Ahead of a job interview, it’s natural, even healthy for you to feel a bit anxious. It shows you’re worried about failure or rejection. It also shows how much you want to succeed in your career, which is a good thing.
And yet knowing that feelings of anxiety are natural doesn’t often do much to calm your nerves. To address your anxiety, you need strategies that help you understand it and even embrace it.
Anxiety is related to excitement
When you feel anxious, your heart is pounding, you feel hot and you might start sweating. But the same can also be said for when you feel excited. The difference is that one pushes you forward while the other holds you back.
A good way to address feeling anxious is to see it as providing you with a burst of energy and excitement. By framing anxiety as a positive, it can stop a cycle of negative thoughts and allow you to actively engage in the situation, instead of becoming a passenger.
Anxiety can tell you something about yourself
Anxiety crops up when someone is placed in a situation that makes them uncomfortable. It might be an ‘in the moment’ situation, like during a job interview, or it might be a prolonged period of stress. Either way, anxiety can act as a compass – pointing you to an area of your life that you need to address.
If your anxiety is solely tied to job interviews, then practicing them over and over with a bunch of different interviewers can get you into a rhythm that you simply lock into when the moment arrives. Think about the Olympic figure skater; she practices her routine so much, she can basically do it in her sleep.
When many people feel anxious, their thought turn to the future and what could go wrong there. They might be worried about saying the wrong thing or making someone else angry. Healthy concern about the future becomes unhealthy when it becomes all-consuming and keeps you from being yourself.
An effective way to manage anxiety about the future is to eliminate as much uncertainty about it as possible through thorough planning. Scientists call people that use anxiety-fueled planning ‘healthy neurotics’. These folks have anxiety, but they leverage that anxiety in healthy ways. This is an effective strategy because planning and preparation gets the mind off of the source of anxiety and the planning is a source of comfort when the moment to perform arrives.
Having foresight also helps to combat events that trigger your anxiety. For instance, if you’re up against a deadline and can’t get the resources you need to meet that deadline, thinking through the actual consequences of missing the deadline and how to deal with those consequences can keep you from spiraling into a cycle of worry and anxiety.
At SSI, we are there to support job seekers and professionals before, during and after their job search. If you’re looking to work with a highly-supportive staffing firm, please contact us today to find out how we can help advance your career.