Past IssuesSeptember 24, 2012
How To Make Job Interview
Anxiety Work For You
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Making Job Interview Anxiety Work For You
By Jimmy Sweeney, President of CareerJimmy and Author of the new, Job Interview "Secret"
Most people sip hot tea, walk around the block a few times, practice Yoga, or take deep breaths to avoid the anxiety that accompanies a job interview. All of these are good techniques. However, experts such as Stephen Josephson, a psychologist in New York City who has treated professional athletes, actors, and musicians, claims in an article in The Wall Street Journal (June 19, 2012) that we need "some juice" in order to take action--whether in sports or in business. In other words, if you are too relaxed before an important event you may not do well. You may even appear lethargic to the people you want to impress or influence in your favor.
Stress vs. Anxiety
In our culture people tend to use both words interchangeably but actually they are not the same. Stress involves anger and frustration. Anxiety includes worry and fretting. It can be helpful to recognize the difference in yourself. Are you angry that a colleague received a call for a job interview and you didn't? Or do you feel frustrated that after submitting your resume and cover letter to ten different companies, not one resulted in an interview?
In either case you can benefit. Dial down your upset over the colleague and focus on what you want for your life. By putting your energy into your goals, instead of looking at someone else, you'll find yourself taking positive steps toward achieving your objective--landing a job interview for a position you want. Don't give up. Keep on until you succeed. If you need support along the way--such as writing a cover letter to get an interview, or asking a friend to do a practice a job interview with you, ask for it.
Don't Give In or Give Up
If you feel like giving up because no one has called you for an interview, consider looking at your cover letter and resume again and accepting some guidance to make it as powerful and professional as it can be.
Either way you'll be taking a step forward. You'll be pushing stress aside and putting moderate anxiety to work for you by revving you up for the next opportunity that comes your way. The Nike slogan, "Just do it!" boils it all down to the most important thing you can do--taking action--doing what you said you want to do--landing a job interview and then showing up prepared and ready to express your best self personally and professionally to the hiring manager.
Ace the Meeting
If your hands perspire or your heart pounds or your stomach lurches as you walk through the door to the interview room, take it as a good sign of healthy anxiety ready to work for you. Light to moderate anxiety can actually help you perform well and produce the result you want. Excitement and healthy anticipation drive you to do your best, to make the most of the opportunity that may not come along again.
"Being willing to feel some anxiety and not running away from it is huge," says Josephson.
Jimmy Sweeney is the president of CareerJimmy and author of the brand new "Secret Career Document" job landing system. Jimmy is also the author of several career related books and writes a monthly article titled, "Tough Times Job Tips."
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