Do stress and job interviews go together?

Loïc Braunavatar

Published on 06/05/2024, by Loïc Braun

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Job interviews are a fundamental aspect of professional life. Whether it's for a permanent or a fixed-term contract, an internship or a work-study contract, they are necessary to enable an employer to assess a candidate's skills and experience.


Applying for an offers is the first step, and it can be a stressful one: will I get an interview? Following a positive response, there's a brief moment of relief, before the stress reappears, this time waiting for the interview. So how do you manage this stress and, above all, how do you turn it into a strength to persuade the employer that YOU are the ideal profile for the job? 


First of all, it's important to recognise that this reaction is perfectly normal and natural. Our aim is not to give you solutions to get rid of it, but rather advice on how to manage it.

Some tips on how to manage stress before a job interview


Taking legal or illegal addictive substances is not a solution! The truth is, there is no miracle cure. However, there are ways of managing stress effectively.


Start by identifying the source of the stress: where does it come from? From the interview that awaits you, which is not wrong. But in reality, you need to think even further ahead, because this stress can be caused by a variety of reasons. For example, it could come from the waiting of the interview itself, and in particular from uncertainty about what to expect. Fear of not living up to expectations is also a major factor, leading to a feeling of lack of self-confidence and inadequate preparation. However, you should see this as an opportunity, because if the employer has selected you for an interview, it's because they are particularly interested in your profile. Don't let yourself be overcome by impostor syndrome*!


Self-confidence and self-assurance are essential in a job interview. Take the time to list your skills and professional experience. Chatting with people close to you to get their perspective on your qualities and even your flaws can help you learn more about yourself and highlight your strengths. Acknowledging and accepting your flaws can build trust with the recruiter and demonstrate a desire to work on yourself. This can be interpreted as a sign of maturity and honesty.


Preparation is the key to a successful interview. Make sure to visualise and rehearse your interview beforehand to anticipate the questions and your responses. Find out as much as you can about your interviewer and the company. Preparing in advance, by gathering the necessary documents and checking the logistical details, can also reduce some of the stress. To ensure a good exchange and show your interest in the company and the job, make sure to note down some questions to ask during the interview.


The outfit you select is crucial, as it is the initial impression the employer will have. Adapt your outfit to the business sector, the company culture and the position for which you are applying. Dressing appropriately conveys a professional image and demonstrates your conscientiousness and respect for the company. In some more conservative sectors, opt for formal wear. In more creative sectors, you may be more flexible when it comes to choosing the colors of your outfits and accessories.


Some tips on how to manage stress during a job interview


The interview is fast approaching and you have the chance to secure your dream job. Be confident, positive and smile to grab the recruiter's attention before you even start talking. Firm steps, raised shoulders and frank eye contact inspire confidence in the person you're talking to


Although stress is more prevalent than ever, it's crucial not to let it overwhelm you. Be confident in your preparation and in your ability to answer questions clearly and with impact. After all, it would be a shame to let this opportunity slip away because of a little stress.


Don't be afraid to ask the interviewer questions, they won't bite. 😉 Indeed, this is the perfect opportunity for you to gather information about the company and the job, but also to help you feel more at ease and reduce your stress. Additionally, it will demonstrate your interest in the job and your investment prior to being hired.


Are things not going as planned? The recruiter might ask you questions you weren't expecting - what a surprise! Don't let this put you off, keep calm and remain confident! Don't hesitate to rephrase the question or repeat it to save time before answering. Be convincing in your answer, even if you weren't prepared for it. The aim is to demonstrate your adaptability and your capacity to deal with the unexpected. Keep in mind, you can't plan everything, and a little improvisation never hurts!

In order to present your skills and personality effectively, it's crucial to manage stress during a job interview. By adopting strategies such as careful preparation, controlling your thoughts and maintaining a positive attitude, you can turn stress into a force that will enable you to shine at any interview. Finally, remember that stress is a normal response and that you have the tools you need to manage it and find your dream job.

*Imposter syndrome is the tendency to doubt its skills, talents, or accomplishments and the persistent internalized fear of being exposed as frauds.

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