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Don’t Let Self Doubt Mess Up Your Interview

You just received a call for an interview. That’s wonderful news! But what if you get nervous? What if you make a poor first impression? What if you answer all the questions wrong? Stop right there. Don’t let self-doubt mess up your interview.

How to Keep Self-Doubt OUT of Your Interview

Remind Yourself Why You’re There

You may picture the hiring team eagerly awaiting their next interview victim. They can’t wait to deny yet another candidate. Only, this doesn’t make sense. Hiring is an expensive and time-consuming process. Companies WANT to find the right person. They contacted you because they were impressed by your resume, and they’re hoping you’re a good fit. In other words, you’ve already passed half of the test.

Talk Back to Your Negative Inner Voice

Do you hear that chattering in your head? “You’re not qualified.” “Everyone’s better than you.” “You’ll probably fail.” THAT is your inner self-doubter, and it’s a huge and unnecessary distraction. Of course, silencing this negativity is easier said than done. Nevertheless, you can talk back. When doubt rears its ugly head and taunts, “What if you can’t?” respond, “What if I can?” This gives you a whole new perspective.


If you’re well prepared for your interview (and you know it), self-doubt will have a tough time getting the upper hand. Think of your interview as an athletic contest or performance. The more you prepare, the more confident you’ll feel. Start by researching common interview questions. Then rehearse your answers in front of a mirror. Or better yet, role-play mock interviews with friends or family members.

Tell Yourself You’re Excited

You may believe the best way to calm your pre-interview jitters is to tell yourself to calm down. However, a 2014 study found that people who said, “I am excited” instead of “I am anxious” before a difficult task performed better. Why does this work? Ultimately, there’s a fine line between anxiety and excitement. Both cause an elevated heart rate and butterflies in your stomach, but we perceive anxiety as negative and excitement as positive. So, rather than trying to suppress your emotions, simply convince yourself to view them differently.

Embrace Rejection as Part of the Process

So, what if your job interview doesn’t go as well as planned? Guess what? Despite all the worst-case scenarios you may have dreamed up, it won’t be the end of the world. That’s right. Although rejection feels awful, everyone needs to deal with setbacks every now and again. So, rather than looking at your interview as a DO or DIE event, take the pressure off. If you succeed, great. If not, make a list of what you learned and use this knowledge to perform better next time.

Are You Hoping to Ace Your Next Interview?

The Halpin Staffing Services recruiters can help you find the right job AND guide you through the interview process. We place skilled trades workers, administrative staff, and other professionals throughout Southeastern Wisconsin and Northeastern Illinois. Browse our available openings and start preparing for your next interview today!



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