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Facing interviews is something almost every career-conscious individual has to undergo from time to time. It is a prerequisite screening process for companies looking for shortlisted and potential contenders for various designations. However, getting stressed out before the interview is pretty commonplace among both genders. Interview stress affects a huge number of people, spanning ethnicity, age group and regions. The good thing is with proper planning and cautionary approaches, it is possible to overcome interview stress. If you cannot eliminate it entirely, it is certainly possible to reduce its impact on your mind and performance.


Understanding the root causes of interview stress before the event​

Before learning how to overcome stress before an upcoming interview, it is important to learn about the root causes of such stress. Psychology analysts opine that interview stress can be caused by several factors including bitter past experiences, peer pressure and deep-rooted insecurity.


  • Some individuals get stressed much before the time of the interview owing to previous experiences of faring poorly in interviews. They feel the upcoming interview may end up as a rehash of the earlier ones that did not go well.
  • For some interview candidates, peer pressure acts as a stress factor. They keep thinking about how other contenders may fare better than them at the interview.
  • Sometimes, people get anxious before an interview if it involves applying for a new position or if the position is in a high-profile company. These factors pressurize their mind from within.  
  • For some individuals, interview stress is often caused by a lack of confidence. They get affected by thoughts of being judged by parameters like grooming and looks more than others at interviews.


Some effective strategies to cope with interview stress and enhance your prospects ​

 Utilize the below-listed tips to manage stress before the interview effectively.


  • Do your research well

It is natural to feel anxious about appearing in an interview where you will be assessed by people about how you know little. You can reduce the anxiety and stress about the unknown by researching well about the company in advance. It will also be helpful if the interviewers assess your knowledge about the entity. When you learn something about the company, your confidence level shoots up. Check out the website of the organization and do not forget to explore its social media profiles, too. You may also check the profiles of the management staff at the entity.

  • Try mock interview sessions

Without practice, you cannot reach perfection, whether it is for a major exam or a job interview! Undergoing mock interview sessions can be really effective for interview stress management. You can ask a friend or classmate to assist you in this regard or practice on your own using a mirror. Doing several interview role-play sessions will enhance your preparedness for the real interview round. This can be especially useful for candidates who are introverts or lack the confidence to speak fluently with strangers. Everything from your use of vocabulary and body language will improve through practicing such sessions.

  • Find out the location and route details

If you are about to appear at an interview at an unknown place, ensure you find out all details required to reach the venue in time. This may sound quite basic, but a lot of people get stressed before interviews as they overlook this aspect. Not being aware of the interview route and transport options can cause hassles at the eleventh hour, adding to the stress. So, use the internet and other means to find out interview location details and available transport options. You will stay relaxed and overcome stress if you reach the venue before the scheduled time.

  • Gather required documents beforehand

You may need to carry specific documents for an upcoming interview. These may include your educational qualification documents, documents related to previous jobs and certificates of merit etc. Searching frantically for such documents before leaving for the interview is certainly not a good idea and that contributes to the stress, for sure. So, ensure you gather all required documents for the interview and put them neatly in a folder much before the date.

  • Sort the right outfit

Much like keeping the documents ready for an upcoming interview, you should keep the attire ready. Fumbling through the wardrobe for the apt attire just before leaving home for the interview is far from feasible! Picking an apt and comfortable attire is important here. If the attire you wear on the interview day makes you feel uneasy, that may lead to stress. Everything from the shirt to shoes should fit you well.

  • Seek relaxation options

Preparing for the interview and doing research about the company are important, but it is equally necessary to relax your mind. If you keep thinking about the nuances of an upcoming interview, it won’t help you overcome the stress! So, you must look for relaxation options to soothe your mind. Now, there is no fixed solution for this. For some candidates, listening to instrumental or classical music is the best way to seek relaxation while for others it can be a recreational activity like painting. Seeking serenity in the lap of nature may work as well. Spend a few hours in a park or riverside away from the urban clutter, if that works for you.

  • Motivate yourself

Many individuals cannot fathom how to deal with stress before an interview. This is primarily because they fail to overcome the stress-inducing factors affecting their mindset. If the negative emotions and seeds of insecurity tend to cloud your mind before appearing in an interview, it is time to motivate yourself. You may read some books written by noted spiritual leaders and leadership stalwarts. The motivational speeches and videos of such acclaimed leaders are also available online and most of these resources can be accessed for free. Listening to such motivational speeches will help in alleviating your interview stress and anxiety to a large extent.

  • Prepare for difficult questions

It is quite commonplace to come across some uncomfortable questions at an interview. It happens to literally everyone! The trick is not getting nervous when you are asked such questions and answering while maintaining your demeanor. However, it is even more important to prepare for such questions, as far as possible. Some individuals stress about what may happen if they are asked such questions at an upcoming interview. You can reduce stress by preparing answers to such questions. These may include queries on career gaps, lack of experience, change of career etc.

  • Reach in time, post a meal

Ensure you reach the interview venue before time and after you have a proper breakfast or meal. An empty stomach can only add to the stress before the interview. Also, ensure you eat the right type of food before attending an interview. Evade drinking caffeine–based beverages or anything with similar stimulants. Doing so may make you prone to stress, anxiety and excitement- which may be detrimental to your prospects.

  • Stay calm at the venue

To beat the interview stress you have to remain calm even after reaching the venue of the interview. There can be some triggers for stress at the venue as well. Some candidates get stressed at the interview venue owing to triggers like plenty of applicants, multi-level screening or plenty of protocols etc. If you spot any of the stress triggers at the interview venue, train your mind to stay calm. Practicing slow and deep breathing can be helpful in this regard. If your turn is at the end of the time, listening to soothing music on earphones (if it is allowed) may be a good idea.

  • Keep your mind focused at the venue

To evade escalating stress before the interview, ensure you keep your mind focused after reaching the venue. You may have to wait for some time before your turn, logically. Evade observing the other candidates deeply as it may make you distracted and stoke the negative flow of thoughts.


Summing it up


It is normal to feel anxious and stressed about an upcoming interview. Interview stress can affect a college pass out as well as a working professional with a prolific career. Proper planning and preparation can go a long way in mitigating such stress. That will boost your prospect of sailing through the interview, too. 

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