anonymous Asks ...
I am a hugely qualified candidate that is 2 years out of a Master’s degree program and I am still unemployed. The reason: I freeze up with anxiety in interviews. At the worst this has led me to cut-short an interview because I think I was having a panic attack but normally I just freeze up mentally so when they ask questions, even about subjects I am incredibly knowledgeable about, I can’t think of a thing to say and come off looking like an idiot. Unfortunately, I do not get better at interviews with practice… like everyone keeps telling me I will. If anything, it is the opposite. The more I mess up in interviews the more sure I am that I will mess up when going into a new interview and so I walk in feeling already pessimistic and anxious. Here’s the weird thing…I am not an anxious person in other areas of my life. A friend suggested toast masters as a way to relieve my problem and I tried it and had no issue with it, because I am fine with public speaking …it is only this one narrowly defined situation that causes me problems. What do you suggest I do to reverse this?
David Johnson Says ...
I would suggest you see a therapist for a while. There is something about your feelings and/or thoughts about your job of choice or interviewing itself that is triggering your anxiety. Understanding the fears you have about yourself will give you greater self-confidence.
Meanwhile keep interviewing for a job. Anxiety is largely the result of worrying about a fearful feeling. The more you worry, the more anxiety you will have. The more you struggle with with anxiety while interviewing, the more worry you will have. You need to be able to ride through high anxiety and calm yourself while you are interviewing. That will take more practice than you will like. Your therapist also may be able to help you by role playing the interview situation and giving you a lot of practice.
I wish you the very best.