Office workers being interviewed for a job

How to beat interview anxiety and own the experience

You’ve got an interview for your dream job. Everyone’s telling you that you should be over the moon, but the pressure just seems to keep piling on.

Even if you know you’re well qualified and a perfect fit for a job, interview anxiety can be crippling for a lot of people. In fact, 93% of people experience interview anxiety at some point in their career! However, we understand that just knowing other people experience it doesn’t make the pre-interview fears go away.

At Synergy Recruitment, we’ve come up with some tips to help you beat interview anxiety and make sure that you’re well prepared for your next big opportunity.

  1. Do your research and come prepared
  2. Prepare some specific responses and think of real-life examples
  3. Practise, practise, and practise again
  4. Rationalise your fears and get some perspective
  5. Perform positive affirmations
  6. Dress to impress!
  7. Remember that the interview is a two-way street!

Do your research and come prepared

A lot of the time, feeling nervous about an interview can be because you’re worried about not being able to answer a question. Your thoughts keep returning to the same scenarios, thinking about the different ways that a question might trip you up. One of the best ways to get around this type of anxiety is to stop thinking about it and start researching! Find out as much as you can about the company. Check industry-specific news to find any stories involving the business and check the company’s own social channels to get a feel for what they’re getting up to. If you can familiarise yourself with the company (and even the interviewers if you know who they are!), you’ll feel much more secure going in for a chat.

Prepare some specific responses and think of real-life examples

Think about your responses to specific questions that often come up during interviews. Have a look at some of the questions most likely to come up for your industry and experience level, and practise some of the answers that you’d give to these. Go through the Job Specification with a fine-tooth comb and think of examples from your background that you can relate to each point on there. The Job Spec is a list of things they want you to bring to the table, so the chances are their questions will be based on it. If you’ve got examples you can talk about in relation to each point on the Job Spec, you should have all the material you need to answer whatever they throw at you in the interview!

Practise, practise, and practise again

Building on the previous tip, making sure that you’ve practised your interview technique can be a great way to prepare. Not only can you acclimatise yourself to the question-and-answer style that interviews take, but you’ll also be able to think about different responses before they happen. Get a friend or relative with more interview experience to help you, or find some example questions online and practise in the mirror (yes, you might feel a bit daft doing this, but it will pay off!). Get a feel for how you’ll answer the questions, how you look while you’re doing it, and most of all, how to stay calm while answering.

Rationalise your fears and get some perspective

Before you go into the interview, remember to take a step back and breathe! Whatever it takes to help you to rationalise your fear – whether it’s thinking that the interviewer is just another person doing their job or remembering that you’re there to assess if this role is the right fit for you – knowing that the interview isn’t the end of the world can be helpful. Stay calm throughout and give yourself the best chance to show off what makes you the perfect fit for the role.

Perform positive affirmations

Performing positive affirmations can be a great way to feel confident so you’re ready to show off exactly what you can do during an interview. A positive affirmation could be anything that makes you feel good, from repeating confidence-boosting mantras to simply being a little kinder to yourself and not lingering on small mistakes. Remember that you’ve got to the interview stage, and you deserve to be there! Keep thinking positively and you’ll come across much better at the interview.

Dress to impress!

No matter what, first impressions count. Research has shown that it can take less than a second for people to form an opinion of you, so it is vital that you dress smartly to make the best impression you can. Make sure you’re wearing clothes you feel comfortable in, too. The better you feel, the more confident you will be, and you’ll be ready to take on the interview!

Remember that the interview is a two-way street!

One of the final ways to prepare for an interview and to calm your nerves is to remember that you’re there to find out about them as much as they are to find out about you! An interview is an exciting process – you’re seeing what you think of the company and whether it’s the place for you. Ask them about the team, and remember that as much as they’re interviewing you, you’re interviewing them! Take a breath and settle into your role as both an interviewee and an interviewer.

For anything else job-hunting related, from interview tips to considering the signs of whether your current job is the right one for you, get in touch with the team at Synergy Recruitment to find out how we can assist. We’re always more than happy to help anyone looking to find their next dream job.