How to Overcome Interview Fear

By Rich DeMatteo,

Why is it that so many candidates give organizations that overwhelming “found the golden ticket” feeling, only to be under whelmed and disappointed after the candidate’s in-person interview?  One reason may be poor resume and phone screen evaluations, which falls on the organization, but there’s a far more common reason – fear.

A fear of public speaking is the most common phobia in people.  Given that interviewing is another form of public speaking, it’s easy to do the math as to why so many candidates perform poorly on interviews.  While candidates may not be asked to stand and speak to hundreds or thousands of people, when you enter the thought that an interview is a judgment and review of ones skills and experience, then you’re inviting a many number of reasons for one to become anxious. 

Fortunately for many of those who can’t stand the thought of interviewing one-on-one or in front of a panel, there are a number of helpful methods to ease their mind.

Here are six ways to overcome interview fear:

1. Preparation and Practice

Surprisingly, many candidates fail to prepare for the length of time needed for them to be successful on interviews.  Candidates should research the company, the interviewing team that they will meet, and an understanding of the interview method being used.  It’s quite OK to ask the recruiter or contact about the interview process and methodology if it’s not provided. 

On top of being prepared with the right information, candidates should either practice by themselves or grab a friend to interview them.   Each person is different, but it’s suggested to practice and research for a minimum of 2-3 hours for an interview.

2.  Memorization of Resume

A candidate should be able to recite their resume without ever needing to look down at the page.  When candidates are forced to look down and say, “umm”, it comes off as a lack of confidence and candidates may feel flustered or lost. Candidates should read out their skills and qualifications over and over until it’s solid in their memory.  

3. Candidates Are Also Interviewing the Company

Nervous, anxious, and/or fearful candidates must remember that they, too, are an interview.  They must make sure that everything at the organization is up to par with their hopes and expectations.  Candidates should bring a list of 5-7 questions to an interview, as recruiters will most always ensure there is time for candidate’s questions at the end.

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One Response to How to Overcome Interview Fear

  1. Paul Bond says:

    Anyone will feel a bit of nervous at the time of interview. Stay calm, positive self talk will be helpful, tell to yourself that you can do this and prepared very well. Sit in a place and do some calm or deep breathing. Visualize the success of your interview.

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