How to Handle Stress During a Job Interview and Keep Your Cool

by Kelsey Lange 2 years ago in advice

Everyone gets anxious during interviews. Some just know how to handle stress during a job interview better than others. Here's the top ten tactics on how to become one of those people.

How to Handle Stress During a Job Interview and Keep Your Cool

There aren't many situations that are as stressful as a job interview. Ever wonder how people thrive in stressful environments like these? There are tons of tactics and tricks that people follow, but we have come up with a list of the top ten tips for how to handle stress during a job interview.

The first step is to recognize that everyone, and I mean everyone, gets nervous, and there is a process for everyone to get more comfortable under the spotlight.

Be prepared.

The number one tip for handling interview stress lies in the steps you can take prior to your sit-down. Being prepared for your interview will make a world of a difference. Not only will it result in your own confidence coming into the interview, but it will allow for smooth sailing while the questions are coming in.

As one of the best tips on how to handle stress during a job interview, preparing is key. Would you be confident in taking a final exam without studying? Then there should be no reason for this while going into an interview.

Taking the time and effort to prepare for each individual interview you land will impress your interviewers and result in a higher chance for approval, and ultimately landing the job.

Do your research.

To be prepared, you must do your research. It is expected by any company that you are well knowledged on their history, basic information, and the position you applied for. As one of the best tips on how to handle stress during a job interview, knowing the most information about the company possible is a great place to stand as you walk into the interview.

Be confident in your knowledge, as well as the reasons why you want to work for them. What makes them special to you, and why will you be a great addition to their company, for their benefit?


There are plenty of online resources that are filled with practice job interview questions. If you are still in college, take full advantage of your Career Services center, as they will offer mock interviews, a perfect and very real approach at practicing your interviewing skills. Mock interviews will score your process, something that you will almost never get in the real world. If you don't receive the job, you'll often times never know why.

Practicing also goes for sitting at home with a friend and going over popular and tough questions. Have an answer for everything, and the actual interview will be a breeze. It will allow you to sound confident and put together with your answers, as well as eliminate panic if a question is asked that you could have already gone over in your head.

Write down each of your answers and save the document for even easier practice. This way you will always have your best answers saved, and if a wild card is asked in an interview, take the opportunity to add it to your document, and revise your answer if you want.

Give yourself extra time.

Always leave at least half an hour earlier than you think you should. No one wants to have the added stress of almost being late to an interview. Plus, if you actually end up being late, you can forget landing that position.

As one of the best tips on how to handle stress during a job interview, giving yourself some extra time getting to the location will make a huge difference in your stress levels.

Plus, this can even give you some time to focus on your answers and just calming down before you head in. Who knows? You might not be able to find the office right away, or maybe parking is a disaster. Always leave extra time for situations like this.

Best case scenario, you sit in your car for a little, listen to some music, or maybe an inspirational podcast, and show up a few minutes early.

Be positive.

Having a positive outlook on the situation, though it might be stressful at the time, is very important to nail the interview. Though being put on the spot can result in tons of anxiety, the fact that you have the interview is positive in the first place. The next step is to have a positive thought process before, during, and even after.

If you believe you can ace the interview, you can fake it until you make it. And if you are thoroughly prepared, there is no reason not to believe you will land the job. This also goes for after the interview, because even if you don't receive an offer, the interview is great experience, and you will be that much better for your next opportunity.

Remember that it is natural to be anxious.

Waiting to be called into the interview room can often be the hardest part of the whole process. During this time, it is important to remember that anxiety is natural and very normal.

A situation like this is not your typical Monday, and a tip on how to handle stress during a job interview is to remember that everyone before you felt similar to the way you are.

Also, the interviewer might be just as nervous as you are, if not more. Nervousness is natural and being able to work with it is a task that takes time to master. You'll get there. In the meantime, pace yourself, breathe, and be positive. It'll be over before you know it.

Dress to impress.

If you look good, you'll feel good. This is very prominent in the interviewing process. You never want to worry about the way you dressed to the interview, and should always resort to wearing your best business outfit, even if it's not required.

Impress your interviewer while also finding some much needed extra confidence. As a simple job interview tip, you'll never regret looking great.

Try out power posing and deep breathing.

If you're needing some instant tips on how to handle stress during a job interview, practicing power posing and deep breathing are both impressively helpful to rid anxiety. Power posing in front of your mirror will not only boost your confidence instantly, but will improve your interview process as well.

They only take about two minutes to do the trick, but will make a noticeable difference in your performance. A popular example of this is the Superman pose, which is standing with legs apart, a straight spine, head up, and your hand on your hips.

Deep breathing can also be used at any moment, and will work well during your actual interview. As a great way to reduce anixety, deep breathing will allow you to pause, take your time, and improve your body language.

Speak slowly.

Going along with the deep breathing tactic and taking your time, speaking slowly is very important in succeeding during an interview. Avoid stuttering, tripping over your words, and simply diminish stress by slowing down your question answering.

Your interview does not expect you to start speaking as soon as they ask you a question, and it is encouraged that you take a few seconds to collect your thoughts before explaining an answer.

Though it can be hard to do, when you are practicing outside of the interview, this is something that you should always be rehearsing. You'll master it in no time!

Plan something for after.

Like any unpleasant experience in your life, you can make things a bit more bearable by having something to look forward to afterward. That's why our last tip on how to handle stress during a job interview is to plan something after you complete it.

As a way to reward yourself for surviving another interview, planning something as simple as a movie night in with friends can maintain your sanity.

It will also allow you to see that the interview will only last typically an hour at most, and your life will move on afterward, though the stress and preparations might not make it seem that way. You'll survive, we promise!

Kelsey Lange
Kelsey Lange
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Kelsey Lange

Passionate about writing, animals, makeup, movies, friends, family, learning, exercising, and laughing!

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