Young man looking anxiously at computer screenHaving a job interview is exciting. It’s your chance to show a potential employer that you have what it takes to be a great employee. Yet, an interview can also be stressful. That’s normal. In this blog we list tips to help you prepare for the interview and calm your nerves before the big day.

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Tips to Relieve Anxiety Before an Interview

Mar 22, 2022

Young man looking anxiously at computer screenInterview Anxiety? Here's What to Do

Having a job interview is exciting. It’s your chance to show a potential employer that you have what it takes to do a great job. Yet, an interview can also be stressful. That’s normal. Here are some tips to help you calm your nerves before an upcoming interview.

Prepare

The more you prepare, the more confidence you’ll have. That preparation is key to reducing any anxiety you may have. For example, if you are worried about certain interview questions, review them ahead of time, and think about how to answer them (more on that later). Being prepared also includes bringing copies of your resume, work product examples, certificates, pen and notebook, and anything else the interviewer asks you to bring. This shows the employer that you’re serious about getting the job and can follow instructions. Look at these additional interview prep tips for more help.

Visualize the Interview Going Well

Athletes often visualize how they want their performances to go. This method can work in many settings, including a job interview. Picture yourself smiling as you greet the interviewer, confidently answering an interview question and asking a relevant question that you prepared ahead of time. Think about your body language and facial expressions so that you communicate interest in hearing what the interviewer says. Using your imagination in such a positive way, can help banish some of your stress.

Take a Practice Trip to the Location

If the interview is in person and you’re driving to a location, take a practice drive there before the big day. Find the best route, parking and which entrance to use (if it’s a large building). That way you can estimate the time it will take and ensure you arrive on time. Being late to an interview causes stress right from the start. If you are not driving yourself, be sure to have the exact address and clear directions to share with the driver.

Practice Answering Questions with Someone

Rehearse answering popular interview questions with a friend before the interview. Some typical questions might include:

  • “Can you tell me about yourself?”
  • “Why are you the best person for the job?”
  • “What do you know about our company?”

There are many others, but it will help relieve your anxiety to practice how you will answer expected questions. Check out our blog post Top Questions You Can Expect during a Job Interview for more questions to review. If you are currently working with an Employment Network (EN), remember they can help run through interview questions with you. They are there to support you through your employment journey.

Eat Lightly Before

Make sure to eat a light meal before your interview. A nutritious snack or meal before your interview will likely give you energy to be alert and feel your best. You don’t want your stomach to growl during the interview, but a heavy meal could make you feel sluggish.

Wear Comfortable Clothes

When you are comfortable in your clothes, you feel better in general. If you are stressed about your outfit during the interview, it shows. You want to look and be confident. Decide on your interview outfit the day before. A comfortable, professional outfit will help you feel and look your best. It also helps you make the best first impression possible.

Remember You’re Interviewing Them Too

The great part of an interview? You’re not the only one in the “hot seat.” You are interviewing your potential company too! They should impress you as well. Think whether you can see yourself working in this environment. Is the company organized and able to help guide your career? What you feel matters. Plan to take notes on important features of the company and environment to review later.

You are going to have a great interview! Remaining calm before the interview allows you to think more clearly and show the employer your best qualities.

About Ticket to Work

Social Security’s Ticket to Work (Ticket) Program supports career development for people ages 18 through 64 who receive Social Security disability benefits (SSDI/SSI) and want to work. Through this free and voluntary program, eligible participants can work with service providers to receive the supports and services they need to find and maintain employment as they move toward financial independence through work.

As you think about returning to work and possibly changing careers or working for the first time, you may have questions and need support. Working with a Ticket Program service provider can help you develop achievable goals and steps to find and maintain employment in your new career. Ticket Program service providers can even help you identify the type of career you might enjoy and any transferrable skills you may have.

Learn More

To learn more about the Ticket Program, call the Ticket to Work Help Line at 1-866-968-7842 or 1-866-833-2967 (TTY) Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. ET. Ask a representative to send you a list of service providers or find providers on your own with the Ticket Program Find Help tool.

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