Life Lesson #7: How I Overcame the Fear of Job Interviews

I used to get extremely nervous before a job interview. My palms would be dripping in puddles of sweat. I would have trouble sleeping for several days leading up to the interview day. I don’t know what it was but I was putting a lot of my pressure on myself to do well. Every interview I had felt like a do or die situation. This was bothering me so much that it was affecting my performance in interviews.

I was no longer myself. I would stare at the floor/wall when speaking with the interviewers. I’d give weak handshakes. My confidence was at an all-time low. As I was doing the interviews, in my mind, I was listing a million reasons why the employer wouldn’t want to hire me. I’d literally rush out at the end of each interview thinking that I didn’t have a chance.

And then one day everything changed. A good co-worker of mine in his 60’s had told me I was approaching job interviews the wrong way. He had told me how great job interviews are. It is an opportunity to see if the job is something I wanted to do. A job interview was my chance to interview the employer as well.

This was life changing. All of a sudden, my attitude had changed. I began to get excited about going to interviews. I prepared for interviews much differently. I’d go in prepared with questions to ask the employers to learn everything I could about the job and the company. I got to the point where I enjoyed it so much, I began losing track of time and going above the allotted time for the interviews.

The biggest benefit with this shift in attitude was that employers saw that I had a genuine interest in learning more about the job. They could tell I came prepared and instead of it feeling like an interview, it was free flowing and the conversations became very interesting. I didn’t want the interviews to end.

Next time you have your next job interview, remember to tell yourself, it’s actually an interview/opportunity for you to interview the employer and find out why you would want to work there. It doesn’t have to feel one-sided.

You can tell a lot about the company through an interview. The people that usually interview you are almost always the supervisor/manager of the unit you are applying for. Ask your toughest questions. Find out how strict they are with work schedules and anything else that’s important to you. From doing this, you may actually find that you don’t actually want the job anymore and that’s completely okay. It’s happened to me on more than one occasion and that’s exactly what an interview is supposed to be for.

Hopefully, this story gets you more excited about your next job interview. Good luck!

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