Ten Ways to Reduce the Stress of a Job Interview

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It’s important to remember when you’re going for a job interview that the purpose of the interview is to assess your suitability for the job. You are not being assessed as a parent or an athlete or a lover, unless of course, those qualifications and skills are needed to do the job for which you are applying.

Don’t frame the interview as a cross-examination that will determine your value as a person. The job interview will probably take 30 minutes of your life and it should be seen as an important occasion but not an evaluation of your life. Your tombstone will not contain any references to this job interview. It is only a very tiny part of your life.

Your integrity and authenticity as a person are exactly the same after the job interview as they were before the job interview.

Think of the event as a conversation about a job and this will probably make you feel more at ease.

Here are ten suggestions on things you can do to reduce the stress:

1. Make a list of things that you are likely to enjoy about it.

For example you might enjoy the drive to the interview, or the location in which it will be held. It could be a place you’ve never visited before and you may have some interesting things to see and explore.

You will almost certainly meet people that you may have never met before and there is always an outside chance that some of these new people could become lifelong friends, or lovers if the chemistry is right. You cannot possibly predict what opportunities will arise from the people encounters.

2. Good preparation is essential to reduce the stress of the interview.

If you are well prepared and have done some research about the organisation then that can certainly help. As part of your preparations for the interview visit the website of the company or organisation that you’ll be visiting and learn as much as you possibly can about them. Corporate websites contain a lot of useful information that will inform and prepare you. The interviewers will be impressed if you demonstrate knowledge about the organisation.

3. Approach the interview with the right mindset.

One of the most important things to do is to go to the interview with the right mindset. Turn your focus away from asking yourself things like what can the job do for me to the alternative focus of what can I do for the job.

Make a list of all the things you can do to add value to that organisation using your skills, past experience and knowledge. If you go to the interview focused on what you can do for the organisation then this will certainly create a very good impression and greatly increases your chances of getting the job.

4. Rehearse the job interview using positive visualization.

A few hours prior to attending the interview visualize yourself going through the interview in a relaxed calm and a professional way and actually enjoying the process. You may even visualize yourself being surprised at how well it is going. This will certainly help you with your stress levels and relax you and prepare you for the event in as positive a way as possible.

5. Organize the details and tasks you need to cover for the day.

Make a list of the things that you actually need to do on the day of the interview. For example decide what clothes you are going to wear, what documents or items you might be taking to the interview such as references or other material that is required. Wherever possible avoid taking pets or children with you to the interview!

Make sure you know where you are going. Double check the address of the interview and the specific room, factory or floor in which it will be held. The latter is really important to sort out if the interview is to take place in a high rise building. You may need to consult a map or discuss with your friends about the best way of getting there.

Take with you your contact telephone numbers just in case something unexpected occurs on the way. If anything does happen you will be able to ring up and explain that you’re inadvertently delayed.

6. Get to the interview in plenty of time.

Arrive in plenty of time to the interview so that you can relax in your surroundings and just compose yourself before actually talking to the people who will be assessing you for the job position. Once you are in the waiting room and you have some time to spare you can calm your mind and focus on the event.

7. Expect to feel a little nervous and welcome it.

You’ll probably feel nervous before going into the interview and this is actually a good thing. Some level of nervousness will assist you to keep alert and attentive. You don’t want to present feeling too laid back or relaxed so that the interviewers conclude that you’re just not interested.

8. Fully understand the nature and requirements of the job.

Make sure that you are fully informed of the requirements of the job. Review the job advertisement again and ask yourself is this a job that you would really enjoy doing. If you are going for the job just because you need a job then your motivation may not convey any real enthusiasm for the position. If you really want the job and you are enthusiastic and excited about it and see yourself doing it very well then this creates a powerful mindset.

9. Give yourself full credit for actually getting the interview.

You made the final cut. The organisation was sufficiently impressed by your credentials to want to learn more about you. Give yourself credit for this. If 100 people applied for the position and 10 are granted interviews then you are in that top 10%.

10. The Interviewers have probably experienced many job interviews of their own.

It is very likely that the people who will interview you have been through many job interviews themselves. They probably gained their current position because of a job interview. Because they understand that job interviews can be stressful they will probably go out of their way to make you feel at ease.

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About the author

John Townsend
John Townsend

My name is John Townsend and I have been working as a Stress Management Consultant since 1986. My seminar, Get Tough With Stress, has been presented to thousands of people throughout the world and shows people how to toughen up to stress and to transform stressful experiences into valuable learning experiences.

My clients include many of Australia’s largest companies plus Australian Government Departments and agencies. One of my greatest personal joys was to present my Get Tough With Stress programme to staff of the Australian Parliament.

Over the past 15 years I have been presenting to large numbers of Chief Executive Officers through an organisation called The Executive Connection (TEC). I have been privileged to receive the highest honours bestowed on speakers by TEC, an organisation dedicated to increasing the effectiveness and enhancing the lives of Chief Executives.

Follow John on LinkedIn: townsend-international-pty-ltd

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John Townsend By John Townsend

John Townsend

John Townsend

My name is John Townsend and I have been working as a Stress Management Consultant since 1986. My seminar, Get Tough With Stress, has been presented to thousands of people throughout the world and shows people how to toughen up to stress and to transform stressful experiences into valuable learning experiences.

My clients include many of Australia’s largest companies plus Australian Government Departments and agencies. One of my greatest personal joys was to present my Get Tough With Stress programme to staff of the Australian Parliament.

Over the past 15 years I have been presenting to large numbers of Chief Executive Officers through an organisation called The Executive Connection (TEC). I have been privileged to receive the highest honours bestowed on speakers by TEC, an organisation dedicated to increasing the effectiveness and enhancing the lives of Chief Executives.

Follow John on LinkedIn: townsend-international-pty-ltd