Job interviews are so awkward. I feel like they’re even awkward for the person conducting the interview a lot of the time. I used to get extremely anxious before an interview. I guess it started during high school with college interviews, and continued when I started looking for part-time jobs during college.
I recently went on several job interviews, and I was pleasantly surprised by how calm and confident I felt, going into them. While the jobs I was interviewing for were part-time and not necessarily highly-competitive, I think the same tips apply to any job interview situations.
1 Remember your value.
Just like with dating (and all relationships in life, actually), on a job interview, you need to remember all of your own value and the things that make you special instead of just focusing on all of the reasons you might be rejected. Especially when you don’t have a lot of work experience, you can feel like your résumé isn’t worthy of whatever job you’re applying for, but I think you’ll have a much better chance of success if you go into the interview confident in your strengths and the experiences you have had (even if they aren’t work-related) that would make you an asset to someone’s team.
2 Think of the interview as mutual instead of one-sided.
Try to view the situation like an actual conversation instead of an interrogation. Depending on your situation, you may or may not know a lot about the work environment you’re applying to be a part of. The interview is actually a great opportunity to ask your potential employer some questions. While I am definitely no expert on this subject, I would imagine that being engaged and interested in the company like this would show the employer that you’re very serious about the job. At the same time, you may also realize that it’s not a company you’re that interested in working for, and that’s okay too. It would be great to figure that out before you actually get the job and start working. My sister told me that last bit before I went on an interview, and it was very comforting to me.
3 Sit up straight, keep breathing, and take your time.
I know it’s way easier said than done, but if you act confident and calm, you might actually feel that way a little. I used to get so worked up before an interview. Even though usually an interview won’t be that scary, the idea of being vulnerable and opening yourself up to rejection is. Try to focus on breathing evenly and having good posture so you can at least walk the walk (or sit the sit), and when your interviewer asks you questions, take a moment to really consider your answer instead of trying to answer immediately. I think trying all of these things may really help to reduce your anxiety.
4 Keep in mind that the worst thing that can happen is you don’t get this one job.
This one’s really important. I try to think about “the worst thing that can happen” when I’m having a lot of anxiety about something. Of course this kind of thinking can lead to terrible pessimism, so you really should try to reserve it for those moments when you’re panicking about something that’s not a a life or death situation. In this case, literally the worst thing that can happen is you don’t get this one job, and you kill it at the next interview (does killing it make it a life/death situation?) (just kidding). But for real, in six months when you’ve been at the job you did get and are really enjoying, you won’t even remember one (or 5) bad interviews that didn’t work out. You’ve moved on to bigger and better things.
Lots of love and luck,