When it comes to things like interviews, most people tend to get nervous as you have to answer questions about yourself in front of a stranger. Attending an interview with an anxiety disorder is these common nerves, but on the next level.
I typically find myself thinking things like “I’m going to mess up” or “I shouldn’t even do this” when I’m prepping/waiting for the meeting itself. These negative thoughts only help to increase that anxiety, which could end up resulting in self sabotage.
Recently, I’ve had three different interviews for jobs and I decided to pay attention to the things I do to help me prep. By trying to reduce my nerves at the same time as increasing my confidence, I had came out of each meeting feeling successful. I did this by:
– Reviewing my cover letter, resume, application, and job listing to ensure I had my qualifications, the job requirements, and everything else fresh in my mind. It made me feel more ready to answer (and ask) questions. I also found that I become even more nervous when I over prep by practicing a bunch of questions/scenarios.
– Give yourself more than enough time to get ready and get to be interview. I just find it helpful to be relaxed, not rushed, directly before.
– Wear something you feel comfortable and confident in. This will show in your body language and facial expressions and adds to your first impression.
– Smile. This also is key in initial impressions as it gives a hint of your personality. Friendliness is something desired by almost all employers.
– Ask questions too. Just because you’re the future employee doesn’t mean you should be the only one answering questions. Yes, you need to be a good fit for the company, but they also need to be a good fit for you. It’s also useful to know anything that’s unclear to you so you can make an informed decision later in the process.
– Remember that interviewers know how intimidating and nerve wracking answering questions about yourself is. Being nervous or showing signs of nervousness is not the end of the world, it’s only natural. True employers take this into account, and only focus on your qualities and skills in regards to desired ones.
– Breathe. This is a simple one, but it’s the most useful. When you’ve done everything above (and maybe more) but you still are jittery, take slow, deep breaths. This slows your heart rate and can help you to think more logically about your stress. This can be done whenever you start thinking about the interview, all the way up to two minutes before they call you in.
Furthermore, yes you’re going to be nervous. But that doesn’t have to define your interview. Small steps, like the ones above, can help you begin to get used to interviewing and social interactions in a way that’s less daunting.
No, I don’t like talking to strangers or answering questions about my strengths or weaknesses. But that part is bearable when I think about how much I can offer as an individual.
As I’ve said before, you can’t let your anxiety control you but you can learn to better manage it. Simple calming, centering, or focusing techniques can do a world of wonders during an anxiety attack. They can also help in preventing one during, or leading up to important occasions.
Go in there and remember to be you. That’s all there is to do really. If you don’t get hired, that’s okay. It was good practice, and there are always more opportunities out there.
Interviews suck, but they’re a large part of adult life and something people have to work towards before they feel even close to comfortable.