Nobody likes interviewing, but one phenomenon, known as interview paralysis, has an extraordinary capacity to elude our preparedness. The name pretty well sums up what's occurring: frozen anxiety that happens before and/or during an interview. It makes it nearly impossible to go into an interview and provide your best effort to amaze the interviewers. Each person will have interview paralysis for a different reason. Here are some strategies for responding to them.
- Having little trust in your own abilities and experience - Make a list of everything you've done that relates to the position you're applying for, no matter how small. Get rid of the scarcity mindset. Once you do, you'll be astonished by how much you show up for yourself. The interview process doesn't need to be one-sided. Remember that you are not the only one being evaluated in the circumstance; you also have power.
- The perception that there is no room for blunders - In an interview, don't be afraid to halt and admit a mistake or misstep. It's impressive when you have this level of self-awareness because it gives you a moment to gather your thoughts and start over. In this manner, your one error will not result in an entire interview with the same error.
- Using metrics outside of your control to frame interview results - Although challenging, redefining success can help tremendously reduce stress and prevent interview paralysis. Remind yourself that the interview's outcome is entirely out of your control and that the job is not contingent on this particular interview. Instead, develop new success metrics.
- Inadequate preparation for the interview - Poor interview preparation sends subtle messages to yourself about the task's relevance as well as your own self-perception. Being thoroughly prepared takes time and effort, and it comes out as unprofessional when you aren’t prepare. Whether or not you are fully aware, it can dramatically worsen paralysis.