How to handle stress during an interview

By | May 25, 2018

If you ever felt incredibly stressed during a job interview, then, my friend, you are not alone. Most of the time, people say that interviewing for a job is an overwhelmingly stressful experience. Luckily, you will come across some terms with job interview stress and by understanding those, you will realize that a certain amount of stress actually helps in acing the interview.

So, practicing for an interview can actually at leveling down the excess stress and help you in maintaining a manageable stress level. There are some quick and effective responses which you can use when your stress level starts overwhelming.

First, let’s consider the upside of stress: Some researchers and counselors say that an appropriate amount of stress can be a positive thing, whereas too much stress can wear you out mentally, emotionally, and physically. This whole thing is a balancing act, you have to keep your stress level at an appropriate, productive level.  A job interview is a perfect example of showing how just enough stress can actually keep us on our toes while helping us to put our best foot forward or giving our best for the same.



It’s important to prepare, before a job interview because it isn’t something that we encounter very often.

Look for the standards that an interviewer is looking for: what do you already know how to do, how confident are you that you can learn new skills, what do you consider to be your strengths, and what might be a weakness that you’ve had to address. When some version of them comes up, be prepared. Practice your responses to these question, so when they come up you have a response to give. When you are done with practicing these expected interactions, the levels of stress are going to be manageable and provide you the remaining energy needed for the unexpected interactions that come out of left field and requires you to think on your feet.



What happens when you feel like you’ve screwed everything up during your interview? The level of your stress will definitely skyrocket and you’ll feel like you are flubbing for the rest of the job interview and you might start thinking you have lost the job. While you know you can not ask for a total do-over but rest assured that corrections can be made. The moment you realize that you forgot to say that special thing about yourself to the interviewer, good news that you can still correct the omission to release your stress.  If you are still in the middle of the job interview, it’s always possible to say: “I just realized that I hadn’t mentioned…”. Now you have shared the information you omitted earlier. But what, when the job interview is over. In that situation, you can send an email that says, “I want to add to, or clarify, or revise what I said about x…” Again, you have delivered the message you wanted to.

When a wacky question appears


It is another onslaught of overwhelming stress. I’m sure, you didn’t see it coming (because who would?). And you are not sure, is it sincere or intended as a joke? Next moment, you have to decide how to quickly attempt an answer what your interviewer is seeking.
So, in this situation, your first step is to manage your stress, and develop a response to acknowledge the unusual nature of the question: “That’s an interesting question, May I have a moment to recollect my thoughts?” This way you will be able to find out if the interviewer really wants you to answer the question. Is it a joke or intentional move to see if you can really think on your feet?

What to do when your mind goes blank


Wacky questions asked or not, a very important or an intense job interview can create an overwhelming stress, that results in a brain freeze.

Side-Effects are: Your mind goes blank, you stutter, or you blush with embarrassment
Here, what you can do to avoid those side-effects:

  • Take a deep breath and compose yourself. It’s okay to reply with, “Ah, let me think about that for a moment” or “Could you rephrase the question?”
  • Regain some confidence by remembering that you are interviewing the organization just as much as it is interviewing you for the respective job. You do have some control over the conversation and can (and should) ask questions of your own.
  • If you tend to “sweat it out” literally or figuratively, make sure you’re dressed comfortably, in clothes and shoes that allow you to breathe easily and to focus on the subject at hand.

Finally, remind yourself before or during the job interview that stress in an interview is necessary.
Practice beforehand and manage your stress in the real time.
Prepare for those tough question and you’ll be ready to manage any unexpected challenge.

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