you’re simply worried that you’ll get too nervous during your interview, the following tips will help you remain calm and focused.

How can I overcome interview anxiety?

If you suffer from social anxiety, it might be worth looking into solutions like cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) [3]. But if you have an interview coming up soon, what you need right now are fast-acting solutions that will help you calm the nerves, and maintain your composure and focus.

Here are some things you can do before the interview to overcome anxiety and nervousness.

Research and prepare for the interview

Doing your research, and preparing as much as possible, will reduce some uncertainty, and could also relieve anxiety.

Think of your preparation just like what a professional athlete does before a big game. Plan for every single detail that you can think of. Being well-prepared will boost your confidence, and you might even get to a point where you look forward to the interview.

Here are some things to consider during your preparation.

What to research in preparation of your interview:

  • Research your (potential) employer – Learn all you can about the company, and ideally, also about the person that will be interviewing you. Try to understand how your potential role will fit into the company’s bigger picture.
  • Practice answers to common questions – There’s no way for you to know what you’ll be asked. But if you have an idea of some likely common questions, practice answering them before the interview. Perhaps a friend can hop on a zoom call with you to help you answer some practice questions, too?
  • List your skills – Make a list of all your skills, experiences, and accomplishments that are relevant to the position you’re applying for. Practice explaining how your background might be beneficial to your future employer.

Techniques to overcome Job Interview Anxiety

Take inventory of your thought process

Often, when we think of a big idea, like interviewing for the ideal job, we tend to get overwhelmed, and it leads to anxiety. But if we break the big idea down into smaller pieces, then we might be able to think about it more rationally.

If you’re experiencing anxiety about your interview, take some time to identify what part of the process you find most overwhelming. Then analyze if your worries are rational and if there are reasons for you to be optimistic and confident.

Remember, it’s not just you that’s being interviewed, but you’re interviewing your potential employer too. You’re both trying to figure out if you’re a good fit for each other.

Preparing and practicing some questions that you have for the employer will not only help you feel more prepared and confident, but it will also create a better impression during the interview.

Visualize your success

You can use the process of visualization to “practice” the best interview in your mind. If you experience a positive outcome in your mind, you might be less anxious when you’re going in for the actual interview.

Visualization can reduce your anxiety by helping you manage your negative emotions. You put yourself in a relaxed state through mindfulness practice, or guided imagery, and then imagine a positive outcome in your mind [4].

For your interview, you could imagine yourself sitting in the waiting room feeling relaxed and confident, like you know you’re the right person for the job.

You can picture yourself looking like a million bucks, and when you walk into the room, you greet everyone with a dazzling smile, and everyone is happy and excited to see you.

Then you can imagine being calm, collected, and positive throughout a great conversation, and that everyone is resonating with what you have to say.

If all of this sounds a bit “new-agey”, consider the fact that some of the most successful people in the world like Oprah Winfrey, Will Smith, Arnold Schwarzenegger, and Michael Phelps [5], have all used visualization to achieve success.

Go for a workout

One of the best things you can do before your interview is to do a quick high-intensity workout.

Go for a run, do some calisthenics, or anything else that gets your heart pumping.

Exercise has been proven by research to be a great mood-enhancer [6], as well as being effective in reducing stress and anxiety [7].

Not only will you get a break to get your mind off the interview, but the after-effects of exercise will put you in a more positive mind-frame that will benefit you during the interview.

Take a GABA supplement to promote calmness and boost mental focus

Gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) is an amino acid that also works as a neurotransmitter in the brain. Its primary function is to inhibit brain signals to reduce nervous system activity. Being deficient in GABA has been linked with a higher risk of social anxiety [8].

Boosting GABA levels in your brain can promote a sense of calmness and relaxation. GABA increases alpha brain wave activity, which is a brain frequency similar to what you experience during a mindfulness practice like meditation [9].

Taking a GABA supplement before your interview will help you calm the nerves and avoid the jitters, so you can remain focused on communicating your value to your prospective employer.

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PerformZen for a smooth interview

PerformZen Calm Performance Formula is a fast-acting supplement that keeps you calm when it matters most.

Along with GABA, it also contains other ingredients that boost cognitive performance so you can keep interview anxiety at bay.

Here are the ingredients in PerformZen that work synergistically to support brain function.

GABA – GABA will calm your nerves and reduce anxiousness during your interview, so you can focus on impressing your future employer.

L-theanine – L-theanine is another amino acid that promotes calmness and relaxation [10]. It has also been shown to boost GABA, increasing the potency of GABA in PerformZen.

Magnesium – Magnesium is a natural relaxant, and it supports better absorption of GABA in your body to enhance the calming effect of the supplement [11].

Vitamin B6 – Another ingredient that supports GABA synthesis to keep you cool and collected under pressure. B6 also combines with magnesium to increase your mental sharpness so you can be on top of your game [12].

Theacrine – Theacrine is like coffee but without the chance of anxiety and jitteriness. It will give you a clean boost in energy, so you remain focused, engaged, and upbeat throughout the interview [13].

Ginkgo Biloba – Ginko Biloba improves how you respond to stressful situations by keeping your fight-or-flight response under control and preventing anxiety symptoms [14].

For best results, you should take PerformZen around 2 hours before your interview. See the help center for detailed usage instructions.

Final thoughts on overcoming interview anxiety

There’s no way to sugar coat it; an interview is a high-stakes event, and you might have a lot riding on the outcome, especially if it is an ideal job for you.

So, it is to be expected that you’ll feel a little anxious and stressed out. The last thing you want to do is to beat yourself up for experiencing stress about your interview.

Instead, you should acknowledge your anxiety as a sign that you care about the job and that you want to prepare as best as possible for the interview. A “can-do”, positive mindset will allow you to take more control over the situation, so you can make the necessary preparations to increase your confidence and minimize your worries about underperforming.

Try some of the pre-interview preparation steps recommended in this article to calm the nerves. And if you’d like an extra cognitive boost so you can remain calm and increase focus during the interview, be sure to check out PerformZen’s Calm Performance Formula.

Agnit is a performance expert and the lead writer for PerformZen. As an avid health and fitness enthusiast, he is passionate about helping people take control of their health to live happier, more productive lives. Someday, he plans to listen to his own advice and drink less coffee.

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