Managing Interview Stress
Often people become stressed in new situations; anything from a first date to attending a social event. Stress can increase when all eyes are on you which is why public speaking and job interviews are one of most common stress inducers.
Stress can increase when the importance of the activity is high. This is why job interviews are highly stressful. The job interview situation is rare, which increase stress, for many the job interview has high importance as many people require a salary to pay bills and mortgages) and in the job interview you are the focus of attention which can multiply your stress levels.
Stress is part of your fight or flight response. Your mind perceives a future situation as stressful and creates an associated negative image – a job interview going badly with you stuttering, forgetting what to say and looking embarrassed. Your mind then releases chemicals in your body so you feel stressed and this feeling of stress reinforces the negative image – creating a stress loop.
Breaking The Loop
As with any stressful “eyes on you” situation, practice makes perfect. If you practice your interview with an interview coach, predicting the interview questions, preparing answers, learning how to sell yourself and how to reinforce your unique selling point, as well as reflecting on interview answers and tweaking each answer until they are embedded in your mind you will come across not only as confident but as the ideal candidate.
The lack of practice is the number one reason why applicants are nervous in job interviews with 90% of interviewees only preparing for a job interview for 15 minutes! As any confident public speaker will tell the key to speaking (and communication is the number tool for passing job interviews) well is rehearsing and rehearsing and rehearsing. It is this repetition of practice that makes the confident orator look as if they are talking of the cuff about a subject or question they are asked, where in reality they have practised their delivery style, tone change, pitch, body langue and gestures, eye contact and how to get their point across.
This practice decreases stress while boosting confidence, self-esteem and your interview expertise.
You can book an interview coaching session and/or a Mock Interview with an interview coach by e-mailing firstname.lastname@example.org
Creating Positive Visualisations
Your mind’s eye creates negative images of job interviews that increase your stress levels. These thoughts and dreams can create so much worry and anxiety that some people will decide against attending the job interview.
If your perceived perception of your interview is damaging your chance of a job offer then this next technique, which only takes around 3 minutes to complete will give you back your confidence.
Step 1 – Think about your next job interview (this will be an anxious/nervous movie) image with most people seeing the image as an associated movie – seeing it from their own eyes.
Step 2 – Pause the interview movie and push the image away from you so you can see the edges of the image
Step 3 – Drain out the colour, turning the picture black and white and put a frame around the picture
Step 4 – Move the image future and future away from you until it becomes a dot – at this stage your negative emotions will have vanished
Step 5 – Imagine yourself confident at an interview; make this image big and bright and bring it closure and closure to you until you start to feel these confident feelings.
If you repeat this exercise every day for 2 weeks your mind will change the associated emotions (from nervousness to confidence) attached to the thought of a job interview. When you next think of an upcoming interview your mind will focus on the new confident interview image you have created rather than the old nervous negative movie you use to play.
Being able to control how you feel during a job interview by using the visualising technique as well as rehearsing your interview answers and selling points, you will have a powerful combination that will help come across natural and confident during the job interview and this can only lead to more job offers.
Interview Preparation Resources
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