Conquer Interview Anxiety: Practical Action Steps for Jobseekers

Navigating a job interview can induce stress, and many jobseekers escalate this to unhealthy levels of anxiety. Concerns often focus on attire, sweaty palms, and potential verbal blunders, causing the candidates to obsess over numerous “what-ifs.”

The Fine Line Between Natural Concern and Excessive Worry

Wanting to excel and showcase your capabilities is a perfectly normal sentiment. However, it becomes a problem when this concern morphs into excessive and debilitating anxiety over things that may never occur.

Action Steps: The Antidote to Excessive Worry

Rather than echoing the common advice of employing positive self-talk, let’s focus on concrete action steps. Implementing these strategies will grant you the confidence that you’ve addressed your primary areas of concern comprehensively.

Make Conscious Wardrobe Choices

  1. Avoid Strong Scents: Anxiety can make you sweat and wearing overpowering perfume or aftershave will only exacerbate the problem. Go for fresh clothes and neutral deodorant instead.
  2. Comfortable Clothing: Women should avoid dresses that feel snug around the hips or build up static. Men, steer clear of overly tight shirts or suits. Wardrobe malfunctions distract, so opt for comfortable yet professional attire.

Tackling Physical Discomforts

  1. Manage Sweaty Palms: Unless you have a medical condition, this is typically not an issue. If it bothers you, however, consider carrying a cotton towel in your briefcase or handbag. Wipe your palms discreetly while waiting for your interview.
  2. Specialised Products: Alcohol-based hand sanitisers or unscented antiperspirants designed for hands can also help. Conquering this fear is already winning half the battle.

The Power of Preparation

  1. Avoid Appearing Uninformed: Preparation is crucial. Familiarise yourself with your resume and think critically about your work history. Preparedness minimises the risk of appearing clueless or uninformed.
  2. Combat Stuttering: Stress-induced stuttering is common. The solution? Take a deep breath, smile, and restart your sentence. Preparation and practice can make this much easier to manage.

Interviewers aim to find the right fit for the job, not to intimidate or embarrass you. They’re keen to understand what you bring to the table. By focusing on your fears, you risk distracting both yourself and your interviewer.

Your Name’s Being Called: Get Ready!

So, put these action steps into practice, let go of unnecessary anxieties, and prepare yourself. Your name is being called; it’s your time to shine.

Good luck!


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  2. Tenika Luke

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  3. Lisa

    Gayle, Great post! I would like to add that verbally addressing the issue during an interview is another option. Often, simply stating, “I’m sorry. I’m a little nervous.” after you’ve shaken hands and realized they are cold/clammy, or if you’ve stuttered, or having a brain freeze w/regard to a question, will do wonders. The interviewer will forgive you immediately and reassure you that it’s “no problem, they understand.” At that point, the initial tension is broken, you can relax and begin anew.

    Ignoring the issue will make it stand out; addressing it will make it simply vanish. ~Lisa (lablady)

    • Gayle Howard

      Thanks Lisa for your comment. You’re quite right about the nerves issue. Saying “Sorry! I’m a little nervous!” is very endearing and most people will get a genuine smile from the interviewer.


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About Gayle Howard

If you are interested in working with Gayle Howard—an executive resume writer, Certified Master Resume Writer, multi-award-winning resume writer, and Master LinkedIn profile writer, drop her a line now using the contact form at the link above. Gayle can help you get interviews for your dream job and bring the world of business to you by maximizing your exposure and connections on LinkedIn.