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5 Ways to Calm Your Interview Anxiety

Let’s face it, no one looks forward to a job interview. With so much riding on this one meeting, it can be easy to overthink yourself into an overload of anxiety.

However, this is counterproductive, since anxiety can make it very difficult for you to showcase your best self.

If you have a job interview coming up and you find yourself freaking out just a tad, you need to find your inner calm. Easier said than done, for sure, but these tips can help.

1. Prepare Well

Before any interview, it is always wise to prepare ahead of time. This can include a wide variety of preparation from deciding on your outfit to practicing your handshake.

But most of all, you will want to practice your answers to common interview questions. With this type of preparation, you can quell some of your anxiety because you won’t be so nervous about not knowing what to say.

One of the biggest sources of anxiety is fear of the unknown. 

If you prepare for as many possible questions that could be asked of you, you won’t fear that unknown, because you would have an answer for just about anything they throw at you.

Want to get started now? Here is a list of 27 common job interview questions and some of the best answers you can give. 

2. Research the Interviewer

Often we make people out to be bigger than who they are when they are in a position of power, such as a job interviewer. This can add to our anxiety if we think they won’t be impressed by us.

To make the interviewer seem more real, do a little research on that person. 

Seeing pictures of them and getting to know their background can make them seem more human and less like the deciding factor between getting or not getting hired. 

Then, when you face them in the interview room, you will feel more comfortable, seeing a familiar face and not a perfect stranger. 

3. Change Your Perception

Anxiety is usually an irrational feeling. Our imaginations can spin a web of negative possibilities that can make us feel stuck in our fears. 

Instead of thinking of all that could go wrong, focus on what has already gone right. 

The fact that you have a scheduled interview at all means that you were chosen out of all the applicants for the position worthy of sitting down and speaking to. 

You’ve already done the courageous thing of applying for this job, even if you think you may not be hired. Putting yourself out there is more than half of the work.

The hiring manager has already seen your resume and credentials, which obviously intrigued them. 

You’ve accomplished that. You can walk into that interview with confidence. 

4. Control Your Breathing

Anxiety can bring on some physical outlets, such as shallow breathing. This can make us feel tight chested, light headed, and panicky.

If you start to feel this way, practice controlled breathing. Box breathing is a method used by many therapists to help their patients learn to control their breathing patterns when they begin to feel anxious.

Learn how to harness the power of box breathing here. 

5. Journal

Journaling has been used by many as an effective form of therapy. You can use this method to help you calm your fears before an interview.

First, draw a line down the middle of a piece of paper. Write down all your racing thoughts and worries on the right column. 

In the left column, take each worry that you’ve written and rewrite a positive outcome instead. Include how you could accomplish this outcome.

This small act of changing a negative into a positive on paper can help to rewire your brain to consider less of the negative thoughts and change them into something more positive.

For example, you may be worried that you forget an important detail to mention or you accept the position for far less pay than you deserve, all due to anxiety. Write each of these in a separate line on the right.

On the left-hand column, you can write that you will have notes to look back at, so you shouldn’t forget anything and you can always have a contract review before signing any paperwork to ensure you are paid a fair wage. 

Learn more about this process here. 


Pre-interview jitters are normal but they aren’t conducive to improving your chances of landing the job.  

If you start to feel your pulse quicken and your mind leads down the path of uncertainty, use these techniques to remain calm and increase your confidence before you sit down for your interview. 

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