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How to Battle Interview Anxiety

This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at UCSB chapter.

For as long as I can remember, I have always absolutely dreaded job interviews. It seems like there is this constant nagging voice in the back of my head reminding me that I only have one shot to present the absolute best version of myself to a complete stranger in a 15 to 30 minute time frame. Maybe they’ll hate me, and if they hate me, I won’t get the job, and if I don’t get this job, maybe I won’t get any other job ever, and maybe I’ll be forever tainted with the stench that says, “I am a fake and I don’t know what I’m doing,” and maybe I am fake and I definitely do not know what I’m doing and, and, and…

It’s. Exhausting.

I have even gone as far as to cancel an interview I was really excited about just because I was so nervous. But despite this pre-interview anxiety, once I sit down across from the employer, take a breath, and settle into myself, I feel much more confident and wonder why I was even nervous in the first place. Here are a few of my tips to go in as confidently as possible from the get go and land that dream job (or at least a job that gets you one step closer towards your dream). 

Be prepared.

While this may seem overtly obvious, researching your employer beforehand can work wonders. Dig around on their website or reach out to former employees that may be a good source of information. By learning their mission statement, company culture, or origin story, you can get yourself into the right headspace for the interview and stand out as an applicant who is serious about the job and familiar with their goals. Reviewing your resumé and practicing potential interview questions will also give you peace of mind and make you feel more confident before hand.

Pick out and try on your outfit the night before.

By pre-selecting an outfit the night before, you can avoid any stress and save valuable time that day. Make sure to pick an outfit that is professional and appropriate for the job, but also one that makes you feel like yourself. This way, you can focus solely on the interview instead of fiddling with an ensemble that makes you feel uncomfortable.

Take mindful moments the morning of.

For me, this means exercising or taking a yoga class. Whether it’s meditating, reading, listening to a podcast, or going for a walk, doing something purely for yourself will help you get your mind off of the interview and release any stress that is building up before hand.

Figure out exactly where the interview is.

If you have never been to the location before, visit the day before just to make sure you know exactly where you are supposed to be. So many times I have stressed myself out spending too much time looking for parking or just trying to find the right building. This will save you so much time the day of and make you feel more at ease before going in. 

Leave early and allow for extra time.

This may seem like another obvious tip, but giving yourself an extra time cushion will allow you to fully compose yourself before the interview. If you get there too early to head in, give a loved one a call or take a walk around the building to calm yourself down.

Finally, remember this will not make or break you.

Though it is easy to get down the rabbit hole of negative thoughts, this one interview will not ruin your career, no matter how much you mess up. Remind yourself that you are an amazing person and other jobs will always, always turn up. While it is important to try your best, don’t beat yourself up about making any mistakes. You are only human and everyone has good and bad days. At worst, it will be an excellent learning experience for you to grow and practice your interview skills, and at best, the first step towards landing your next job!

Taking care of all the little details before the day of the interview will really add up and leave you feeling much more at ease and ready to go. Go ace that interview. You got this!

Kaylin is a third-year UCSB student pursuing a major in Communication and minor in Applied Psychology. In her free time she loves reading, doing yoga, hanging out with friends, testing new recipes in the kitchen, and designing her first dream tiny house on Pinterest.
Adar Levy

UCSB '19

Adar is a fourth-year student at UC Santa Barbara, studying Sociology. She is an avid creative writer, podcast listener, music enthusiast, and foodie. Loving everything from fashion and lifestyle to women's empowerment, she hopes to work for a major women's publication one day. See what Adar is up to on Instagram @adarbear.