How to turn your interview nerves into a powerful tool

IN THIS ARTICLE

If you’re nervous about a job interview, you’re definitely not alonesurveys show that as many as 93% of jobseekers feel anxious before a job interview. But nervousness and anxiety don’t have to be a bad thing. Alex Tidgård, licensed psychologist and founder of Asker, gives his best coping strategies for not letting nervousness get the best of you.

A tingling feeling in your stomach? Sweaty palms? Trouble sleeping? Or maybe even nausea? Everyone reacts differently, but it’s safe to say that most of us can experience some degree of nervousness before a job interview. A survey by JDP shows that after public speaking, a job interview is the activity we feel most anxious about. In fact, a job interview even makes us more anxious than going on a first date!   

Alex Tidgård is a licensed psychologist and one of the founders of the interview platform Asker. He says it’s perfectly normal to feel both nervous and anxious before an interview.   

Why do interviews make us so nervous?

It's a basic human behavior to be afraid of being evaluated and, in the worst case, excluded from a group. The interview is like a light version of giving a speech - all the spotlight is on you and your performance.
Alex Tidgård
Lic. psychologist & co-founder of Asker

– At the same time, as a job seeker you are expected to be able to easily formulate extremely thoughtful answers to, often quite difficult, questions. You are simply putting yourself in a situation where there is a high risk of being rejected. Of course, you get nervous!  

How to prevent your nervousness to affect your performance in the interview

So, what can you do to manage your nervousness and anxiety and prevent it from affecting you negatively in the interview? An important first step, says Alex Tidgård, is to remember that feelings of nervousness and worry are not in themselves dangerous or bad. 

– Instead, try looking at your feelings as a sign that you are about to do something that matters to you. You are doing something that is important to you, for you. That in itself is a positive and awesome feeling, he says.   

Want some ideas on how to prepare for the interview?

When we’re nervous, it’s a sign that we’re about to do something that’s outside our comfort zone.   

– When you go outside your comfort zone, the experience will empower you. Think of it as taking a step in the right direction and moving forward.   

Trying to turn the situation around and seeing the nervousness as a positive sign that you are about to do something that is important to you can make it easier to deal with the feelings.   

– It can also be a comforting thought to remember that you are not alone in your feelings. Almost everyone feels some degree of nervousness before an interview, and everyone who has a job today has been in exactly the same situation as you, says Alex Tidgård.

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