Fear of job interviews can be a barrier for job seekers. For people with social anxiety disorder (SAD), job interviews can be even more difficult. Meeting strangers in a position of authority, talking about yourself, being judged and evaluated on your appearance, behavior and ability to sell yourself, these are all triggers for social anxiety.
If you suffer from SAD, it is important to seek formal treatment, such as z. B. Medication or cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT). However, there are also strategies you can use to alleviate job interview anxiety. Whether you have a diagnosed social anxiety disorder or are simply nervous about a job interview, the following tips can help you cope.
1. Give yourself a treat
Avoid caffeine, get enough sleep and exercise regularly. In potentially stressful situations, staying healthy is of the utmost importance.
The 2. Visualize success
Find a quiet place where you are undisturbed, close your eyes and imagine yourself being successful in the interview. Visualizing success is more than just positive thinking. When done correctly, it prepares your brain to behave in a certain way. This technique is used by top athletes before competitions to improve performance.
In the future, virtual reality could help you prepare for an interview. A small study examined the effectiveness of using virtual reality (VR) to improve job interview skills, reduce anxiety, and increase confidence in job interviews. Results showed that the VR program reduced anxiety. Features such as continuous feedback and the ability to view a transcript of the interview were cited as helpful.
The 3. Reduce stressors
Reduce stressors that have nothing to do with your actual performance in the interview, z. B. Dressing uncomfortably, getting lost, or arriving too late. Choose an outfit in advance that is comfortable and looks good on you. If you don't know the interview location, take plenty of time to find it or do a dry run a day or two beforehand.
4. Do your research
Being well prepared is a good remedy for anxiety. Educate yourself about your potential employer before the interview. Prepare answers to frequently asked interview questions. Any preparation you can do will help increase your sense of well-being and make you feel more confident and capable in your interview.
The 5. Don't succumb to pressure
Once in a while, you may be interviewed by someone who grills you to see how you handle stress. As a person with SAD, it may be tempting to fall into negative automatic thinking, such as "You know I can't handle this job; I should never have applied" or "You don't really like me; get this
Stop. If you find yourself in this situation, recognize what the interviewer is trying to accomplish and don't let him or her upset you. Be aware that the other candidates were treated the same way and that this is not a reflection of you or your abilities.
6. Interview with the interviewer
Interviews are also a chance for you to evaluate a potential employer. They decide if you want to work for them, just as they decide if they want you to work for them. Try to get into that mindset and see if your focus changes. Ask questions that show you are curious about how the organization might fit with your goals and ambitions for your career.
The 7. Release anxious energy
Anxiety can leak out even when you think you've hidden it well. If you notice yourself fidgeting, do something to release anxious energy that is less noticeable, such as wiggling your toes.
8. Take your time
You do not have to answer questions immediately. Pause before you answer and collect your thoughts. If you are worried about drawing a blank during an interview, take notes while everyone is talking. This takes the focus off of you and allows you to refer back to your notes after a question is asked. If you draw a blank, continue to take notes and say you want to gather your thoughts before you answer.
The 9. Be prepared
A well-prepared interviewer has an immediate advantage in a job interview. In addition, good preparation will. Use your own initiative to reduce your fear of job interviews. Bring anything you think you might need:
– Motivation letter
– Business cards
– Pen and notepad
The 10. Congratulate yourself
Regardless of how you felt about the interview, congratulate yourself afterwards for taking the chance. Do something you enjoy as a reward. Finally, avoid thinking about how the interview went or what could have gone better. While it's important to remember what went well and how you could improve, dwelling on negative parts of the interview will only weaken your self-confidence.
It helps to accept your fear
A 2015 study found that strategies involving reappraisal and acceptance were more effective than suppression in regulating anxiety during a simulated job interview. This suggests that learning to accept you being anxious will be more helpful in reframing your anxiety than trying to ignore your anxiety.
A word from Verywell
If you have job interview anxiety and can't get through an interview, you may need more than a little self-help, such as treatment in the form of medication or therapy. Meet with your doctor to discuss your symptoms and create a plan based on your situation.