Interviews can make you anxious!

Have you got butterflies in your tummy? Is you head feeling achey and spacey? Are you breathing in a shallow rapid way? Anxiety and nerves are all part of preparing for an interview, and there are very few people who would not feel one or a combination of the above physical symptoms. And the more we try not to feel nervous, the more we do....right? Self talk such as "I must get on top of this anxiety" or "It's silly to get this het up, I need to calm down" or worst of all "This is stupid, why am I getting into such a state?" are common for people going for interviews. It's only natural that we try and talk ourselves out of an anxious state. But......often this self talk only goes a short way (if indeed it works at all) to solving the problem of pre interview anxiety. Why is this? Surely we are being rational to self talk our way back to being relaxed enough to do an interview calmly. But.... it's not as simple as that. And this is the reason. Those nerves and anxiety leading to physical signs in our bodies are there for a reason. They result for stress hormones in response to an approaching challenge. The so called "fright, fight and flight" feelings caused by thinking about your interview are totally natural. They are getting the body ready for a challenge. Obviously you don't want to use "flight" because then you would never get to your interview. But you might want to feel a bit of "fight" because that might get you to give your best performance. And if you feel some "fright" that is going to make you try harder and reach to do your best interview performance ever! So.... my suggestion is that you welcome and embrace these feelings which can actually enhance your interview performance. In fact, it stands to reason that those nerves of yours will show the interviewers that you are taking the interview very seriously and that you really care about working for them. Sometimes very relaxed and casual interviewees can look as if they are over confident and do not care enough about making a good impression. Can you see now how your nerves might work in your favour? So, by all means use standard ways to relax before an interview, and I will be taking one of these at a time in future blogs, to give you good interview tools in your interview tool box. But being nervous can be a good thing. So, in conclusion, my suggestion to anyone about to go for an interview is to practice this self talk: "Yes, I am feeling anxious and nervous. This is natural and a sign that I am taking this interview opportunity seriously. In the worst case scenario (in the interview itself) I can always just say "I am feelng nervous". It is fine to say that, and acknowledge that this is how I am feeling" In the meantimes, preparation, preparation and yet more preparation! And please ring for an informal chat if you would like to have interview coaching with me" I would love to hear from you.