Dealing With Pre-Interview Stress



I just got back from a job interview that went well (oh yeah!) and I decided to tackle the topic of pre-interview stress since it's (obviously) very fresh in my mind.  If there's one lesson I have learned thanks to my previous job interviews, it's that I don't perform well under "bad stress".  I need a little stress to be alert and come up with smart answers to tricky questions but too much of it will make me look really nervous and uncomfortable which is not what I want to project.  I'm not going to lie, I was a little bit nervous this morning but I still felt in control.  

So how did I manage to keep my cool?  Here you go:

No coffee:  I start every day with a coffee which is part of life's little pleasures if you ask me.  However, I skip it when I know I will have to deal with a stressful event in the following hours because caffeine increases my stress level by 10. 

Let's simplify this, too much coffee = too much stress

Walk: I like to get to my interview about 30 minutes in advance because the last thing I want is to stress over traffic.  By being there early, I have time to go for a walk around the block,  Moving is the best way to keep your stress level under control!

Smile:  Chances are you will spend a couple minutes in a waiting room before your interview which is usually when I start to get really nervous.  If there are other people around you, don't be afraid to smile and say hi!  Having people smiling back to you will help you relax and someone may even want to start a conversation with you.  This happened to me today and is was a wonderful way to pass time.  Being warm and sociable will also contribute to a good first impression.

No rush:  Feeling rushed to get out the door is obviously not going to help you manage your nerves before an interview.  Pack all the documents you will need the night before and have your outfit ready.  I also like to wake up a little bit earlier than I would on a normal day to have plenty of time to enjoy my breakfast and to get ready.

Those are my tips!  If you have more, please share them in the comments section so we can help each other out!


21 comments:

  1. These are great tips! This may be a given- but I would add make sure to get a good nights sleep!

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    1. Of course! I couldn't fall asleep the night before my interview for some reasons...it still went well but I was EXHAUSTED by the end of the day!

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  2. I like the early tip, and no coffee. Good ideas. I always hated interviews.

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    1. They're not fun, that's a fact. But I think not feeling too stressed about them make them easier to deal with!

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  3. Great tips. Something to keep in mind when I have future interviews. Thanks for sharing :)

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    1. Will you be applying for a job in the near future? :)

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  4. These are great I have an interview set up soon. I currently work full time but just seeing what's out there.

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    1. That's great! What field are you working in?

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  5. This is going to sound funny... but I always make sure to use the bathroom 15 minutes before the interview. When I get too nervous or have to sit too long I have to... uh... go. That adds stress to any interview.

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    1. I heve heard that not going is good luck! How ridiculous is that!

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  6. I truly believe a smile can change the world, even from within. Although, I think I'd faceplant without coffee in an interview. :X

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  7. I recently got promoted and now I'm the one interviewing people, instead of being the one who's being interviewed. I would TOTALLY echo your suggestion to get there early and take a walk to calm down! And just be yourself! I always want to hire someone who is capable to do the job AND has a great personality!

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    1. It's great to hear from someone that is "on the other side of the table"! I think the main factor that will keep people from showing their personality is stress...Anyway, thank you for reading!

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  8. I always try to mentally prepare myself before I go in for an interview, but always end up getting flustered regardless.

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    1. I'm so sorry to hear that! Have you tried to go to an interview fora job you don't wan't. It sounds silly but it's a good way to practice without feeling the pressure to make a good impression!

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  9. I've been on both sides of the table. I've been the nervous interviewee and the interviewer. Both are hard to do but taking simple steps like this will help. Thanks for sharing them with us!

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    1. I wonder how it feels to be the interviewer! I would probably feel terrible if someone came in looking really nervous!

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  10. These are great! Although I did indulge in my coffee the morning of my big interview, I 100% agree with showing up to the area 30 minutes or so before. It took one less worry off of my mind. Great post!!

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  11. Meditation always helps me with any stress related situations!

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    1. I replied on you blog because I had to look up your post about meditation: http://www.musingsbythebay.com/2014/08/20/on-meditation/

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