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How to Avoid Interview Stress

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Do you experience severe interview stress? This article is for you.

The interviewer is buttoned-up, formal and not smiling as warmly as you would have liked. The interview chair is hard and unwelcoming, your palms and face are sweating profusely, your normal eloquence has given way to stuttering and stammering and you have begun to tremble from head to toe. If you are one of the multitude of jobseekers who begin to hyper-ventilate at the very thought of interviewing for a new position and to whom the interview is a source of unlimited stress and trepidation, the following are some basic tips to help you through your interview woes:

Imagine the interviewer is more stressed out than you are

A technique favored by many to alleviate their own stress is to remind themselves that the interviewer may be more nervous and stressed out than they are, especially if he is not a seasoned HR professional and does not normally interview new candidates. The interviewer may not feel very comfortable assuming a role normally reserved for the HR department and may be more anxious than you are as a result. In this case you can shift your focus to alleviating the stress in the room and lightening the mood realizing you are both new to this role and that both sides will win by making the interview as smooth, fluid and informative as possible.

Imagine yourself in the interviewer's shoes

It helps to remember when sitting in the interview spotlight that the interviewer himself is a busy man with deadlines, a job and a boss to report back to. By mentally envisioning the interviewer as a professional just like yourself who has taken time out of his busy routine to give you an opportunity to interview for the job, you can begin to empathize with the interviewer, relate to him and feel a sense of gratitude that you have made it as far as the interview stage. Remember, getting this far is already an accomplishment and the fact that the employer has given you such a generous block of time means they are interested in your profile, abilities and qualifications. Convince yourself that the difficult part is already over (providing you have not lied on your CV) and the interview itself is just a platform to build a rapport with the team and articulate in person what they already know from your CV.

To take this a step further, you may want to put yourself in the employer's shoes - imagine you are in full control of the interview and the aim is to deliver to the employer all the answers he needs to sell you to the rest of the team clearly and succinctly. You can even go so far as to imagine that you already have the job and are just getting to know the interviewer as a professional colleague - this technique really works to alleviate the stress of the moment and reveal your real work persona and interpersonal skills.

Know your subject matter

Your subject matter is primarily yourself and your professional achievements, interests, skills and qualifications, particularly as summarized on your CV and as they relate to this particular job. The interview is not the time to start racking your brain for the answer to "How long did you work for ABC Motors" or "When did you join DEF" - you should know your employment history and CV like the back of your hand and be able to explain or expound on any aspect of it immediately. Remember, you are the world's best expert on this subject matter and for the length of the interview you are completely in control of the subject matter, have an edge over the interviewer with this knowledge, and can deliver the relevant facts and figures with utmost confidence.

Read interview books

Reading interview books will give you that extra self-confidence you need to appear calm at the interview and anticipate some of the more common questions. By eliminating most of the 'shock' value of the interview and feeling yo u are armed with answers to most questions that can come your way you will feel much more relaxed, comfortable and in control of the interview.

Practice and prepare

Nothing beats practice and preparation for confidence building. While knowing yourself is the fundamental building block in the successful interview formula, knowing the job, the industry and the company come in a close second. Research these areas extensively so that the next time you are seated across from the interviewer you have a detailed knowledge of what it is they are looking for, how recent market events have shaped and influenced the company in specific and the industry in general and what it is about your profile that is uniquely relevant to the job in question and can directly influence the bottom line. Once you can see yourself as a vital piece of the puzzle by virtue of the unique skills, attributes and value-added you bring to the specific role, you can tailor the answers to all interview questions accordingly. Practice your answers bearing in mind at all times what the employer is looking for based on your research activities, and keep repeating and fine-tuning your answers till you have perfected both the content and delivery. Ask some-one you trust to assume the role of the interviewer and aim to perfect the answers to all the common (and any anticipated uncommon) questions you are likely to come across in the interview.

Don't dwell on your mistakes

Remind yourself that everyone is fallible and that should you stumble or falter with a particularly difficult question, you can quickly recover. The secret is not to make a big issue out of a bad or outright wrong answer but to quickly take stock of what went wrong, regain composure, take remedial action if possible then refocus and move on to the next question. Keep a professional front at all times and don't let yourself get mired in any interview traps or potentially harmful comments you may inadvertently have made. It helps immensely to remember that flexibility will win the day and that should you inadvertently slip, you have the wit and intelligence to make it up with well-rehearsed, honest, sincere, exemplary answers to other interview questions.


Laughter is the closest distance between any two people and a good smile (a close relative to laughter) can melt many a concrete professional heart. Aside from endearing you to the interviewer, showing you are pleasant and breaking the ice, a polite smile will actually make you feel happier and will lift your spirits. Aim to smile as sincerely and as often as is possible during the interview and watch how your mood and temperament lighten up and the interview takes on a more positive light.

