How to Calm Pre-Interview Anxiety

You’ve memorized every possible interview question there is out there. You’ve thoroughly researched the company you are interviewing with. You’ve been waiting for the interview date for what feels like forever, and now it’s practically here. But now that it’s almost here, you’re an anxious mess—which is perfectly normal. Maybe it’s a few hours away, maybe it’s only minutes, but regardless, you want to do something to get yourself back in cool and collected mode before you walk in. PrideStaff Financial offers some suggestions to help calm the nerves.

Take a walk:

Fresh air does everyone good. If you have a phone interview, take yourself for a stroll around the block or up and down your street. If it’s in person, take five minutes before you enter the building to walk around and clear your head. According to the American Psychological Association, walking is a great way to boost mood and decrease stress and anxiety.

S.T.O.P technique: 

Many in the counseling and psychology profession use a technique called S.T.O.P. It’s a method that is used to stop the mind racing and to help a person observe what their body is feeling and to be present in the moment. First, “stop” what you are doing and focus on the thought that is causing you stress or anxiety. Connect the thought to how you are feeling. “Take” a few deep breaths to calm the nervous system. “Observe” what’s going on in your body; observe your emotions and how the thought connects these feelings. “Proceed” with accepting the thought for what it is (just a thought) and then picture a “stop sign” to break up the stressful thought. Take more deep breaths, wiggle the fingers, limbs, and toes, and replace the thought with a calming thought (or a picture of a setting that makes you feel calm), and remind yourself that everyone gets nervous. Do this technique as often as needed. It works well even when you are in the interview room seconds before the interviewer comes in.

Do something fun after:

Most job candidates know at least a week or two (if not longer) in advance of their interview date, so plan something fun or enjoyable after the interview if you can. Doing so gives your brain something else to focus on and a feeling of excitement about what’s to come after the interview. 

Power Postures:

A Harvard Study, which was recently referenced by motivational speaker Tony Robbins, showed that doing simple “power postures” for two minutes increases your biochemistry by 20% and drops cortisol by 18% (stress hormone). Robbins goes on to explain that it’s not just the posture but it’s how you move and how you speak that can also contribute and be even more dynamic in these results. So whether it’s holding your hands on your hips and/or sitting with your hands behind your head, legs crossed at the ankles for two minutes (we recommend not doing this during the actual interview), pushing the shoulders back and down, or exerting a more energetic vocal tone (not a higher pitch but more dynamic speaking), you can immediately decrease stress and change the biochemistry in your brain to give you a more positive feeling.

Looking for some assistance along your job search?

PrideStaff Financial has consistently won awards for exceptional job seeker satisfaction. Our trusted staffing consultants can help you determine the best path for you and help you prepare for upcoming interviews. Contact us today or explore our open roles to get started.