You take some time to revise your resume, send in your application, and wait for a response. Then you realize that was the easy part.
While it's great to finally get that call from the employer, you know the real test is during the interview — it will be the determining factor in whether or not you’re hired for the position.
For many ambitious individuals, the anxiety over how well you will leave a positive impression with the employer starts to take on a life of its own. All you can think about is which questions they’re going to ask and how you can answer them in a way that reflects you as confident and properly fit for the job. The good news is, there are things you can remember in order to take control of your uneasiness.
Feeling Nervous Is Normal
It's normal to experience a certain degree of interview nerves before and during the interview. You really want the job, and you know you have to conduct yourself under pressure and think on your feet.
You know you have to conduct yourself under pressure and think on your feet.
Psychologist Dr. Sherry Benton, founder and chief science officer of Tao Connect, an online behavioral health platform, discusses this in a blog post from Glassdoor. According to Benton, “Job interviews cause stress and anxiety because, no matter how experienced someone is, there's still a pressure to perform.” She also suggests that while it's completely natural to feel nervous about an interview, “it's best to avoid talking about it and instead focus on managing it.”
There’s a lot of great advice by career professionals that assists in combating interview anxiety, but what seems to be overlooked are the key mentalities that are beneficial to have when you walk through those company doors.
1. They Called You for a Reason
You have to remember that if they called you for an interview, they already like you. They had potentially hundreds of people who applied for the job, and they invited you as one of them.
What does this tell you? This tells you that they want to hire you. If they didn't want to hire you, why would you even be there in the first place?
If they called you for an interview, they already like you.
Employers are busy, and they aren't going to waste time calling people they don't already have some interest in. When they reviewed your resume, they became curious to know more about you and the value you could bring to their business.
All you have to do is go in there and reassure them in their notion to contact you for the position. They want you to tell them, in your own words, why they should hire you. They’re rooting for you.
2. They’re Only Human
Something else to keep in mind is that the recruiters who are interviewing you are human beings too. When you get there, you’re going to be sitting down to meet real people who bleed red and put their pants on one leg at a time, just like you. They too have flawed characteristics, a messy car, and a history of personal and professional screw-ups, just like the rest of us.
They aren't superior robots who are going to judge your character based on the 20 minutes they spend with you, decide that you’re an unworthy mere mortal, and spit you out of their office as if you’re a complete reject.
These people aren't perfect; they’re only in a different occupational role.
These people aren't perfect, and they’re no better of a human than you are. They’re only in a different occupational role. Ultimately, they aren't interested in putting you on trial. They just want someone who is going to fulfill the needs of the position.
3. They Understand Your Perspective
Another thing to remember when you’re heading into your interview is that the hiring team understands the position you're in because they've walked a mile in those shoes as well.
They already know you want the job, and they expect you might be a little nervous beforehand. They were there in the seat on the other side of the desk once upon a time, with their hearts racing and underarms sweating, excessively clearing their throats before they answered those dreaded, “Tell me about a time when” questions. They totally get it!
Maintain the mindset that your interviewer probably does have some empathy for where you’re sitting.
However, that doesn't mean that you'll be excused if you become so nervous that you blow the entire interview. You should still come prepared, but it's just as important that you learn to relax and maintain the mindset that your interviewer probably does have some empathy for where you’re sitting, even if they don't say it.
In the end, it's important to remind yourself that anxiety and nervousness for your job interview are normal, but developing the right mindset can help reduce the panic. Remember that they called you for a reason – they already like you. They’re human beings too, and they understand what you're going through.
Look at it as an opportunity for you to give them confirmation — instead of a performance. If you truly believe that you’re the person for the job, then you have nothing to fear. You’re doing that company a favor. Hiring you should be considered a win for them. Good luck!