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Minnesota State University, Mankato
Minnesota State University, Mankato

Interview Preparation - Coping with Stress

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How to reduce and push through interviewing anxiety for a successful interview:


  • Preparation is the key to interviewing success.
    If you are ready for the interview, you will feel more confident in your skills and will be able to talk about them!
  • Stay Positive and Be Confident.
    You have been specifically chosen for the interview and based on your resume, the employer believes that you can do the job. Remember this in the waiting room! Think positive thoughts before and during the interview.
  • Take Deep Breaths.
    When you feel the anxiety start to creep up, take deep relaxing breaths and remain focused on your goal.
  • Accept Anxiety.
    Anxiety is a natural reaction and is actually closely related to being excited. Try to be positive and channel your negative anxiety into a positive excited feeling. However, be aware that there are anxiety disorders that are different than interviewing anxiety.
  • View Interviewing as an Opportunity.
    Whether the interview happens to be the best or the worst interview, take something away from the experience. If it went well, think about why it went well and keep those strategies in your interviewing toolkit. If you think it could have been better, think about what you can do next time to make it better. Also remember that the experience, if nothing else, was good practice.
  • Avoid Coffee and Other Stimulants the Day of the Interview.
    If you have an early interview, get plenty of sleep the night before to be alert during the interview and avoid coffee or caffeine, it can increase your anxiety.
  • Plan Ahead.
    Get enough sleep the night before the interview, know where the location of the interview is, and arrive approximately 15 minutes early. Avoid anything last minute such as printing off extra resumes!
  • Research the Company/Employer.
    The more you study up on those employers ahead of time, the more comfortable you will feel about talking with them and the less intimidated and nervous you will feel.
  • Participate in a Practice Interview.
    Whether it be with the Career Development Center, a friend, or family member, practice being in an interview situation to prepare for what it will actually be like.
  • Manage your expectations.
    Be realistic about what you are expecting from an interview. Often, you will not get offered a job on site. Typically, you will have to send out many resumes and have many interviews before getting a job offer. Don’t be discouraged if the first interviewing situation does not turn into a job offer. Also, know that you are interviewing the organization as much as they are interviewing you.