Why Job Interviews Make Us Nervous

Why job interviews make you nervous

Hey everybody, Don Georgevich here with Job Interview Tools. And today, we want to talk about why job interviews make us feel so nervous and me included. If I go on a job interview, I’m nervous too and I’m not supposed to be but we are. Everybody gets nervous on a job interview, whether they show it or not.

For some, they show it more than others. and they show it by not talking because they’re afraid. And what’s actually happening is your mind is kind of building a wall in front of you between you and that interviewer and it’s protecting you. Those nerves are designed to protect us as human beings.

So, if you think about it; a job interview, it’s not really a natural process. It’s just not natural to take somebody and stick them in a room with a couple of other people and have them ask them and probe them with all kinds of questions about things that they’ve done and experiences and how they would do this and that. It’s a very unnatural process. That’s why you feel so nervous.

So, if you take yourself and you go back to the job that you have right now or a job you’ve had before, if you think about it; you were never nervous doing anything on that job. You weren’t nervous in meetings, you weren’t nervous performing your daily tasks or nothing.

But now, we take you out of that, we stick in an interview where people ask you questions and you freeze; your brain freezes and you just don’t know what to say and maybe all kinds of thoughts are coming you at once and not a single one can come out or maybe they all come out at once. I don’t know; everybody is different. Everybody handles the situation differently.

I mean, I’ve known people who were just very vocal and very comfortable talking to anybody. They give presentations all the time. They lead meetings. They’re managers, they work with customers. No problem talking to anybody at any time.

You stick them in an interview and they freeze. And they’re like a deer in the headlights. They don’t know what to say, they don’t know how to answer the questions and everything just hits them at once and they put on a terrible interview performance; just terrible.

And then after that interview, they’re like, “Wow, what just happened? I really screwed that up. Why did I screw that up?”

Well, I’ll tell you why you screwed it up. You didn’t prepare. You didn’t prime yourself. And maybe you’re thinking, “Hold on. Yes I have. I have prepared myself. I have primed myself. I’ve read books. I’ve done everything”.

And all I say is, “If you’re still nervous in the interview and you’re awkward and you’re fumbling over your words you haven’t prepared enough”. You haven’t interviewed enough. It takes practice. It takes effort. It’s not easy. It’s never going to be easy.

If I were to go out and interview right now, I would be nervous and I would probably fumble over my own words, because I’m not prepared for that. And you have to get prepared for that.

So, what’s actually happening in that interview process when interviewers are asking you questions? Well, if you think about it, their asking you about experiences that you have in your past job, which could be from a year or two ago.

Well, all those experiences that you have, those are stored in your long term memory; long term memory back there. Any time our brain goes to access or a long term memory, it’s a disaster because all the pieces of the information; it’s all fragmented and it’s a big mess.

And what happens is when you start talking about a long term experience, your brain immediately says, “Okay, let’s talk about this” and then it challenges itself. It says, “Wait, no; I’ve got a better thing. Let’s say this. Wait no; let this happen first. Wait no; this happened. Put this first”.

And it challenges itself while you’re trying to answer the question and that’s why all this garbage just starts coming out of your mouth and it doesn’t make any sense.

And what a lot of people do is they just keep talking. They try to just talk over it. They keep talking over their words and in circles and then they don’t even know what they said anymore.

And if you don’t know what you said, the interviewer doesn’t know it said either. And they just call that “diarrhea of the mouth”; just ‘blah’; nothing.

So, what you want to do; the way to fix this is to take those long term experiences that you have– things that you did a long time ago– move them over to your short term memory.

How do you do that? Well, you re-remember them. That means you have to think about the things that you’ve done. Now, if you have 20 years of experience, you can’t revisit everything you’ve done last 20 years.

So, what you want to do is take that job description that they have and find out what’s most important to them in that job description. Then go through your experience; whether on your resume or whether you think about it, and think about your experiences that you had that are relevant to what they’re looking for, then re-remember those experiences in detail.

