You just graduated from college and now you have your first ever job interview scheduled — yay!
First jobs are always exciting; but, in order to get your dream job started, you will need to pass that interview. Anyone can swear that nailing their first job interview is not easy, especially if the person struggles from social anxiety. But, that’s normal. We all experience panic attacks sometimes or more often than not, especially in stressful situations. I remember how my first job interview felt like receiving a painful injection or taking a final exam, as it really has filled my confidence with dread and anxiety.
There are a lot of things about interview sessions that can trigger a person’s social anxiety such as meeting a stranger who is in a position — whether an executive or a recruiter from the HR support team — to ask about yourself and criticise your appearance, behaviour, and ability to handle the job position. If you have been suffering from a serious social anxiety disorder (SAD), seeking formal treatment and medication is very much advised. For the meantime, while your job interview is just days away, know that there are a few handy techniques that can help you alleviate nerves and anxiety before, during and after a job interview.
Keep yourself healthy.
Make sure that the few days left before the big day are spent well by treating your body right. Avoid caffeinated drinks to reduce your “fight or flight” response and get enough sleep. You can also do reps of regular exercises to boost your physical and mental health. A study has found that regular exercise is one of the most effective ways to reduce anxiety, depression, and a negative state of mind. Remember, keeping your mind and body in a positive light can do wonders when facing stressful situations.
The mere fact that the company is inviting you for an interview only means that they see potential in you. By keeping this positive thought in your mind, you are helping yourself envision a successful interview. Most athletes are using this strategy to improve their performance during competitions.
Do some relaxation techniques.
Staying calm is the secret to acing a job interview. Then again, convincing yourself to stay calm in an anxious situation is understandably difficult. Which is why practising some of our efficient relaxation techniques can help you get through it.
The Night Before Your Scheduled Interview:
- Take a warm bath.
- Do some yoga.
- Set alarm and get a good night’s sleep.
On the Big Day:
- Wake up early so you won’t be late. (Coming to an interview late and unprepared can cause panic attacks.)
- Have a healthy breakfast.
- Dress comfortably.
- Take a walk.
- Get some fresh air.
A Few Minutes Before Getting into the Interview:
- Take some slow, deep breaths.
- Shake your shoulders to release pressure.
- Relax your jaw.
- Remember the second rule: Visualising Success.
Take your time to respond.
Anxiety has its own way of leaking out even if you think you’ve overcome your worries. At some point in life, you will experience being grilled by tough questions but never let the pressure knock you down. The interviewer must be trying to see how you handle the pressure. Instead of spiralling into negative thoughts, it’s okay to ask for a moment while you are still collecting your thoughts to help you come up with a superb answer. After all, responding to interview questions is not a race, you don’t need to answer right away.
Regardless of how you think it went, do not forget to congratulate yourself for being brave enough to face your interview anxiety. Stop saying that you could have done better. Contemplating too much about the pressure you felt in the interview will only destroy your confidence. It’s okay to take note of the things you can improve but do not take it in an adverse way.