I’m anxious about a job interview

CheyAnne asks…

“First off, I just wanted to let you know that you’ve helped me so much with anxiety in the past. I almost never have any anxious feelings or symptoms anymore, and when I do feel them arise, I always know how to handle it. So thank you so much. You changed my life.

Lately though, I’ve been feeling rather anxious about a job interview I have coming up. I’ve been preparing for it, but my heart races just thinking about it. I really want the job I’m interviewing for, but I’m nervous I’ll panic during the interview, since I’m already feeling this anxious. Do you have any tips for staying calm during interviews? I can’t really distract myself from this one. I know mindset is important, but I don’t know how to boost my confidence for the interview.

I’ve googled tips, but I just appreciate and value your advice so much, so I’m hoping you’ll help.”

When something means a lot to you (high stakes) and you can’t control it, that is a stressful mindset. So a better mindset reduces the stakes and increases your feeling of control.

1. Reframe it

Reduce stakes by reframing what this interview means to you. E.g…

“It’s great that I am really clear about what I want, and it could be this one or another one. I am just in this ’til I find it or it finds me. And I will KNOW when it’s right because it will feel right.”

Whatever gives you a feeling of empowerment. You have to find the truth for you that feels good, because the truth always feels good, not stressful. So the perfect reframe will feel good and right to you.

Now you need to focus on it until it crystallizes… clear and bright and big, so that if the old idea comes, you can easily recall the new truth and make that bigger. So if the old idea comes that is simply a trigger to refocus on the new idea.

2. Control it

  • Work on your resume/CV if it’s not already sent, so that it is polished, pro, and stands out in the pile. I would consider an oversize portrait photo head shot. Shows confidence, and the visual is more memorable.
  • Get a friend to interview you, or a few different friends; perhaps a friend who actually hires, and is familiar with the process. Prepare bullets for each question, then practice practice practice. You will definitely start to relax as you see those answers flowing out of you in an effortless way.
  • INTERVIEW THEM! This experience is as much about seeing if they are right for you. This mindset alone will give you a feeling of empowerment, but again you have to focus on the idea until it begins to have a feeling of life in you. Remaining only as concept, it does nothing. Write out all your questions for them and during your practices, you can ask all your questions too. Keep on this practice process until it’s obvious there’s no more to be gained from it.
  • Research the company in detail so you can ask detailed questions. This will really impress them, hardly anyone does this and it shows you are really keen automatically, without being explicit.
  • When you have prepared as much as possible and it feels like there’s no more to gain, then you can LET GO, because it’s a good as it can be, AND IT IS YOUR CENTERED state that will make you shine when it’s time. You TRUST and RELAX. This will convey enormous confidence in yourself to them. Everyone knows interviews are stressful and when you are confident and relaxed, you will stand out. So what this looks like is a feeling that it’s all done, and if any anxious feelings come up, you center instantly… you know what it is, you know there is no value in it any more, so you return to a still, centered state. Again, the fear flash is a TRIGGER to center yourself. Your ability to center during a stressful thought depends on if you have practiced that.

Do all this, you can’t fail. This job or who knows what is around the corner. When you are clear, relaxed and focused it has to be — and soon.

Let me know how it goes. I am unconcerned about whether you get the job or not, but rather if you felt relaxed and confident in the process. That is the win. It does not matter whether you end up with this particular job or not. TRUST that the RIGHT job will happen. Isn’t that relaxing? If you make it “it has to be this” then the stress makes it less likely you will get it anyway. Ironic.

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Michael Kinnaird is the author of Happy Guide, the result of a 20 year exploration into what works for health and happiness.

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2 thoughts on “I’m anxious about a job interview

  1. Thank you so much! Your advice really worked. I was a little in my head because of the way the interview was set up, but the second I walked into the first round, I felt really calm. I know you’re not concerned whether or not I got the job, but I did :)

    I even had to stand up, introduce myself, & read an announcement (I was interviewing for a flight attendant position,) and was totally fine. I usually don’t love public speaking. But it also helped that there were 50+ people interviewing, so I just talked with others to distract myself.

    Again, thanks so much. I really appreciate how thorough your response was!


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