My Top Tips to curb your Post Interview Anxiety

When I held Nisha’s hand with a vice like grip it was to stop her from biting her hands off.  No, not in the literal sense of course, but she was stressed enough to bite her non-existent finger nails to extinction. Reason? STRESS; yes the six letter horrible word that every employee these days is so well acquainted with.

The reasons and effects of STRESS have been spoken about ad-nauseum, that, I assure you this blog will not at all STRESS upon the word STRESS. So,“What exactly was Nisha so stressed about?” It turns out she attended an interview and she was waiting for the results. I groaned inwardly, shuddering at that memory. Who has not experienced the heart wrenching, stomach curdling, excruciatingly long, waiting period after you give an interview? (Yes, I am breaking every rule in the Technical writing book, writing wordy sentences, but this occasion demands these adjectives, believe me)

I abruptly left her, knowing this is going to be a very long discussion. Got a hot cuppa,came back to find her still fiddling with her ridiculously small hands. In a last bid to save her hands hastily I placed the cup in her palms.Enlivened she burst out saying “I have still not heard from them, what do I do?”  I automatically answered “You wait” , realized I am not really helping her, all the while thinking to myself: “How can we fast forward time?”, “How can we assuredly get things that we so desperately want?”  Most important, “How to teach ourselves to be patient and calm during such stressful situations?”

I have been through this before, why even Nisha has been through this before but the feeling never gets stale, it hits us in a wave and leaves us breathless. This waiting period is always hard, much harder than rejection. I personally feel getting rejected on the spot is far better than getting rejected after a week. At least you get to move on after the rejection, the hurt will be the same but it will heal faster, right?

On that note, my top tips for helping you through this hard period of waiting are:

  1. Distract yourself crazy:  Work like a maniac. Don’t stop working even for a moment. Even when you are on a break don’t let yourself think about the Interview. Chat with your friends (I almost typed ‘Chat with yourself’, you can even do that if it helps 🙂 ) or read a book. Just don’t keep your mind idle, it’ll always nag you.
  2. Talk with your Friends: If you have a friend like me who can lend her empathetic ear, go ahead, spew out your frustration. Go talk to your friends, discuss how hard it is to wait and make a joke of it. You might even get to hear funny things people do to pass that waiting period.
  3. Don’t stop looking out: Just because you are waiting to hear from one company doesn’t mean you have to stop looking. In fact occasional pessimists like me search even harder during that time because by some weird logic of ours we think the blow of rejection is less if we have another opportunity on the horizon.
  4. Stop yourself from dreaming too hard: Some people build an entire castle after they attend the first interview. Do not do that. Disappointment is harder to digest when you have over-invested in thoughts. Be realistic. You may or may not get the job. So stop counting your chickens before they hatch (my favorite idiom 🙂 ). You can do that if you don’t focus too much on the result.
  5. Do not burn down your bridges: Do not burn the bridges in your current company by neglecting your work, or being inefficient. Never give your manager a reason to give you bad feedback or reference, for that matter. You are still working in your current company, be professional and do a good job of your task. Nobody should ever regret hiring you.
  6. Don’t take rejection personally: I mention this under the waiting period tips because this feeling is usually a residue of the waiting period. People think over and over about why they were rejected. If you want to learn from your mistakes, by all means do that but don’t blame yourself for not getting the job. Companies have their own reasons to hire or reject a candidate. And, you will always have another opportunity.

Some unorthodox tips

How much longer?
How much longer?

Pray, Hope for the best, Use Yoga or some relaxing methods to keep yourself calm. If only, getting stressed ensured me a job I would double up my stress levels but that will not happen so double up your efforts in staying calm. Remember “Just because you are struggling does NOT mean you are failing.  Every great success requires some kind of struggle to get there.” – Anonymous

We human beings are very impatient, patience is a learned virtue. Such scenarios truly test our patience. Coming back to Nisha I convinced her to drown herself in her work which she was not very inclined to do but eventually did and Yes, she eventually did hear from them and No, she didn’t get the job. But, she is already hard at work for another job interview and I am sure she will get the job she needs and deserves.  What is that saying again? “Stop beating yourself up.  You are a work in progress; which means you get there a little at a time, not all at once. “(Courtesy: The 7 habits of highly effective people)

Very true , isn’t it?

Do you have any tips on how to stay calm during that tense and stressful waiting period? What do you do? Do share your special tips with me and help people like Nisha and me ride through this difficult phase.

(Photo Courtesy: Flickr)

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