Trouble with interviewing

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  • #4846
    Melissa Peskin

    I always get very nervous about interviewing and feel as though it affects the outcome of the interview as well as my mindset going in. This has made me hesitant when applying to jobs. Does anyone have any recommendations or suggestions as to how to overcome these issues or ways you might have gone about feeling confident while interviewing?

    AJ Lingg

    I would say just keep applying to as many jobs as you can. Practice interviewing is the only thing that has really helped me out, but after you get the first couple under your belt it is a lot easier to stay composed when you interview.

    Kylie Hellenbrand

    Reply to Melissa Peskin of #4846:

    I agree with AJ. I tend to get very nervous for interviews or anytime I have to public speak, and practicing helps a ton. I also try to brainstorm several talking points (school projects, classes, jobs) beforehand along with their takeaways so I’m not scrambling to come up with answers during the interview.

    Grace Ziegler

    I agree the above posts, I get very nervous with public speaking and interviews. But throughout this semester I applied to so many internships and had the opportunity to interview for many of them so the more I did the more comfortable I felt in the next interview. Don’t be hesitant when applying for jobs just because you’re afraid of the interview process. If anything I’d say that applying for more and having interviews for positions that wouldn’t be your first choice still gets you practice and helps getting comfortable with the types of questions being asked.

    Ashley Hellenbrand

    I agree with all the above posts. Like Grace said, I definitely think the more interviews you go to, the better you’ll handle them. Over winter break, I had 5 in-person interviews within a 3 week time frame. By the second, third, etc. interview, I felt really calm. Luckily, my top choice of an employer was my last interview. By that time, I was relaxed and handled any questions with ease. I ended up getting an offer, which was great! In my opinion, practice and repetition is key.

    Tina Lu

    Coming from a person who changed job twice within three years after graduating, I am still very nervous about job interviews. I have been on the hiring end too so the company is definitely interested in you if you are getting an interview. Just relax and make sure you can talk about your resume and how that’s related to the job description/what project would help you succeed in the job. I also found looking at glassdoor before going into an interview helpful.

    Kjerstin Gronski


    Reading through this string has made me think a lot about my interviewing experience. I agree with everything everyone has said above and do have a few specific comments that may be useful. One thing that I did prior to interviewing that I found very helpful was to learn as much as possible about the position, company, potential department, etc. prior to going into the interview. I think that it would help me be more confident going into the interview because I felt more prepared and also it can help you tailor your answers to the company and their niche. Obviously honesty is always the key, but there are certainly ways to incorporate the companies beliefs into your experience and also this understanding can help you know what parts of your experience to focus on in the limited time of an interview. Now as part of interviewing committees in my company, I always notice when candidates know about the company and the position and incorporate that knowledge into their responses.

    Another tip I have has been said a million times, but I totally recommend looking at sample interview questions and taking the time to either write or at least think through and outline of how you would answer them. You don’t want to look “rehearsed” when answering but being prepared is always a good thing (it also helps me a lot from a confidence perspective).


    J Weigandt

    Believe it or not, your posture and breathing will help out with your nerves. Also, visualization has been very helpful with preparing – kind of go through mock interviews in you mind ahead of time and see yourself doing well. Be aware of fight- or- flight response, it will mess up your breathing and subsequent ability to be coherent if you let it.

    Agree with KJ, and in fact one of my recent interview questions was “Tell me what you did to prepare for this interview”


    Interviewing is never an easy process however going into an interview prepared can help take away some of the initial nerves. In my opinion, some of the most helpful practices to prepare for an upcoming interview are:

    • Setting up mock interviews with people that intimidate you
    • Readily having “buckets” or specific experiences that you know you want to highlight in the interview
    • Utilizing the STAR format when describing your experiences. The STAR format is commonly used in behavioral interviews and help the interviewers dissect your response in a way that can clearly highlight what you did. STAR stands for:
      • Situation
      • Tasks
      • Actions
      • Results
    • Practice answering interview questions in the mirror to get comfortable saying your responses out-loud and making eye-contact
    • Lastly, be yourself. Remember, the interviewers are trying to get a better idea of who you are. This is your time to tell your story and highlight all of the great things about yourself. Be confident and calm. You are just having a conversation about a topic you know best — you!

    Good luck!

    Grace Allen

    Some important advice that I learned is that it is okay to take a breath and a moment to gather your thoughts. If you are stressed about a difficult question and don’t have an immediate answer, it is okay to take a few seconds to come up with an educated and adequate reply. I have a tendency to need to feel uncomfortable in silence, but learning that it is okay to take a few moments to gather your thoughts has been extremely helpful for me in my interviews.

    Julia Romero

    Some things that have helped me:

    -experience with interviewing. I used to be nervous going into an interview because I thought that there could be an infinite range of questions that could possibly be asked. I came to realize that most questions are situational and found myself repeating the same instances to employers, but each time improving the way I would articulate those situations. Short and concise is the way to go.

    -use the S. T. A. R. method: situation, task, action, result.

    -think of possible questions they could ask and pretend you are answering them in your head.

    -eye contact

    -always be prepared with many questions to ask the employer at the end, which makes them think you are very interested in the company. I usually ask: What do the day to day responsibilities look like in this role? What are the biggest challenges you have seen someone in this position overcome? How easy is the transition into this role? etc.

    -smile and be relaxed. They are the ones who need YOU to fill a role.

    Kristin Serwin

    One of the best things that helped me be more comfortable interviewing was after I was told I didn’t get a job, I asked for advice and feedback. While not every company will provide this, it’s still a good idea to ask. The woman I spoke to said that she loved the passion that I spoke with about IE. She also advised taking lots of programming courses.

    I also think posture and body language are huge when interviewing. Leaning forward, making eye contact, nodding can all be great technique to demonstrate that you’re interested in what the interviewer is saying.

    Jin-ri Lee

    I really liked the method from Kimberly where you follow STAR for each of your experience even if it is just a part time job. STAR stood for Situation, Task, Action, and Result. By creating STAR for every experience you had, it will be easier for you to talk about your experience in a more storytelling manner during your interview.

    Jillian Genova

    To be honest, the best I’ve ever done in an interview was when I went into the interview with a mindset that I was “just practicing.” I really did not expect to be hired by the company, so I was very relaxed and able to express my points clearly. Surprisingly, it went really well and they offered me a job!

    Because of that, I think that becoming proficient in interviewing takes practice, as you need to spend time in that situation in order to become comfortable with a company representative. It helps me to remember it’s just a conversation, and that you are also finding out if you want to work there!

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