Conquering job interview anxiety
Posted on November 12, 2014 by By Maggie Villari ’13 (B.A.), ’15 (M.A.).
Fear is an understatement when it comes to describing the emotions I had before working at the Center for Student Professional Development. What should have come as a positive sign came as the unfriendly beast of anxiety. When the interview arrived, visions of a colossal creature demanded the majority of my attention resulting in babbling, sweat, and a disappointing rejection. I never once thought of seeking help from the CSPD, because that would mean confronting the fiend that I so desperately hoped to avoid.
I have since changed. I recognized how unfair it was of me to demonize the interviewer. Then I realized, I was dehumanizing the person asking me questions by deeming the person “The Interviewer.”
The wheel of fortune continues to turn and I have found myself on the other side of the desk. By conducting mock interviews I’ve learned some secrets that might help you.
1.) Remember that your interviewer is a person, just like you and me. This person has favorite foods, a morning routine, and is probably nervous interviewing you!
2.) Silence is acceptable. Everyone knows the moment when the interviewer asks a question that triggers every job seeker’s worst nightmare: drawing a blank. Suddenly, all you can focus on is how much time is passing and the answer to the person’s question has deserted you completely. What do you do? Remember that silences are OK! They will happen and yes, it will be awkward. Asking the interviewer for a minute or two acknowledges the pause, eases the interviewer’s uncertainty on how to proceed, and gives you time to think about the answer to the question.
3.) You should practice for interviews. Scheduling a mock interview with the CSPD staff is a start. Each interview you go to is a form of practice. If you made it this far in this post you are beginning your research on how to be successfully prepared!
Though there are many tips and tricks that can help you be successful, remember the one thing only you possess: your personality. You are unique and you have a lot to offer so, remember that as you prepare to conquer your interview fears!