By: Gracie Covarrubias, DePaul University organizational and multicultural communication major ’18 and Career Center communications assistant
The hardest part of a job search is often the interview. While it’s an honor to be invited for an interview, the anxiety and jitters that often come along with it can be distracting. We sat down with Kate Lower, Alcohol and Substance Abuse Prevention Specialist in the Office of Health Promotion and Wellness to get first-hand advice on overcoming dreaded job interview anxiety. Ace your next interview with our job interview tips and tricks!
Get in tune with your body
Kate encourages you to pay attention to the way your body reacts to the anxiety, “If you notice your heart racing, breathe very intentionally. Your body is loaded with information and you can use small movements to help counter the stress you’re feeling.” Changing your posture or even striking a quick power pose can help alleviate your unease. Also, don’t forget that what you wear counts! Dressing professionally is important but the real key is to dress in professional attire that you’re actually comfortable in. Don’t break in a new pair of shoes on your way to a job interview and opt for outfits you feel confident in.
Prepare and Stay Positive
Preparation is key. Always do your research on the company and rehearse practice questions to feel more comfortable. Use this practice in tandem with a positive mindset and envision your potential success. Kate suggests you tap into the power of visualization to help picture a positive outcome to your interview. Positive self-talk can also be a game changer during your interview if you start to get nervous. Remind yourself that you’ve got this! However, Kate cautions students on the dangers of being over-prepared, “I encourage you to also give yourself time to not think about it — you can absolutely over prepare. Find the fine line.”
Take time to pause and reflect on yourself to ease tension you may be feeling. Remember, self-care looks different for everyone. A good place to start is making sure you’re getting enough sleep and carving out time for things that help you feel grounded. Kate reminds you, “It’s no secret that with interviews, we have a habit of trying to project out a version of ourselves that isn’t always true to who we are in an effort to impress employers, so practicing self-care is a good way of taking time to reflect on your own values and goals before the big day.”
Set Boundaries for Yourself
You may overanalyze and harp on what you feel you didn’t do correctly. Kate advocates for balance, “Give yourself time after the interview to think it over—vent about it to friends and family but put a time limit on it. Set the timer for 15 minutes, vent and then tell yourself, ‘I’m letting it go.’ From that point forward focus on what went well and, of course, follow up with a nice thank you note to your interviewer.” Once you’ve set those boundaries for yourself, stick to ‘em! Kate stresses that when an interview is over, you’ve already done all you can do and that is a reason to celebrate. Just because you haven’t gotten the job (yet!) doesn’t mean you don’t deserve to treat yourself for making it through an interview!
Every interview is a unique opportunity to learn about yourself and practice key life skills. The Career Center and the Office of Health Promotion and Wellness are here for you every step of the way — whether you need help perfecting your resume or venting post interview, we’re excited to support you!