Managing Pre-Interview Stress: Grounding Techniques

It is perfectly normal to feel stressed before an interview. You may really want the job or you might just be naturally shy. You know that your interviewer will be in control of the conversation and you don’t know what questions they will ask. This stress can lead to anxiety and may make you feel nervous. Here are some grounding techniques to help you reduce and manage your stress and anxiety:

  1. Senses

Sit comfortably, close your eyes and take a couple of deep breaths. In through your nose on a three count, out through your mouth on a three count.

Now open your eyes. Take your time and say out loud:

  • 5 things you can see
  • 4 things you can feel (Examples: the fabric of the chair, the hair on your forearms, the smoothness of your teeth)
  • 3 things you can hear (Examples: the ticking of a clock, the birds outside, the hum of the air conditioning).
  • 2 things you can smell 
  • 1 thing you can taste (It might be a good idea to have a piece of candy or a mint handy before you start this process. Otherwise, can you still taste the peanut butter and jelly sandwich you had for lunch).

Take a deep breath to end.

  1. Visualize

Imagine the interview going well. Imagine, shaking your interviewers hand and saying you’ll see them on Monday. Imagine coming to work, sitting at your desk and enjoying your new start. Take a look at your negative thoughts and see if they are realistic. Being aware of your unrealistic, negative thoughts can often make them disappear.

  1. Release Your Energy

Sometimes if you are stressed, you are not able to concentrate enough to do some of the grounding exercises listed above. Releasing this pent-up stress and energy can help you relax.

  • Go for a run outside or on a treadmill
  • Clean up the kitchen or vacuum
  • Turn up the music and dance, dance, dance

Once you’ve exerted some energy, sit down and try some of the exercises one more time.

  1. Feel

Hold an object (preferably an object with texture) and close your eyes. Focus on its characteristics.

  • Is it rough or smooth?
  • How heavy is it?
  • Can you close your fist around it or is it much larger?
  • What is the shape of the object?

Now open your eyes and examine that same object.

  • How many colors can you see?
  • How long or short?
  • Are there patterns or pictures of any kind?

Congratulations! You’re now mentally and emotionally prepared for your interview. Just remember, you’ve got this!

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