If you suffer from SAD, it is important to seek formal treatment, such as medication or cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT). However, there are also strategies that you can use to help alleviate anxiety before an interview.
If you have social anxiety disorder or are simply nervous about a job interview, the following tips may help you to cope with your anxiety.
1. Treat Yourself Well
Avoid caffeine, get enough sleep and exercise regularly. Keeping yourself in good health is paramount when facing potentially stressful situations.
2. Visualize Success
Find a quiet space where you won’t be disturbed, close your eyes and visualize yourself being successful in your interview. Visualizing success is more than just positive thinking; when done correctly, you are preparing your brain to behave in a certain way. This technique is used by elite athletes before competitions to improve performance.
3. Reduce Stressors
Reduce stressors unrelated to your actual performance in the interview, such as
- uncomfortable clothing
- getting lost
- showing up late
Well in advance, choose an outfit that is comfortable and that looks good on you. If you aren’t familiar with the location of the interview, give yourself plenty of time to find it or do a trial run a day or two before.
4. Do Your Research
Being well-prepared is a good anxiety-reliever.
- Research your potential employer.
- Prepare answers to common questions.
Every bit of preparation that you can do will help to increase your comfort level and make you feel more confident and capable in the interview.
5. Don’t Succumb to Pressure
Once in a while, you may be interviewed by someone who grills you to see how you handle stress. Although, as a person with SAD, it may be tempting to spiral into negative automatic thinking, such as
“He knows I can’t handle this job; I should never have applied” or
“They don’t really like me; I’ll never get the job”
If you find yourself in this situation, realize what the interviewer is trying to accomplish and don’t let him get you upset. Know that the other candidates have been treated the same way and that it is not a reflection of you or your capabilities.