Addressing Anxiety: Your Guide To Staying Calm Before An Interview

Telephone Tenacity: Your Guide to Acing Your Next Phone Interview

by Jason Kelly, Healthcare Recruiter, Acclivity Healthcare

With our careers, as in our lives, our greatest fear can be fear itself. Anxiety frequently sabotages interviews, preventing even the most qualified professionals from thriving. The following tips will help you minimize fear, maximize confidence, and get you your dream job:


One of the easiest ways to reduce anxiety both before and during a stressful event is to focus your breathing. Take deep breaths through your nose and into your belly; inhale until your belly is full; then exhale slowly through your mouth. Make sure to practice this method regularly prior to the interview so that you will be able to do it without thinking.


Dwelling too much on the interview before it happens will only exacerbate anxiety. Once you are fully prepared, consider watching a movie, reading a book, chatting with a friend, or otherwise distracting yourself from the stressful event ahead.


Working out reduces anxiety in both the short and long terms. Regular exercise reduces stress and keeps your body healthy, lowering the risk of chronic anxiety. In the short term, exercise tires you out, relieves stress, and reduces fear. Of course, you do not want to be sweaty or exhausted during the interview, but even mild exercises like walking or stretching will keep fear and stress at bay.

In addition to positive anxiety coping tactics, you also must know what not to do. Try not to consume much caffeine or alcohol in the 24 hours prior to the interview. Avoid interactions with people who cause you stress, and do not stay up late the night before. The better you are at avoiding harmful behaviors, the more effective your coping strategies will be.

Documentation Prep

Assemble all documents that could possibly help during the interview, including your CV, letters of recommendation, and any visual aids that will demonstrate your accomplishments. Not only will you be less anxious about preparation, but you can use the documents to remember what to talk about and reinforce your points; the risk that you will misspeak or leave something out will be lower, further reducing your anxiety.

Simulation Exercise

Have a friend conduct a simulated interview before the real one. Not only will this help you practice your answers, but it will also make you more accustomed to the interview environment, causing you to feel more comfortable and less anxious.

Q and A Session

In addition to simulating the interview, think of questions you are likely to be asked and write down your answers. This will help you focus your thoughts, making you more certain about what you need to say and less anxious of making a mistake. You can also bring the answers to the interview.

Though many of these tips are likely to reduce fear and stress, addressing anxiety is ultimately an individual matter. The key is to find a strategy that works for you, follow it, and preserve your mental health throughout your career.