More than a year and a half later and we still have a pandemic looming over our world. Most of us can admit we are sick and tired of the lack of surety we face in our careers because of it. Too many businesses have had to make financial cutbacks to stay afloat. Often, this included letting employees go. According to the Alberta economic dashboard, we were at a 13.4% unemployment rate in 2020, and despite the drop in numbers, our current 9% is still devastating. The pandemic wasn’t biased with who they put out of work; you were either essential or not, open or closed, fighting to stay open or booming in business.
Workopolis surveyed over 4000 people and found that 6% of people have held one job during their lifetime and only 16% have held more than ten. Whether you are a millennial accustomed to interviews or a loyal gen x who has held onto one job your whole life – here you are, faced with the reality that you need to find a new job.
At this moment, reality sets in, and you realize finding a new job means facing an interview, and as I already mentioned, for some, this is the first interview they’ve had in years. After interviewing hundreds of people, I can tell you that most are nervous – some to the point of near tears and hyperventilation. I could tell you many stories, but instead, I went on a mission to find out what the statistics were for people who are anxious about interviews. Though I searched hard for Canadian statistics, I had to settle for the American numbers – 93% of Americans are nervous for an interview. If your jaw dropped at the number, you are not alone because so did mine. However, it made me reflect over the many interviews I’ve held, and despite trying to make people feel comfortable, anxiety seems to win every time.
After reading those numbers, it’s easy to feel defeated and overwhelmed, especially if you have already attempted interviews where you could barely speak, started shaking and fidgeting, or even worse, uncontrollably sweated through your clothes. Chances are, your anxiety played a huge part in your rejection. Often we are told the best ways to deal with stress are meditation, visualization and breathwork. But as someone who has sat on both sides of the table, I can honestly say, when you realize you need these tactics, it’s too late. Let me be clear; I am not encouraging you to meditate during an interview because you’ll likely face the same rejection.
So what is the answer to facing an interview? It’s pretty simple – prepare. Anxiety tends to come from stress and fear; it could be not knowing what the interviewer will ask or if you will have the correct answers to their questions. It could be from not understanding the company and what they do, or how you should dress for the particular environment. Being prepared will give you the answers to these questions, and though it may not relieve all your anxiety, it will help ease the majority of your fear and stress.
Some people may choose to prepare for interviews on their own, but the very thought can start a whole new level of anxiety for others. Since this entire article is about helping you past your fear and into the job of your dreams, I want to offer help.
Balanced Perspectives has created a program that will help prepare you for an interview and essentially ease your anxiety. My colleagues and I will help you work through questions and responses and teach you how to be ready for the unknown. Starting with the resume and ending with you having the confidence to nail that interview. If you find yourself overwhelmed or in need of help, we are here to assist; besides, I may be a little biased, but we kind of know what we’re doing.
Originally published June 2021.