anxiety · interview anxiety · life · social anxiety

Job interview nerves 

I sent out my resume to a job ad on Craigslist this morning and received a reply some minutes later telling me to come in for an interview tomorrow at 10 AM.

Oh, fuck.

Yep, that’s what my gut reaction was. In the past I went through a vicious cycle of wanting a job and sending my resume out to many ads, but when I would get a reply asking me to come in for an interview, I would balk. Or I would try pushing past the anxiety and set up an appropriate time for the interview, but on the day of the interview, I would be too anxious to make myself go. The third thing to happen, at times, is I’d make myself go to the interview, but get too nervous to really talk much. The main problem I have in normal conversations and interview conversations is I feel discomfort whenever it is my turn to talk and the other person is looking at me expectantly.

Yesterday at my coloring book meetup, someone asked me and two other people what we like to do in our spare time. I never feel comfortable talking about myself. Immediately I wondered if I was forthcoming about my hobbies, would people think my interests are lame or stupid? That’s what comes down to it. I’m fearful of sounding stupid no matter what I say.

The difference now is I want to get better with interviews. So avoiding the one I have scheduled for tomorrow is not gonna help me in any way.

My last interview was about a month ago. I can’t say the interview went 100% well, but for the parts I didn’t do as good in, that’s something I can take away from and improve on for the next interview, hopefully. I remember the position I interviewed for was administrative assistant. I didn’t really have experience in this field besides data entry. When the interview noted this out loud, I froze in dismay. I wanted to respond that, although I have no paid experience, my history with volunteer work has given me the opportunity to learn new skills as I go, and that I could definitely learn  the necessary skills for the job position. Instead of saying this, the words got stuck in my throat because, again, I was afraid of sounding stupid.

For those who have social anxiety and have had either good or bad job interview experiences, what advice can you give me?

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4 thoughts on “Job interview nerves 

  1. For me, what helps most is rehearsing. Depending on your preference, you could rehearse in your mind or out loud (in a safe place like your room, of course). Think of what and how you would answer the typical questions:
    “Where do you see yourself in X years?”
    “Tell me about yourself.”
    “What are your strengths/weaknesses?”
    “Why are you fit for this position?”
    “Any questions?”
    I also go through the greetings and goodbyes in my mind.

    Being prepared with my responses helps me feel less overwhelmed. Know your resume well and be prepared to explain or expound on any of the points (or gaps, if any). I also always have a few points on hand that I could easily use in general. If in the event that there are questions that throw me off (and there will be a few — we can’t predict everything), I could fall back on those points and recycle them by paraphrasing. An example would be my love for learning. I could easily weave it in my responses to various questions and in various ways, like:
    “I may not have experience in X, but I love to learn and I think company Y would be a great place to start.”
    “I like learning new things and I’m willing/excited to learn Z.”
    “This job sounds great because I get the opportunity to learn a lot and I love that.”

    Besides responses, I find that preparing the physical things helpful as well, meaning clothes, bag (and everything in it), directions/route, when to get ready and to leave home, etc. Researching about the company and the position you’re applying for also help so you seem knowledgeable and that you’ve done your homework. Sometimes they may ask what you think the job position is first before they explain in more detail — this way, they get an idea of what you know and what you think you’re applying for.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. As I spoke of in my blog post, the most difficult thing during an interview is for me to actually talk and be confident about it. As soon as I’m asked a question I am dreading, my mind races and whatever answer I had tucked in my head seems to fizzle into nothingness or become broken shards in my mind where I only remember my answer partially. Then comes the anxiety I have about actually opening my mouth and talking as the interviewer is looking at me. At this time I go into red alert and I’m internally bombarded with my own negativity about how stupid I sound.

      I not sure how things will go tomorrow. I don’t want to assume the interview will be a piece of cake, but the job ad was indeed very vague about what kind of employee they are looking for. “A high school or college student who can do data entry.” That is what is making me think they’re not really going to probe me with personality questions and maybe they just want someone who can do the work? I don’t know.

      Like

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