I mean, sit down with a pen and paper for a couple hours and start re-remembering everything that you did on those projects and write it out; write it in detail.

And as you as you go through your first draft, you’re going to remember more things that happened and you’ll go through and you fill in more detail.

And what you’re doing is you’re taking all those long term memory experiences that you have and you’re sorting them out and you’re reorganizing them and you’re putting them in order– in the way that they happened, in the way that you want to talk about them– and you’re moving those over to your short term memory.

And your short term memory is fast, it’s quick and it’s going to allow you to talk about what you did from years ago very quickly, very succinctly so that anyone can understand what you said.

I mean, if I were to ask you what you did yesterday, you’d be like, “Yeah” {boom, boom, boom}. Very quickly, very succinctly you’d be able to tell me what you did yesterday. I ask you what you did six months ago, you are going to be like, “Well, I’ve got to think about it”.

So, re-remember all your work experiences, move it over to your short term memory; that is going to make you feel more comfortable and confident when you’re talking about those experiences.

Now, to take this one step farther. Get yourself a video camera, like I have right here, and pretend you are talking to an interviewer. Just put a picture of an interviewer or maybe some men and women in suits, put it right there in front of that video camera and pretend that they asked you a question like, “Why do you want to leave your last job?” or “Why do you want to work here?” or “Tell me about a project that didn’t work out well”.

And then you go to work. You answer that question. You look at those people and you pretend, you imagine, you visualize yourself physically in the interview and you answer those questions.

And you go back and you watch it. You watch how you answered the questions, you look for how many times you said, “Umm”, “Uh”, “You know” and maybe when you were reaching for certain words and you were struggling.

This is going to show you what you look like in an interview. And if you don’t like what you see, you don’t like how you sound, you can change it. And you practice and you rehearse and you go over, and you go over, and you go over again; that’s how you prime yourself. That’s how you prepare yourself for a job interview.

Another way you can do this is after you prepare and your prime at home, start going on any job interview you can get; anybody who’s willing to interview you, even if you don’t want the job. Just go out there and get the interview; just for practice.

This is going to stretch your nervousness. It’s going to take those nerves that you feel that are so tight and you’re going to go on the interview and you’re going to try hard and you’re going to stretch them out and you’re going to learn to become comfortable in front of people that you’ve never met before who want to probe and ask you all kinds of questions.

And you keep doing this over and over and over. Just take any interview you can get; anything, and go talk to somebody and stretch your experiences, stretch your mind and practice on real live people.

And then when the actual job comes up for the place that you really want to be at, you’re going to be in such a better state, a stronger state, a more confident state to go in there and express why you want to work here and the things that you can do for them and you’re going to do it in a very natural way.

And employers are going to be magnetized to you. They’ll be like, “Wow, you sound great. Yeah, we like everything you said. You seem really comfortable here. We would like to make an offer”.

But if you do the opposite and you don’t prepare and you think you’re just going to go into a job interview and wing it, get used to disappointment, because right now, I could not even go into a job interview and just wing it. I couldn’t.

I would have to look at that company. I would have to look at that job description. I’d have to think about how I could add value to that position. I’d have to put some thought into it. And so do you.

So, do that for your next interview; prepare, go back and look at maybe two or three different projects that you’ve worked on in the last few years and re-remember those.

Write out those, break them down, create a framework of everything that you did; maybe you were teaching a class, rewrite out how you would teach that class or if you’re an engineer or a software developer, talk about specific projects that you worked on and re-remember all those details. That’s going to put you in such a more comfortable and confident position in the interview.

Employers are going to want to hire you because most people don’t do this. You take 10 candidates, employer interviews 10 candidates, one or two really puts the effort into preparing and I want that to be you. And I know that’s going to be you.

How do I know that’s going to you? Because you’re here watching me today. You’re trying to make yourself better. You want to make yourself better. You want to be better.

