Tips to Avoid Stressing Out in Job Interviews

7 of 10 in Series: The Essentials of Preparing for a Job Interview

If you find that you're always stressed out during job interviews, there are some tips that you can follow to help manage your stress and get your jitters under control.

Performance advisers offer numerous suggestions to manage anxiety in your job interviews, ranging from relaxation techniques to visualization exercises. Here’s a list of ideas that may be just what you need:

  • Deep breaths are an instant stress reliever: Take a deep breath, breathing from your toes all the way through your body, and then slowly exhale. Repeat twice more for three deep breaths in all.

  • Clench your fists and hold for three to five seconds. Release. Releasing your hands relaxes your shoulders and jaw. Repeat three times.

  • Push away anxiety: Go into a nearby restroom and lean into a wall like a suspect being frisked in a cop show. Push hard, as though you would like to push the wall down. Grunt as you push. It sounds funny, but try it — it works. Speech coaches say that when you push a wall and grunt, you contract certain muscles, which in turn reduces anxiety. Don’t let anyone see you do this exercise, though — heaven knows what an observer might think.

  • Visualize the outcome you want: Top athletes often use visualization techniques to calm jitters, improve concentration and boost athletic performance. They picture in their mind opponents’ actions and strategy, and then picture to counter their maneuver. A golfer may run a movie in his head of where he wants the ball to go before he takes a swing. For an interview, you can visualize meeting the interviewer, answering and asking questions, closing the interview well or even being offered the job on the spot.

  • Combine relaxation with visualization: Visualize a quiet beautiful scene, such as a green valley filled with wild flowers, or a soothing garden with a waterfall. Inhale, thinking “I am.” Exhale, thinking “calm.” Breathe at least 12 times. Next, recall a successful interview experience.

Free your mind of personal worries to concentrate on the subject of your job interview. If your personal concerns can’t be handled immediately — and most can’t — write them down and promise yourself that you’ll deal with them after your job interview.

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The Essentials of Preparing for a Job Interview

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