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Conquering Interview Anxiety - Take This Interview Performance Stress Assessment.    If you interview, you will experience interview anxiety. It's a given for any human being. To conquer this performance anxiety, you need to know what causes your interview nerves, what the symptoms are and how to control the performance stress. Take a 75-item self-assessment on the symptoms of stage fright as applied to interview stress. Discover a master mind tools plan to beat interview stress and you'll rise to the occasion to reach your full performance potential.    1029 words.
The Mental Game Coach, Peak Performance Playbook

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Conquering Interview Anxiety

Take This Interview Performance Stress Assessment

Bill Cole, MS, MA
Founder and CEO
William B. Cole Consultants
Silicon Valley, California

Even thinking about your upcoming interview has you on edge.

Practicing for it stresses you out.

Getting dressed and ready to go for it makes you want to go back to bed.

In actually beginning the interview, you want to look for a place to hide.

You have a bad case of interview anxiety.

You know what this stress is all about. It whacks you right upside the head.

And you know what bad things it can do to your chances of having a successful interview. Tons of bad things.

The Stress Of Interviewing

What do you call this anxiety? It's been referred to in many ways, and has many variations and degrees of severity. Here are some of the more common names:

  1. Performance anxiety
  2. Acting panic
  3. Interview anxiety
  4. Interview panic
  5. Choking
  6. Nerves
  7. Nervous apprehension
  8. Speaking anxiety
  9. Actor's nerves
  10. Show and tell stress
  11. Fear of performing
  12. Shyness
  13. Social inhibition
  14. Social anxiety

The Facts About Interview Stress

It's reassuring and powerful to realize these essential truths about what scares you. The first step to getting this fear response under your control is to demystify it.

  1. Interview stress is normal. If you're human, you're going to get it.
  2. Interview stress hits most people, even experienced performers.
  3. You will never completely conquer interview stress, yet you can manage it.
  4. The more mind tools you have to beat interview stress, the better you will perform.
  5. People interview fine all the time--even though they are suffering from interview stress during the actual interview.
  6. Beating interview stress is not about being perfect or about being fear-free. It's about adjusting and managing your anxiety and using it to fuel your performances.

What Causes Interview Stress?

People rarely get interview stress hanging out with their friends. There's no hostile audience there and no consequences if you "mess up". Add a combative, evaluative interrogator and some importance to the situation and you have the potential for a nice case of interview stress.

So why does it happen?

  1. Your body's chemistry kicks in to get you ready to perform.
  2. You may inaccurately misinterpret those feelings that you are "nervous".
  3. You mistakenly believe nerves to be "bad".
  4. You then worry that this is proof that you are about to fail and embarrass yourself.
  5. You then worry about worrying.
  6. The negative cycle continues.
  7. You selectively choose further nervousness as proof that you are panicking and about to fail.
  8. All these symptoms combine to ignite a full-blown attack of nerves.

Bingo. You have a bad case of interview stress.

The Symptoms Of Interview Stress

Here are 75 symptoms of interview stress that people I've coached have described to me. You may want to use this as a self-assessment and rate yourself to see specifically how interview stress affects you.

  1. Shaking legs
  2. Wobbly knees
  3. Racing thoughts
  4. Irrational thoughts
  5. Feeling nauseous
  6. Pounding heart
  7. Shortness of breath
  8. Sweaty palms
  9. Tingling sensations
  10. Headaches
  11. Racing heartbeat
  12. Heartbeat may seem louder
  13. Poor motor control
  14. Trembling hands
  15. Can't catch breath
  16. Flashbacks
  17. Thinking something bad is going to happen
  18. Feeling you will die
  19. General anxiety, with no anchor
  20. Nausea
  21. Constipation
  22. Disconnection with self
  23. Numbness in body
  24. Muscle tension
  25. Moodiness
  26. Avoidance behaviors
  27. Rushing
  28. Freezing
  29. Negative thinking
  30. Fearful imagery
  31. Nightmares
  32. Eating too much
  33. Inability to eat
  34. Avoidance of people
  35. Inability to control thoughts
  36. Inability to control images
  37. Breath very high in chest
  38. Hyperventilation
  39. Voice may crack
  40. Difficulty concentrating
  41. Sudden tiredness
  42. Emotional flatness
  43. Insomnia
  44. Fear the anxiety will spiral out of control
  45. Breathing difficulty
  46. Dizziness
  47. Memory loss
  48. Sensory deprivation
  49. Cold palms
  50. Sweaty palms
  51. Voice may constrict and pitch may increase
  52. Dry throat
  53. Negative thoughts
  54. Stiff movements
  55. Poor coordination
  56. Stumbling and bumbling
  57. Heavy legs
  58. Frozen movements
  59. Stiff neck and shoulder
  60. Impaired vision and hearing
  61. Impaired sense of timing
  62. Self-consciousness
  63. Butterflies/queasiness in stomach
  64. Cold feet
  65. Shaking voice
  66. Obsessive thoughts
  67. Poor balance
  68. Distorted sense of elapsed time
  69. Tunnel vision
  70. Panic attack
  71. Spinning sensations
  72. Blushing
  73. Sudden heat in body
  74. Uncomfortable feelings
  75. Feeling cold for no reason