And people who don’t want to be better, they’re not here, they’re not watching me today, they’re not trying to improve anything. They just they just want a job. They want to work. They just want a paycheck.

But I know you want more than that. I know you want more and you can have it and this is how you get it. It’s not hard; nothing is hard. You just have to put the time into it. Alright, my friend?

Now, before your next interview, I strongly suggest grabbing a copy of the Complete Interview Answer Guide. This is going to help you go farther than I can here in this video today. This is going to teach you how to answer like 140 different questions.

It’s going to teach you how to answer behavioral questions using the STAR method; where we talk about the situation, the task, the action and the result– those behavioral questions. Employers are going to ask you those and those count very heavily in a job interview. Usually, around 60 to 70 percent are weighted on competency behavioral questions.

This guide covers other questions like, “Why do you want to work here?” “What are your strengths?” “What are your weaknesses?” “What are your complements?” “Why do you want to leave your last job?” “Tell me about yourself”. I go into a lot of detail on all these questions in this guide. It’s about 120 pages and it’s going to go farther in the interview process.

I mean, are you going to get every job interview for? Absolutely not; nobody does. But this is going to prepare you for the interview process.

This guide available in e-book. You can download the e-book from jobinterviewtools.com. It’s like 50 bucks. It also comes in audio, so you can put the audio tracks on your phone. It comes in video; if you’d like to watch more videos of me answering questions. It’s got a whole bunch of those. It’s also available hardcopy. I’d ship it to you.

And so, there you have it. I strongly recommend getting the Complete Interview Answer Guide before your next interview because it’s just going to help you so much in the interview process. It’s going to help you get prepared.

Another thing you can do; like I said, I encourage you to make videos of yourself answering questions, kind of like I do here. But do this for yourself so you can critique yourself, so you can evaluate what you look like in front of the employer.

So, you can basically pick questions out of this book and then pretend employers are asking you those questions and then you answer them in front of a video camera and then you go back and you watch that video and you say, “Wow, I look pretty good” or “You know what? I think I need a little bit of work here. Here’s how I can improve”. And then you go ahead and you make that improvement and you try again. And you just keep doing it over and over and over again.

And then when you get in the actual interview, you are going to come across as so polished that employers might even hire you on the spot. It does happen. I mean, most employers do about two to three interviews, but sometimes after the first interview, they’re like, “Wow, I don’t see any reason why we shouldn’t make you an offer today”.

And I tell you; that’s actually happened to me before. On a few occasions, I went in for a job interview. I only had one. They were so impressed with everything I brought to the table and just how polished I was that they offered me the job on the spot.

Now, that doesn’t happen all the time and it doesn’t happen a lot of the time, but it does happen. And if you put the effort in, if you put the time in, you increase the chances of getting an offer sooner because it’s separating you from all the competition. Because most of the people who are applying and interviewing for jobs, they’re not putting any effort into preparing for the interview.

But if you do, that shows that you’re willing to go that extra mile for them. And if you’re willing to go that extra mile before you even have a job that means you’re probably going to go that extra mile when you do have that job. You’re going to go a lot farther, you’re going to work harder for them.

And then that’s what employers want that. They want people who want to be a part of something great. Employers want to hire people who want to be a part of something great.

And if you can recognize that and you can recognize what they have and that you want to be a part of that and that you’re excited about who they are and what they’re about and what their values are and what their mission is, you can show that you’re genuinely excited to be a part of that, they’re going to want you. They’re just going to say, “Come on. You’re the kind of people that we want”.

And like I said, most people don’t do this. Most people don’t go that extra mile. And that’s all you have to do; go that little bit extra effort more than everybody else and you’ll nail every job interview that you have.

Alright, that’s all I have for you today. Good luck on your next interview. And I’ll see you in the next video. Bye now.

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About The Author

Don Georgevich

Author of 4 top selling interviewing books, speaker, and job interview strategy coach. The one person everyone calls on before a difficult job interview.

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