Reducing Interview Anxiety

Interviews can provoke stress and anxiety, so it is important to learn how to minimize anxiety and cope with it as you step into an interview.


Being prepared is the best tool you have to ward off potential fears surrounding the interview process. Anticipate potential triggers for anxiety, and prepare yourself in order to protect against them.

  • Do your homework by researching the organization and garnering information about your interviewers if you can.

  • Read over and consider how you would answer practice interview questions so that you have recent examples fresh on your mind.

  • Have questions for your interviewer(s). Write them down and bring them with you so that you don't forget.

  • Bring your questions, a pad of paper (and a pen), and a copy of your application materials in a professional looking portfolio.


Anticipating and planning for possible problems can help diminish our fears of the "What if...?" Consider these actions you might take to avoid potential blunders:

  • Double check the exact location of in-person interviews.

  • Set an alarm to charge your phone for a phone interview, or your computer for a video interview.

  • Adjust your schedule so you are not hurried either before or after the interview.

  • Consider politely refusing an offer for a beverage so that you don't accidentally spill it or have nature call during the interview. (Alternatively, if you're the type of person who always needs to have water on hand, graciously accept an offer for water so you don't croak because of a dry throat!)


  • Dress for success. It's better to be over dressed than under dressed, and if you feel good in what you're wearing, you'll feel better about yourself.

  • Review your accomplishments. Companies want to hire individuals who match or exceed the basic job requirements. Review your accomplishments as they match the job requirements, and think about how to articulate that you have the skills needed for the position.

  • Practice your responses. Consider some tough sorts of questions that may be asked, such as, "Tell us about a weakness of yours..." or, "Why did you apply for this job?" Having an idea of how you many answer such questions beforehand will help you feel better prepared and more confident. 

  • Smile. You got the interview; smile about it! Smiling relaxes you, reduces some of the tension inherent in the interview process, and can help to readily establish rapport with your interviewer.

Office Building


You are worth your interviewers' time. You don't have to immediately respond to a question that you are unprepared to answer. If you need a few seconds to think, take them! You can say, "That is a great question," or, "Hmm, give me a moment to think about that one, I want to answer it accurately." You will likely impress them by showing that you want to think about your answer rather than reacting off the cuff.

Remember that you were invited to the interview for a reason; they must like you as a candidate and think your skills fit the job requirements enough to have invited you. Remain confident in the fact that you've done your homework, and embrace this as what it is: a conversation between a couple of individuals. So take a deep breath, be yourself, and know that if you are being authentic and honest you can trust the results.