How to Manage Job Interview Stress and Deal with Anxiety

job interview stress

You have picked the right attire for your job interview, practiced all of your answers, prepared yourself to negotiate and still you are feeling stressed about the upcoming interview. Don’t worry, you are not alone.

The high level of anxiety around job interviewing can make things difficult and sabotage your chances of getting that dream job.

Some anxiety around job interviews is normal, but on the other hand, if you are stressed, you aren’t going to interview that well.

The best thing is to keep stress under control, so the level of anxiety is manageable. We have prepared some tips for managing pre-interview and during-the-interview tension, so you can easily handle job interview stress and avoid jitters.


10 Ways to Calm Your Nerves Before a Job Interview

Consider these ways of dealing with the stress that usually accompanies job interviews:


#1: Chew gum

Although you should never walk into a job interview with a gum, chewing on something fresh right before you enter the room and meet your future employer.

According to one research, participants reported less stress while chewing gum while non-chewers reported more work-related anxiety.

Go get a chewing gum and remember to spit it out before entering the room.


#2: Tell people you are excited and not nervous

According to one research from the Harvard Business School, forcing yourself to frame stress as excitement is a minimal and simple intervention that can be used to ease your nerves.


One of the best job interview tips is to tell people you are excited instead of stressed or nervous. Let people around know how happy you are for the opportunity. You know what they say – “fake it till you become it”.


#3. Squeeze in some yoga or meditation

Taking a few minutes to center your body and mind could be just what you need to relax before your big interview. Studies have shown that yoga or meditation helps lower cortisol levels and fire up your brain’s cortex (responsible for calmness and happiness).

It will distract you from the stressor at the moment and get you in the zone for your upcoming meeting.


#4. Use visual imagery

Close your eyes, breathe, and imagine a scene, event or place that is serene, peaceful, and happy. Try to incorporate all your senses into the scene – what you can hear, see, taste, and feel.

Imagine how the interview goes well, going step by step to increase your confidence and reduce your anxiety.

Your mind can’t differentiate between imaginary and real.

#5. Listen to relaxation music

One of the best ways to calm yourself is by listening to music. On your way to the interview, you can listen to your favorite music to calm you down. You can make a playlist of all the songs you love.

If you are feeling excited, don’t hesitate to sing. You will relax even more.


#6. Eat a good breakfast or lunch

You can’t prepare for the job interview questions on an empty stomach. A great job interview preparation, as well as, a real interview starts with a delicious meal. For some, this means energy-boosting smoothies while for others it could be indulging in your favorite dish.

There are no rules – just make it right for you! Do what is best for yourself.


#7. Plan something for afterward

Let’s face it – no one is looking forward to tricky questions and nervous-sweating for one hour in front of your future boss.

Is there something you would be happy to power through this for? A date with your best friend? A nice meal? A spa treatment maybe?

Whatever your favorite activity is, prepare for it to be ready for you when you are done with the interview. This way, you will have something interesting to look forward to, instead of your stress and anxiety.


#8. Call a friend

Nothing is better than the support if a positive and caring friend or family member. You’ve probably dialed your mother or sister before a stressful event and it makes a big difference, isn’t it?

Although you can give yourself a pep talk (it is not crazy to talk to yourself and tell all the things you want to hear) you can let someone else do it for you.

So, before you enter the room and meet your interviewer, call your best friend and have a little talk about how good you are and how you are definitely going to get the job. Believe me, this can help you set up a positive mindset and put a smile on your face.


#9. Use the stress as adrenaline

Adrenaline and stress are correlated. In fact, studies show that getting all nervous and pumped up instead of calming down, before public speaking or presenting produces much better results.

If you are shaking and you feel like your blood is rushing, just go with it. Reframe your stress as excited energy in a way that can help you perform better.


#10. It is just a conversation

Remind yourself that you are not battling a shark or jumping out of an airplane. At the end of the day, it is just a conversation about yourself and your career. Try to keep it as cool as possible and repeat “everything will be fine”.

As much as you want to work for the company you are applying for, they are hoping you are the perfect candidate. In other words, not all the pressure is on you. This isn’t going to be them interrogating you – you also have questions that need to be answered and they are probably stressed about making a first good impression too.

Whatever you do, remember to be kind to yourself. Keep in mind that changes don’t happen overnight and if you are as calm as possible – you have better chances of getting the job of your dreams. So, take a deep breath, count to 10, put a smile on your face, and meet your future boss head-on.

As long as you follow our job interview advice, you won’t have problems managing your stress and deal with your anxiety. Read more about