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Interview Anxiety

Jewellery by Imogen Colla, Foundation Show, © Max Barnett
  • Written byJacqui Rudd
  • Published date 31 January 2023
Jewellery by Imogen Colla, Foundation Show, © Max Barnett
Jewellery by Imogen Colla, Foundation Show, © Max Barnett

When I run sessions on Interview skills the main challenge people want help with isn’t how to practice or answering questions or how to dress, it’s self-doubt and anxiety. How to prepare free from stress, how to cope with your nervousness while answering grilling questions and how to stop your brain overthinking every little thing that went slightly wrong in an interview.

Interview anxiety is so common, and who can blame people, the pressure alone is enough,  add self-doubt from previous rejections into the mix and of course you’ll be nervous.

So here are my top tips for coping with interview anxiety, before, during and after!

How to relax just before an interview

  • Try not to drink caffeine before an interview, it increases your heart rate.
  • Release nervous energy – walk, exercise or random dance in the kitchen.
  • Prioritise self-compassion with some self-care, tailored to your needs!
  • Meditate, observe your anxiety and turn it into feelings of excitement by visualizing success.
  • Closed Door Open Door – Do not get stuck thinking you have to get this job, there are other options open to you as well.

Coping with anxiety and nerves during an interview

  • Don't force yourself to calm down.
  • Pause to think whenever you want to – silence is okay!
  • Take a moment to breathe before answering a question.
  • Have a glass of water to hand – great excuse to pause.
  • Fidgeting isn't the end of the world, if it's a video call you can have a stress ball in your hand, if in-person you can hold your drink or notebook.

How to ease anxiety post interview

  • Celebrate Yourself - Regardless of how you felt that the interview went, congratulate yourself afterward for taking the chance.
  • Avoid overthinking, observe those thoughts and let them go, they are not helpful.
  • Do something that you enjoy as a reward, consider your personal needs in that moment.
  • Do some self-love journaling, for example list 3 things you admire about yourself and/or

By Jacqui Rudd UAL Employability Educator – if you feel like you’re in need of support you can book a Career Wellbeing one-to-one or join our session How to prepare for interviews on the 2 March.