Fear of Interview
Don’t let the nerves take over!
“Sometimes nerves take over and you don’t show who you are.”
Those are the words of an auditioning actor in “Every Little Step,” a 2008 documentary that follows the process of casting the 2006 Broadway revival of “A Chorus Line.” These words could have been said by anyone who has been nervous before a job interview or looked back on his job interview performance filled with regret. When you have the pressure to perform to the best of your ability, anxiety can creep in, which can threaten to ruin your performance.
There are no exact statistics as to what percentage of people suffers from the fear of job interview. However, in more than one ways this fear is impinged by the fear of public speaking. In a recent survey in the U.S., it was revealed that more than 74% of the U.S. population suffers from the fear of public speaking. Hence, it can be said that a large chunk of people is affected and shaken up before a job interview.
Forgetting lines top the fear actors experience in their careers. They have this fear because they have never run these lines in front of the camera or the audience before. Their preparation is terrible which gets noticed easily if it is a live show. If a cricketer is playing his first test match, the pressure on him is tremendous. The pressure to do well, the expectations of his family and friends and then doubt creeps in asking the same question repeatedly, ‘Am I good enough?’ The same is the case with job seekers.
Their nerves can be disturbing and prove to be a real deterrent when it comes to facing the interview. Questions like ‘Where do you see yourself in 10 years?’ or ‘Why would you like to work for this company above others?’ The candidates feel like they are back in school at the end of an assembly unable to form their words.
Everyone gets the jitters before an interview. It is normal. The primary symptoms of an interview stress are: Shaking legs, wobbly knees, feeling nauseous, pounding heart, shortness of breath, racing heartbeat, flashbacks, trembling hands, constipation, general anxiety with no anchor, rushing, fearful imagery, nightmares, inability to eat, avoidance of people, inability to control thoughts, sudden heat in body, feeling cold for no reason, panic attack, distorted sense of elapsed time, shaking voice, self-consciousness, poor coordination, stumbling and bumbling, dizziness, cracking in voice, difficulty concentrating, sudden tiredness, emotional flatness frozen movements and a lot more. The physical symptoms are different from person to person. However, the negativity in thoughts and the fear of failure and the symptoms that arise out of them are almost the same in everyone.
Tips to help you overcome your fear of interview:
Interviews are hard and they can change your life. The stakes rocket up when interviewing with more than the person. They’re all looking at you with eagerness, waiting to pounce on you, while you’re struggling to come up with the right answer. The following are some of the ways that can help you overcome the interview fear.
- Practice, practice and practice some more: The fact that practice makes a man perfect can’t be stressed any further. Stand in front of the mirror and be the interviewer and the interviewee or call up a friend or friends and set up a mock interview. Have them ask you the toughest questions. Repeat this process so many times that you become assertive and confident enough to face any questions.
- Be confident: Your resume stood out from the other applicants. Only then did you get a call back from the company. Remember this as you prepare for the interview and meet the interviewer. Think of someone you admire and their qualities. Remember how that person carries himself and exudes self-confidence and you’ll do the same.
- This too shall pass: Getting nervous is normal and it is an event that’ll eventually pass and could make you laugh when it is over. The company wouldn’t have called you if they didn’t think you were good enough. Always remember, that you’ll be an asset to this company and should they not hire you, it’s going to be their loss.
- All is well: You can fool your brain by letting it believe that everything is under control. All is well. When you act like everything is fine, your brain believes your actions. It calms the nerves. Be confident and the brain and body will respond. Look the interviewer in the eye and face every question with ease.
- Take it easy: You’re almost done. Every terrifying moment that you spend in the interview room increases your chance of getting through. They won’t ask you so many questions if they didn’t think you’re the one. You have to be prepared and you’ll have to answer the remaining questions with the same awe that you’ve shown the entire time.
- Let your personality shine through: The interviewer only knows about you what has been written on the resume. Take your time to answer the question, ‘Tell me about yourself’ as this is the perfect time for you to let your personality shine through. Tell him how your experience will be of great value to the company. Ask him about his career and his experience. Ask him about the company. One night before the interview, research a little on the company. This will show that you have a genuine interest in the company.
- Don’t be in a hurry: Take your time to answer every question. That way the words will come out clearer, there is a less chance of you fumbling when speaking and it also gives the impression that you are thoughtful and not struggling during the conversation.
- Sell your assets: Make the interviewer believe that the company is seeking you, the best-qualified candidate for the job. The interviewer wants to know if you’re the person with the best solution. Your job is to convey that in fact, you’re that man. Highlight why you’re different and how you can prove to be a real asset to the organization.
Paulo Coelho said, “And one has to understand that braveness is not the absence of fear but rather the strength to keep on going forward despite the fear.” The truth is there will be interview stress but there are ways to keep it in check. The greater the number of mental tools you have to beat the interview stress, the better you’ll perform. Beating interview stress is not about being perfect or being carefree. It is about adjusting and managing anxiety.
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