Real talk: raise your hand if you feel anxious about interviewing. (You can’t see me, but I’m raising my hand.) Anxiety during an interview is totally normal – even professionals like myself feel nervous from time to time! However, just because interviewing anxiety can be normal, it doesn’t have to hinder your performance or always be part of your experience. Here are 5 strategies to consider when managing your interviewing nerves:
The Center for Career Development offers Practice Interviews all year long; if you think you might be interviewing soon or already have one scheduled, reach out for some practice! Two types of Practice Interviews are offered:
- 30-minute general interviews: these are perfect for anyone who is new to interviewing, and would like some general feedback in a short amount of time.
- 60-minute tailored interviews: request these if you have a specific interview you’d like to prepare for, as questions will be tailored for that experience!
Practice makes progress. During a Practice Interview, you’ll receive feedback about your answers, can ask a trained member of the Center for Career Developmentteam questions about what to expect, and you can even record yourself to review your answers later! Practice Interviewing is where it’s at.
Be sure to conduct plenty of research on the company, office, or school with which you will be interviewing. Don’t panic; this doesn’t mean you have to write a thesis on the organization – but you’ll want to be knowledgeable of the role/position, the program, the individuals you may be working with, and the organization as a whole. Look up their mission statement or motto, review their website, and reach out to others who have knowledge – I promise it’ll help.
Can we all agree that staying up all night before a big interview is probably a bad idea? Make sure you’re taking care of yourself; get plenty of rest, eat well on interview day (avoid getting hangry!), and wear clothes that make you feel like your best professional self. When you feel good, it comes through – so take time to care for yourself.
I know what you’re thinking, “Here’s Ana talking about squad-care again.” (I talk about squad-care a lot.) But, hear me out. Having a great squad matters! Reach out for the help you need; it might be a friend to go to lunch with to distract you from your nerves, borrowing an interviewing outfit from a roommate, or scheduling an appointment with a Center for Career DevelopmentCareer Consultant. Remember, you don’t need to go through life alone – interviewing is no exception.
After your interview, take time to reflect. What went really well? What surprised you? Are there questions you’ll want to practice answering for next time? Is there anything you’ll do differently in your next interview?
While all of this information might be fresh in your mind right now, you might forget it in a few weeks’ time. So, consider keeping notes (or, even emailing yourself!) with some details you’ll want to remember. You’ll thank yourself later!
I’m with you – interviewing can be daunting. But, with some practice, research, self- and squad-care, and post-interviewing reflection, it can become more manageable – maybe even enjoyable! If you have an interview coming up (or even if you don’t – you will at some point!), stop by the Center for Career Development. We’re here and happy to help!