Conquering Stage Fright

You want to create a mental training system that gives you powers of self-regulation under extreme stress. You should have these mind game skills:

  1. Learn a relaxation system.
  2. Master a self-discipline system.
  3. Devise a pre-program psych-up system.
  4. Learn how to adjust mentally in your performance.
  5. Set your attitude so you place less pressure on yourself.
  6. Discover approaches that will get you into the zone.
  7. Develop an in-performance mistake-management system.
  8. Learn how to stay positive under pressure.
  9. Find ways to enjoy yourself when you perform.
  10. Use performing as a way to discover yourself.
  11. Devise ways to connect with your audience.
  12. Learn to rise above stress control to inspire yourself.
  13. Create the conditions to perform to your potential

Your Next Steps In Controlling Interview Stress

  1. Find a coach who is an expert in this area.
  2. Make sure there is chemistry with you and the coach.
  3. Take the 75 item self-assessment test above to be aware of your symptoms.
  4. Begin keeping an interview stress performance journal.
  5. Continue performing to learn about performance psychology and you.
  6. Become a student of peak performance psychology.

Finally, don't give up. The only people who fail to conquer interview stress are those who quit interviewing. Even the most severe cases of interview stress can be helped. Hang in there. There is hope.

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   The Interview Success Guide
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This article is an excerpt from the Interview Success Guide, an indispensable tool you need to make your interview campaign a big success. This is a 216-page master blueprint that helps you understand and navigate the interview process so you can mount a successful interview campaign. This book has deep, insightful and immediately applicable interview wisdom that demystifies the world of interviewing. It also has over 400 questions, listed by category, for a variety of careers and jobs, which you could be asked in an interview. There are also over 1200 interview task reminders, questions and guidelines in checklist form so you leave nothing to chance in your job hunt. This guide gives you a step-by-step approach to mastering the interview process. Everything you need to do, from the moment you begin your job hunt to when you accept the position, is covered. We have thought of everything you could possibly need to know to conduct a comprehensive, smart job hunt campaign. Learn more about The Interview Success Guide and purchase it in pdf format, downloadable directly from this website. The Interview Success Guide eBook is also available in Amazon Kindle format and Barnes & Noble Nook format.

To learn more about how interview coaching can help you improve your abilities in media situations, oral test and exam situations, and job interviews visit Bill Cole, MS, MA, the Mental Game Coach™, at: www.mentalgamecoach.com/Services/InterviewCoaching.html.

Copyright © Bill Cole, MS, MA. All rights reserved.

Bill Cole, MS, MA, a leading authority on peak performance, mental toughness and coaching, is founder and CEO of William B. Cole Consultants, a consulting firm that helps organizations and professionals achieve more success in business, life and sports. He is also the Founder and President of the International Mental Game Coaching Association (www.mentalgamecoaching.com), an organization dedicated to advancing the research, development, professionalism and growth of mental game coaching worldwide. He is a multiple Hall-Of-Fame honoree as an athlete, coach and school alumnus, an award-winning scholar-athlete, published book author and articles author, and has coached at the highest levels of major-league pro sports, big-time college athletics and corporate America. For a free, extensive article archive, or for questions and comments visit him at www.MentalGameCoach.com.

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Interview Anxiety  
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