How to Overcome Interview Anxiety

Interview anxiety isn't pleasant, but it's pretty common. Learn how to avoid being nervous before, during, and after your interview with some helpful tips.

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by Melissa A. Kay

Published on May 18, 2022

Reviewed by Megan Pietrucha, Psy.D.

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Edited by Giselle M. Cancio
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How to Overcome Interview Anxiety
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Job interview anxiety can be nerve-wracking. The dread of putting your best face forward may feel like the first day of school. If you've felt this way, you're not alone.

A 2020 JPD Interview Survey revealed that 93% of Americans have dealt with interview nerves. But just because it's common doesn't mean you have to crumble under pressure.

It's critical to calm your nerves before an interview and keep that "zen" vibe going throughout the process. Learning how to patiently wait for results after an interview is over can also be good for your well-being.

These tips can make interview apprehension feel less overwhelming and help you stay cool and confident through the job search process.

Before the Interview

Planning ahead can give you clarity and a sense of control in an uncertain environment. You don't want to go into an interview unprepared or uneducated. Get ready with these pre-interview tips.

During the Interview

After the Interview

Frequently Asked Questions About Interview Anxiety

true Why do interviews give me so much anxiety?

The fear of the unknown, paired with the pressure to impress, can be overwhelming. During an interview, it can feel like there's a lot on the line and not enough time to prove you're the best candidate for the job.

It may feel like a million thoughts are running through your mind. What if you give a wrong answer? What if you don't "click" with the interviewer? You could also be tired or jittery because you had too much caffeine. Many things can cause anxiety during an interview.

true Is it OK to admit you're nervous at an interview?

We're all human, and an interview can turn even the most laid-back, level-headed person into a bundle of nerves. Your interviewer isn't oblivious to this fact, and while it may be OK to mention that you're nervous, there's no need to state the obvious. Admitting you're nervous won't change anything.

Instead of focusing on your nerves, do your best to stay positive, pause before answering questions, and maintain eye contact throughout the interview.

true How can I calm my nerves before an interview?

Before an interview, it's important to find your inner peace, no matter how nervous you are. If you're stressed out about an upcoming interview, conscious or controlled breathing can help bring balance to the mind and body.

Focus solely on your breath — deep inhalations in and slow exhalations out. This process can lead to less tension and clearer thinking. When you take control of your body's reaction to stress, you can curtail the "fight or flight" response that creates anxiety. You can also try this before bedtime to get a recharging night's sleep. Go into your interview more centered and composed, ready for the challenge ahead.

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