This article and all other intellectual property on Bayt.com is the property of Bayt.com. Reproduction of this article in any form is only permissible with written permission from Bayt.com.


Reader's Comments

1. المنتصر بالله باسم القيسيشكرا
Sat 17-Jan-2015 02:05 AM - Report Inappropriate Comment
2. MR MANOJ KODWANIgreat job for providing these interview tips
Wed 25-Jun-2014 10:15 AM - Report Inappropriate Comment
3. Naveed Anjumthat's good information about every professional required about Interview
Sun 28-Nov-2010 12:22 PM - Report Inappropriate Comment
4. Attaullah Maharyes
Mon 28-Jun-2010 04:48 AM - Report Inappropriate Comment
5. Fathima Shajitha TKIt is very informative and useful especially to the beginners.Thank u very much
Sun 06-Jun-2010 07:44 AM - Report Inappropriate Comment
6. صالح مرزوقالسلام عليكم ورحمة الله تعالي وبركاته بما يخص الموضوع قد سبق أن قمت بعدة مقابلات بخصوص التمهين ولا أظن ان المقابلة ستخرج عن نطاقها في مجال تخصصك للعمل ادا لا يوجد ما سيخيفني او يربكني وقد كتب الله دلك اللقاء من قبل...وأتمن أن أحضي بمقابلة أخري...وفق الله الجميع
Thu 03-Jun-2010 18:06 PM - Report Inappropriate Comment
7. Ahmed MohieIt was really a great tips for all of us ,thank you so much i love all of you and GOD bless you .
Tue 01-Jun-2010 10:46 AM - Report Inappropriate Comment
8. Jamil Hussain Shah ShahNo doubt tips are very useful if the job seekers follow the above advises. However, efforts are unforgettable .
Wed 29-Jul-2009 11:16 AM - Report Inappropriate Comment
9. Aisha SiddiqahGood TIPS given it will work wonders.
Fri 10-Apr-2009 04:28 AM - Report Inappropriate Comment
10. Khalid Ahmed Abdullah AbdulkabeerThanks Bayt for this value information that would help us in advanvce.
Thu 09-Apr-2009 09:11 AM - Report Inappropriate Comment
11. Manzoor HussainGeat ideas if applied by the candidate in true sense.
Wed 08-Apr-2009 06:06 AM - Report Inappropriate Comment
12. kamardeen kamardeenvery important and useful[l] information.thanks
Fri 12-Dec-2008 14:54 PM - Report Inappropriate Comment
13. zahara ali rizvithanx a lot 4 such a great advice and suggestions
Wed 10-Dec-2008 22:22 PM - Report Inappropriate Comment
14. Pradeep Kulkarnisatisfactory information is given. thank you very much for this wonderful information.
Thu 20-Nov-2008 05:48 AM - Report Inappropriate Comment
15. Ali AnsariAbsolutely wonderful information. I admire Bayt for providing continued support for our careers as well as preparing us, which is more essential because it comes before getting that job you want!
Fri 07-Nov-2008 22:15 PM - Report Inappropriate Comment
16. mohammad adil qureshithanks, Its wonderful for those who attend but some hasitation in his mind.I also going for maldives interview next week.But now I am prepare very confident.
Sat 25-Oct-2008 11:53 AM - Report Inappropriate Comment
17. محمد حسنThank you for aver
Tue 21-Oct-2008 21:42 PM - Report Inappropriate Comment
18. asmaa abd el maksoudit has been useful thnx
Sat 18-Oct-2008 21:35 PM - Report Inappropriate Comment
19. Nasr Abd elmonemThank you very much for your help
Fri 19-Sep-2008 03:19 AM - Report Inappropriate Comment
20. Amer ZannounehThanks Bayt for your great lines,, really it is helpful.
Sun 24-Aug-2008 17:47 PM - Report Inappropriate Comment
21. Sameh Mohammed Salah El-din Mohammed Hassanthank you at all
Sat 02-Aug-2008 13:29 PM - Report Inappropriate Comment
22. Tanweer AzamDear sir very thanks for giving a idae about interview please send me how i will face interview for Gulf country. for the teaching jobs. please send me some common question and answersinterviewer's Tanweer Azam
Mon 14-Jul-2008 15:31 PM - Report Inappropriate Comment
23. nida al-aqrabawithanks alot Bayt its very helpfull for all jobseekers............please provide us with some interviewer's questions and answers...........thanks again,,,, NIDA
Thu 10-Jul-2008 14:15 PM - Report Inappropriate Comment
24. manel harrathiI, do thank you for these useful articles. Thank you Bayt for the entire efforts that u r doing to better orient us for our career development.
