You got the job interview! Congratulations!
Enter the job interview stress…
It’s totally natural to feel nervous before an interview.
Thankfully there are lots of tools to help you get through that stress so you can show off your awesome self and, hopefully, snag that job!
Deep breaths! You got this. Let’s work on some of that stress together, shall we? Here we go…
Why Are We Talking Job Interview Stress?!
Job interviews can be so stressful. Self-soothing and taking care of yourself while you prepare is huge. You want to be able to put your best, most confident foot forward, right? Calming those nerves and feeling good about yourself is a big part of that.
Here’s a little story about how my Job Interview Self-Care Routine came together…
After I graduated college (and about 6 months after I hit remission for the first time) I accepted a pretty stellar job, Employment Specialist Assistant in the Career Services at said same college. Woah! This was a giant learning experience for me. I got to assist the Employment Specialist in so many rewarding ways (you’re awesome Trish and I adore you!) I loved helping students and alumni prepare for job interviews.
Sadly a Graves Disease relapse caused me to step away from this position. It was a very difficult moment in my life. But the knowledge I gained is something I’m forever grateful for. Because it was three years before I was well enough to take on a permanent position again. Which led me to doing temp work to get by. And that means lots and lots of interviews… enough to make your head spin!
Today I work full time as a writer and content creator. Here with you and in a freelance capacity. And talking to potential new clients for the first time… well, it’s sort of like a job interview too.
Do I get nervous. Of course! Job interviews and client calls are a big deal. The stakes are high! And I always want to rock it. So do you! Feeling stressed out in those situations is normal.
But, thanks to my experience working in the Career Services Department, I have my practice questions ready. And tons of soothing self-care on hand. Because feeling calmer and prepared to talk yourself up, oh that goes such a long way.
So, without further ado, here are the self-soothing, stress-reducing self-care activities that help me prepare for job interviews.
1. Take Some Deep Breaths
I know this one seems so simple and obvious, but deeps breaths can help soothe you when stress hits. So, if you’re feeling job interview stress already, take a few deep breaths sweet friend. Now and, if possible, before your interview. You can park that car somewhere before you meet with the hiring manager, roll down your window and let the fresh air soothe you.
Give yourself a few minutes to inhale slowly and deeply, fill those beautiful lungs. And then exhale, nice and slow. This can help to relieve some stress and anxiety, which naturally comes with interviews.
Need a hand? Check out Mona Fakhry of Mindfully Mona’s Reel right here.
2. Ask a Friend for a Pep Talk
When it comes to job interviews, an awesome reminder of your abilities and value can really help to amp you up and give you that confidence boost you need. And we all need a little (ok, a lot) more of that before we walk into an interview.
Who better to tell you how incredibly awesome you are than a good friend. Bonus points if you’ve worked together.
Reach out to someone you love and ask for their help. Tell them about the job. If your inner critic is rearing it’s ugly head, talk about it. Ask them for a boost. Trust me, the people who love you are very excited to gush about how awesome you are and tell that inner critic to shut it.
You can even get specific. Ask them questions like:
Why do you think I’d be good at this job?
What special skills do I bring to the table?
What makes me a good coworker and/or employee?
This might seem silly, but this not only increases confidence, it helps you prepare for the interview. It will be easier to gush about yourself when the interviewer asks questions like “Why should we hire you?” after a lovely talk like this. Because everything will be fresh in your mind. And you’ll be feeling pretty darn good about yourself.
3. Try Journaling or Positive Affirmations
You got a pep talk from your friend. But what about a pep talk from yourself? Talk yourself up baby!
Journaling can help to lift your spirit while also allowing you to work through those stressful feelings. You can also combine it with positive self-talk and affirmations to give yourself a boost. If writing isn’t your thing, try saying some affirmations out loud. Whatever works for you is golden.
Try writing or speaking your affirmations in third person.
When you talk to yourself in third person (either by speaking or journaling) you’re giving yourself the opportunity to self-distance. Which gives you new perspective. Researchers think that this let’s us recognize qualities we haven’t noticed (hello interview prep win!)
Super bonus, positive affirmations are more successful at reducing stress and anxiety when they’re spoken in the third person too. Booyah! (source)
4. Practice Answering Standard Interview Questions
Practice might not make perfect, but it does make prepared. Go through a list of standard interview questions and practice your answers.
Creating answers and practicing them in advance can help to ease some of your job interview stress by making you feel more prepared. Think of your answers as elevator pitches – short blurbs you can practice and recite with confidence.
Get comfortable with these questions. Write your answers down (a few times if needed – writing things down can help you remember them). And then practice saying them out loud, so that you feel more comfortable.
Know that your interviewer may ask different variations of these questions, or something completely new. But coming in prepared with some possible answers may also help you feel more comfortable improvising answers to new, unexpected questions.
Need a hand?
I made a printable list of Standard Interview Questions just for you. Together we’ll go through each question, why they’re generally asked and example answers. There’s also space for you to write out answers of your own. You got this! Click here or fill out the form below to download yours. <3
It’s absolutely normal and ok to feel anxious about a job interview. This is an important moment, you’re in the spotlight and you want to put your best foot forward. Nerves are high. And while everything I’ve listed so far may help, no one knows what soothes you better than beautiful you!
Indulge in whatever self-care helps you the best. Is there an activity that you find comforting? Something you like to do whenever you’re feeling stressed? An action that makes you feel confident or calms your nerves? Do that.
Whatever helps you work through some of those stressful feelings is awesome. You got this!
6. Listen to Music That Makes You Feel Like a Bad Ass
Who doesn’t love music? It has the power to soothe, de-stress, amp you up, make you feel powerful… music really speaks to the soul!
Put on your favourite songs or playlist or search confidence playlists on YouTube or Spotify. Shake off some of that nervous energy and bust a move while you’re at it. What’s Wrong with Being Confident, right?
7. Pick Out An Outfit That Makes You Feel Powerful
According to Professor Karen Pine, a researcher in Developmental Psychology:
“When we put on a piece of clothing we cannot help but adopt some of the characteristics associated with it, even if we are unaware of it.” (source)
So pop on your Bad Ass Music Playlist and put on a fashion show, gorgeous! Your outfit should be something that makes you feel like the confident, powerful person you are. Have fun picking something out.
8. Unwind Afterwards
You just finished your interview! Congratulations, you did it! Now it’s time to get rid of any lingering nerves and unwind. Bonus points if you plan an after-interview treat for yourself in advance. It’s good to have something to look forward to when you’re about to do something stressful.
Whether you’re treating yourself to your favourite take out, going for a nice long walk or binging something on Netflix, indulge in some relaxing self-care. You did your best and you should be so proud of yourself.
9. Know that You’re Doing Great, Regardless of the Outcome
If you get the job, woohoo! That’s so awesome. But if you don’t you’re still awesome.
Rejection is hard. And it can give you pause and wake up your inner critic. But you shouldn’t give that critic a megaphone. Because, while rejection stings, it doesn’t mean that you aren’t good enough.
If you didn’t get called in for a second interview or chosen for the position, it’s ok if it hurts. Work through those feelings and be there for yourself. And keep going, sweet friend. You are worthy, you are amazing, you are talented. Not being chosen doesn’t change that.
The job interview stress is real. But you got this babe! Breathe, prepare and be radically kind to yourself. I believe in you!
What helps you de-stress when you’re preparing for an interview? Share with me in the comments below.
Health and love,
Thought of the day: You’ve got this!
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