If there’s one thing all job searchers can agree upon, it’s stress. We’ve all got it, and we all have trouble managing it.
But when you’re looking for a new job, stress can really work against you.
At its core, stress is designed to help us think quickly on our feet and make better decisions. But when stress is chronic, as it is for most of us, it has more of the opposite effect.
So, if you want to land and nail those interviews without breaking a sweat, consider following the tips we outline here.
Understand it’s natural
Part of your stress may have something to do with the fact that you’re still employed. It can be rather scary to go on interviews while someone else is paying your salary. What if you get caught?
But as we all internalize this process and beat ourselves up for lying about that “dentist appointment” (wink, wink), it’s important to understand that interviewing is a part of life. Not only is it good practice to keep your options open and make new contacts, but it’s also good practice to keep your interview skills tight.
So even if you have no intention of changing jobs, it’s probably not a bad idea to interview here and there. No one should be threatened by this, and if your job is secure, interviewing shouldn’t change a thing.
On the other hand, if your job isn’t secure, there’s all the more reason to interview. So, don’t stress about your current employer finding out.
You’ll get better with practice
Even if you’re unemployed and desperate for a job, you don’t want to present yourself that way. If you’re especially stressed about interviewing for real, consider scheduling a few interviews for jobs you don’t want or aren’t on the top of your list.
Maybe it’s an entry-level food service, retail or housekeeping job. Brush up on your interview skills here. And if you have any employment gaps, this is where you can get comfortable talking about them. This is where you’ll really be able to nail down your responses so you can nail a second interview and hopefully get the job.
If you don’t feel comfortable scheduling real interviews, enlist the help of a friend or family member to help you run through faux interviews. Just be sure to keep it serious and have your loved one surprise you with questions. It’s not as helpful when you already know exactly what your faux interviewer will say.
Take care of yourself
Diet and exercise are crucial to your overall health and wellbeing. So especially when you’re entering a stressful time, this is a good time to take care of yourself by eating right and working out. Obviously, looking for a new job is one of those stressful times and you won’t be doing yourself any favors by binging on junk food or lounging on the couch. You need to healthily fight against stress with exercise to be ready for that interview when it comes.
Sleep is another essential component for good health, so make sure you’re getting at least eight hours of sleep each night during your search for a new job. It may seem like overkill, but you’ll be happy to be well-rested and fresh when your interviewer asks you how you handled the most challenging moment of your career.
Keep all your appointments and follow-ups in a well-organized calendar. And when you have interviews, be sure to prepare the night before. You can choose and lay out your clothes at night, so you can be sure there are no snafus on the morning of your big interview. It’ll also help to check traffic to see exactly how long it’ll take you to get to the office at your scheduled time. The last thing you want to be is late for your interview.
Looking for a new job is going to be stressful, but there are ways to mitigate the stress. Follow the tips outlined here and you’ll transition from job-search stress to first-day jitters in no time!