By Laura Cronin 23 Feb 2023 5 min read

Mind Tricks: How Do I Calm My Anxiety Before an Interview?

Interviews are nerve-wracking even for those who are experienced. The pressure of making a good impression, combined with the need to find a new job, can cause anxiety levels to soar, resulting in a racing heartbeat, sweaty palms and more. However, there are several techniques you can use to calm your nerves before an interview.

Understand the Source of Your Anxiety

The first step in calming your anxiety is to understand what's causing it. Are you worried about not being prepared for the interview? Are you afraid of making a mistake? Or do you simply feel nervous in front of large groups of people? Once you identify the source of your anxiety, you can start to work on finding solutions to reduce it.


Consider the Worst Case Scenario

Courage often derives from the belief that you have nothing to lose. Think about the worst case scenario, and what you would do afterward. Let’s say you don’t get hired. That’s not the end of the world! You can always apply elsewhere and have another shot at an interview.


Focus on Your Breathing

Taking deep, slow breaths can help regulate your heart rate, reduce stress, and improve your focus. Before the interview, take a few minutes to sit quietly and focus on your breathing. Breathe deeply and slowly, counting to four as you inhale and counting to four as you exhale. Repeat this process several times, until you feel more relaxed.

Visualize Your Success

Before the interview, close your eyes and visualize yourself successfully completing the interview. Imagine yourself answering questions confidently, making a great impression, and feeling proud of yourself at the end of the process. Repeat this visualization as often as you need to, and try to focus on the positive feelings that accompany your imagined success.


Anticipate Difficult Questions

Anticipate the toughest questions you may be asked and practice your responses. By thinking through potential obstacles and preparing for them, you'll be better equipped to handle any surprises that may arise during the interview. This preparation will also increase your confidence, allowing you to present yourself in the best light possible.


Prepare and Practice

Preparation is key to reducing anxiety before an interview. Research the company and the position you're applying for, and practice answering common interview questions. The more you know about the company and the position, the more confident you'll feel during the interview. Additionally, practicing your answers will help you feel more comfortable with the interview process and reduce your stress levels.

Make an Interview Cheat Sheet

Creating a cheat sheet with key information about the company and the position you're applying for can be a great way to boost your confidence and reduce your anxiety levels. Write down key facts about the company, its culture, and the position you're applying for. You can also write down the questions you want to ask the interviewer to demonstrate your interest and engagement in the position. Having this information at your fingertips during the interview will help you feel more prepared and confident.


Use Positive Affirmations

Positive affirmations are simple statements that help boost your confidence and reduce stress. Before the interview, repeat positive affirmations to yourself, such as, "I am capable and confident," "I have all the skills and knowledge I need," or "I am the perfect candidate for this position." Repeat these affirmations as often as you need to, and try to internalize them so that they become a part of your mindset.


Eat a Nutritious Meal Beforehand

Even if your stomach feels a little bit queasy the morning of your interview, you should try to get some good food into you. Eating a nutritious meal before an interview can help reduce your anxiety levels. A well-balanced meal that includes protein, complex carbohydrates and healthy fats will provide you with the energy and nutrients you need to perform at your best. Avoid eating heavy or greasy foods that can make you feel sluggish or cause digestive issues.


Remember, It's Just a Conversation

Finally, it's important to remember that an interview is just a conversation. You’ve been called in to discuss your skills, experiences, and qualifications and to see if the position is a good fit for you and your potential new employer. The interviewer is there to learn more about you and to evaluate whether you're the right candidate for the job. By reminding yourself that the interview is simply a conversation, you can relieve some of the pressure and stress that comes with the process.

Try to approach the interview as an opportunity to get to know the company and the interviewer, and to share your unique qualifications and experiences. When you focus on the conversation aspect of the interview, you can approach it with a more relaxed and confident mindset.

An interview can definitely be a stressful experience, but with the right mind tricks, you can stay calm and confident throughout the process. By understanding the source of your anxiety, focusing on your breathing, visualizing your success, preparing for the worst, making an interview cheat sheet, eating a nutritious meal beforehand, and remembering that it's just a conversation, you can reduce your anxiety levels and increase your chances of success.


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