How to Overcome Anxiety about a Job Interview

February 20, 2013 Posted by Vijay Ingam

The best way to get over your anxiety is being prepared. Spend as much time as you can to get ready for the interview both in researching the company and preparing answers to common interview questions.

If you find that you are still nervous about job interview, than we suggest rehearsing under less than ideal circumstances. Our suggestions are as follows:

Loud Music Strategy

Play some music you don’t like loud enough that it interferes with your thoughts but doesn’t wake the neighbors. Then rehearse your answers to common job interview questions. Don’t try to talk over the music just deal with it. Practicing for your interview under less than ideal circumstances will help you do better.

Insulting Friend Strategy

Ask your friends to help you rehearse for you job interview. Tell them they can say anything mean or insulting they want to say to you (within reason), while they ask you common job interview questions. You cannot respond to their insults, only respond to the job interview question they are asking you.

The conversation should go something like this:

Friend: “Why are you interested in working for company x? By the way, I think your car is really ugly.”

You: “I really admire company x for reason a, reason b and reason c. [do not respond to car comment]”

Friend: “Your room is always such a mess. You are such a slob. What is your greatest weakness?”

You: “My greatest weakness is my math skills. I overcame this weakness by studying extra hard for my math final exams. [Do not respond to slob comment.]”

Both of these strategies are very childish, which is why they are so effective at getting rid of anxiety. The real job interview will never be as bad as the artificial situation you created when you were practicing for it.

About Vijay Ingam

Vijay is an experienced financial analyst, career coach and hiring manager, who was disappointed with the interview skills of many job applicants, even those from top-ranked business schools.

In 2009, Vijay began offering personalized interview coaching, resume and cover letter writing services in Los Angeles. Vijay’s services were unique because insisted that clients participate actively in the writing and editing process to ensure that resumes and cover letters accurately reflected client’s experience, skills and strengths. He encouraged his clients to prepare and rehearse their answers to common job interview questions prior to any job interview. After helping a friend in China prepare for a job interview in 2010, Vijay realized that he could offer personalized job interview coaching services anywhere in the world using Skype and phone. He subsequently founded Interview SOS.

While attending the UCLA Anderson School of Management in Los Angeles, Vijay was a career coach for the Parker Career Management Center (the school’s MBA-level career counseling service) who helped other students to prepare for job interviews, write resumes and draft cover letters. For four years prior to business school, Vijay acted as a Boston-area diversity recruiter and interviewer for the Sponsors for Educational Opportunity Career Program.

Vijay has his undergraduate degree in Economics from the University of Chicago and an MBA from the UCLA Anderson School of Management in Los Angeles, California. He is a National Merit Scholar and CFA charter holder.

Vijay’s sister, Mindy Kaling, is the executive producer, writer and star of the Mindy Project on Fox Television.

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