We all have an amygdala. It’s the part of our brain that makes us react in a non-positive way during a stressful situation. It’s what causes our fight, flight or freeze response. Job interviews can cause anxiety and most of us feel a level of anxiety before and during them. But, once you're aware of the amygdala – it helps to put a name to it – and what it’s doing it’s easier to manage it.
1 Prepare well – see this post for more details on interview prepping. Active research is a good anxiety-reliever.
2 Take deep breaths through your nose (count to four) and out through your mouth (count to four) while waiting for the interview to begin. Good breathing does and will help calm the amygdala.
3 If deep breaths are hard, try just sighing, and feel your shoulders relaxing
4 If nerves kick in during the interview, you can ask for a question to be repeated and repeat the breathing exercise quietly
5 Take your time getting to the interview. Plan your route
6 If it’s a Zoom interview, be well prepared and go into the online waiting room 10 minutes before the start time
7 Take yourself out of your own head – anxiety makes us focus inwards. Speak to the receptionist, ask your interviewer how they are… Think about others in the room, not just you. Try to smile and engage with others.
8 Write a list the night before of what you need to take – pen and paper, charged phone, your CV and copy of your cover letter (useful for reference), and try and get an early night
9 Take your time – allow yourself a few seconds to think before answer a question
10 Accept that you will be nervous and a bit anxious. Acceptance has been shown to be helpful. You can try and reframe the anxiety as excitement and a rational response, rather than being hard on yourself