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Pre-interview stress demystified

At last! You’ve finally been called for that interview you were hoping for! If you are suddenly filled with dread, read on.

While there could be dozens of reasons why that job interview is stressing you out, we’ve just listed the top four. See which ones apply to you.

1. You underestimate yourself
People who lack self-confidence are most likely to suffer from stress because they tend to think they have little control over the situations they face. You’re sure to feel undue pressure if you don’t give yourself credit for what you have to offer or if you believe you can’t make a good first impression, explain your accomplishments or talk about how you’d handle hypothetical situations.

2. You’re terrified of the interview
There are two ways to think of an interview: either as a chance to introduce yourself or as a test with tricks and traps at every turn designed to reveal your shortcomings. This second way of thinking, which is much less constructive than the first, will only intensify stress by distorting the challenge of the interview. Remember that stress is a normal reaction to challenging or threatening situations. Ask yourself: What am I afraid of? Is this fear rational and justified?

3. You don’t feel in control
Are you convinced that the matter is out of your hands? When faced with a demanding situation, it’s easy to forget that you have partial control over the event and you can end up feeling powerless and stressed out. And yet, if you can take control of the situation, you’ll allievate a great deal of anxiety. To get on track, plan for the interview by preparing yourself to talk about your past experiences, finding out as much as possible about the job you’re applying for and getting enough rest before the interview.

4. You don’t have a Plan B
Have you been told there are three other people being considered for the position? Like it or not, there’s a chance you might not get it — there’s no use denying it! Not having a Plan B increases your stress levels and sets you up for a greater sense of failure if you aren’t offered the job. What will you do if you aren’t hired? Have you thought of any alternatives? What can you learn from this experience, regardless of the outcome? Settle your nerves by calmly accepting in advance that you might not be chosen this time around.