MANAGING INTERVIEW STRESS

Posted: 13th Oct

It is common to feel overwhelmed, nervous and anxious before an interview. Stress is something we all experience from time to time. It is a response to pressure when faced with a challenging or threatening situation. We can feel stressed by things that are happening around us and also from the pressures we might put on ourselves.

Stress is not always bad. As much as we associate stress with unpleasant feelings, keep in mind that stress can sometimes be a good thing. In this context, being stressed in an interview shows that you care about getting the job and performing well, encouraging and helping you sharpen your focus.

Below are some helpful techniques that may help reduce your stress levels for an upcoming interview.

BEFORE THE INTERVIEW
To reduce stress, follow the suggestions in Preparing for an Interview section on page 24.

A HELPFUL RELAXATION TECHNIQUE
Simply close your eyes, breathe deeply, inhaling from the nose exhaling out through the mouth, and picture yourself greeting the interviewer confidently and answering tough questions with ease.

Use your imagination. Visualisation is a relaxation technique that requires you to imagine yourself succeeding in the situation. By practising this technique, you are mentally preparing yourself to handle the event in real life. This can be practised any time before the interview.

DURING THE INTERVIEW
During the interview, we can feel all sorts of things. Some people are able to walk in comfortably, and others may get a little nervous meeting the potential employer(s). Before we know it, our hands are sweaty, the heart is beating fast, and we find ourselves speaking equally fast. In those situations, slow down, pause and take deep breaths. It’s OK to be nervous.

WHO YOU CAN TALK TO IF YOU’RE EXPERIENCING HIGH LEVELS OF STRESS OR ANXIETY
If the feelings of stress begin to affect you mentally and/or physically, the following people and organisations might be helpful to provide you with more support: school staff (welfare staff, school nurse, teachers); an adult you trust; your GP (doctor); local services (headspace, youth service, etc.)

headspace: 9027 0100
Lifeline (24 hr): 13 11 14
Kids Helpline: 1800 551 800