Wed 09-Jul-2008 16:34 PM - Report Inappropriate Comment
25. liza salazarthis tips help a lot to gain self confidence for job interview, hopefully there be a lot more tips and sample question and answer .
Wed 02-Jul-2008 07:14 AM - Report Inappropriate Comment
26. feroz khajanobody is in the world without nervousness but can cure it by attending some interviews(nothing is impossible)..better u keep this in your mind while you attend the interview...
Sat 28-Jun-2008 17:51 PM - Report Inappropriate Comment
27. Azhar Hussain Minhasthank u very much for building confidence
Sat 14-Jun-2008 17:18 PM - Report Inappropriate Comment
28. narendra bera narendranow my confidence level icrease 3 times more thnaks byte
Sat 07-Jun-2008 08:06 AM - Report Inappropriate Comment
29. MUHAMMAD NAUMANvery good article especial for those people who are in the entering stage of carrier.this may help them in such a good way.
Fri 30-May-2008 08:33 AM - Report Inappropriate Comment
30. احمد مناصرةنصائح رائعة ومنطقية جدا
Sun 11-May-2008 09:05 AM - Report Inappropriate Comment
31. Felix MatusinioGreat article, very helpful. Thank you so much!
Tue 06-May-2008 12:30 PM - Report Inappropriate Comment
32. Mohammad Taha Yasein - - SPHR - MBA - BIEDear Bayt.com, I would like to thank you for being always there, and trying to develop peoples skills to the best. What I think that the base of success in any interview is self-confidence, and putting your-self in the interviewer's place and try to do your best to accept your-self as one of the team.
Thu 24-Apr-2008 20:40 PM - Report Inappropriate Comment
33. khaled Mahmoud Yousrygood informations thanks khaled
Mon 31-Mar-2008 08:02 AM - Report Inappropriate Comment
34. Ahmad jalladشكرا وهذه معلومات قيمة
Sat 29-Mar-2008 08:44 AM - Report Inappropriate Comment
35. muhammad hamadجزيتم خيرا على ما قدمتم ولكن ان قدمتم كتبا بالموقع نستطيع انزالها وتكون منتقاه من قبلكم بالخبره المعتادين عليها دائما والكفاءه محمد حمد مصر
Thu 06-Mar-2008 10:07 AM - Report Inappropriate Comment
36. Ihab Abd Elkreemمن المفيد الاطلاع دائما علي مقالتكم نشكركم علي المجهود الرائع الذي بذلتموه ايهاب
Sat 01-Mar-2008 13:29 PM - Report Inappropriate Comment
37. Imdad Ali MalikThank U Very Much.
Sat 09-Feb-2008 05:16 AM - Report Inappropriate Comment
38. Afaq HassanThanks! I am really grateful to you. The article not only helped me to boost my confidence but it put a smile back on my face again :) Keep up the good work.
Tue 05-Feb-2008 07:53 AM - Report Inappropriate Comment
39. هانى محمد على محمد حجاججزاكم الله خيرا على النصائح وشكرا على المجهود
Sun 27-Jan-2008 18:49 PM - Report Inappropriate Comment
40. radjesh babuIts wonderful, after going through the tips, I didnot felt like going for interview, but its a professional meeting with the man who is more interested on me.
Sun 27-Jan-2008 16:27 PM - Report Inappropriate Comment
41. Najeeb JafriThanks for your invaluable tips on how to beat stress during the interview.
Sat 26-Jan-2008 19:27 PM - Report Inappropriate Comment
42. syed tahir ahmedKNOW MY CONFIDANCE IS MUCH BETTER THEN EARLIER. I am very very thankfull to you for the act of this kindness
Thu 24-Jan-2008 09:28 AM - Report Inappropriate Comment
43. hamed mohamed hamed eissaمشكورين على المجهود وفعلا منكم نستفيد
Fri 18-Jan-2008 18:15 PM - Report Inappropriate Comment
44. محمد علي العراديThank you very much
Sat 05-Jan-2008 11:05 AM - Report Inappropriate Comment
45. Boules Gubraelwonderful really it helped me alot.....................thanks add more please Boules
Mon 10-Dec-2007 12:45 PM - Report Inappropriate Comment
Mon 10-Dec-2007 11:54 AM - Report Inappropriate Comment
47. Mohammed EL-Sanuosithanks bayt.com for helping us improving our self to the best sides always
Wed 21-Nov-2007 09:27 AM - Report Inappropriate Comment
48. عدنان الشعارthank you very much
Mon 19-Nov-2007 23:01 PM - Report Inappropriate Comment
49. Shaima Ibrahimit's great..thanx for the tips i really needed that as i never worked be4 :)
Wed 07-Nov-2007 01:06 AM - Report Inappropriate Comment

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