How to cope with interview pressure

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Farhan Raja, founder of Job Interviewology, offers interview advice for PR professionals

With the intensity of competition for the best jobs within public relations, it’s no surprise that candidates constantly ask me how they manage the pressure of having to perform at a very important job interview. So here I’ve put together three effective techniques that can help you manage the pressure so you’re able to perform at your absolute best. 

Visualise the moment

Sit in your chair, close your eyes and picture yourself absolutely acing your interview! You’re answering questions such as: “Why do you want to work for us?” “Tell me about yourself?” with confidence and charisma (the way you’ve always wanted to).

Research has shown a direct correlation between visualisation and enhanced sports performance. On top of that, many sports stars such as Wayne Rooney, Michael Phelps and Novak Djokovic, have been renowned for visualising prior to their sporting event. Rooney famously said: “You’re trying to put yourself in that moment and trying to prepare yourself, to have a ‘memory’ before the game.”

I teach the same methods to my clients and one thing I can say is that it works! Ensure that you visualise your interview both in the first and the third person, and you’ll find that when it’s time for the interview you’re able to execute your answers with far more confidence and charisma.


Don’t put the job on a pedestal

Sometimes you want to succeed so bad that you end up putting unwanted pressure on yourself. I remember one of my clients who had an interview for an assistant producer at a huge media company. It was her dream job and one she’d always wanted. Normally she came across fantastically at interviews, however, on this occasion she froze and her interview didn’t go well at all.

So how do you stop putting the job on a pedestal so that it doesn’t impact your performance?  Well, you have to continually remind yourself of two important things:

  • Know that your world isn’t going to fall apart if you don’t get the job. There will be other opportunities around the corner.
  • That you are an amazing candidate whatever the outcome. If you’re not successful it’s their loss.

This mindset will allow you to reduce the amount of pressure that you put on yourself so that it doesn’t hinder your performance.


Practise out loud - Give yourself your very own mini mock interview

The interview is a performance and by physically going through the motions and mimicking how it would be like, you will ensure that when you do enter the interview room your body and mind are acclimatised to what is to come. We do it in other facets of our lives, such as mock driving tests and mock papers before a big exam.  Jonny Wilkinson the English Rugby legend would practise for hours, mimicking real match situations, so that when the moment came his body and mind were able to deal with the pressure.

For you it’s simple, sit in a chair, in front of the mirror, and start giving yourself an interview. Ask yourself the question: “Tell me about  yourself” or “Why do you want to work for us?” Answer the questions out loud as if you’re in the interview. You will find that on the day of the interview you’re able to deal with the pressure and deliver your answers with far more confidence and fluidity.
Job Interviewology provides specialist one-to-one interview coaching, courses and careers-related services. Whether you are an experienced PR professional or a graduate, interview coaching can help you become the strongest version of yourself and empower you to achieve your career goals and ambitions. 

For a free 20-minute interview consultation with one of our experts at please complete this simple form:


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