Three Reasons You Fear The Job Interview

June 17, 2013 |
  • The Diagnosis

Are any of these symptoms familiar? At least some of them?

Your heart is beating faster than usual, your hands feel clammy, your mouth is so dry it feels like you have cotton inside – and the butterflies in your stomach are out of control.

Are these common feelings when you are going to be tortured – or going to a job interview? The answer is a Job Interview. For some the job interview is torture.

Why is the job interview so feared? What are “they” going to do to you that is so nerve wrenching?

Reasons For The Fear Factor And The Job Interview.

1. Fear of the unknown.

Ideally you would sit poised thumbing through a magazine, feeling relaxed as you wait your turn to have a conversation with the interviewer for the company. Not so when waiting for the interview.

Think about it – what do you have to lose here? What’s the worst thing that can happen? What if you don’t get this job – is the world going to stop turning? Realizing of course, that bills must be paid, but this is the wrong approach to present your self. If you are coming across as desperate – “Please, please, hire me,” the interview is beginning on a defensive note.  Interviewers smell fear.

2. Fear of looking like you don’t know what you’re talking about – “brain freeze.”

You may have prepared – or not – but all of a sudden you forget everything that you have been preparing. Your mind goes “blank.” It happens all of the time. Who is putting the pressure on you to perform? YOU. Who knows you better than you know yourself? YOU.
So, you’re about to go in and talk about yourself. What’s so tough about that? For some people that is huge. They consider it bragging and they “hate” bragging and talking  about themselves and their accomplishments.

3. Fear of Rejection

Who wants to be rejected? Nobody. It doesn’t feel good at all. Somebody, and in the job interview often a complete stranger says, “We don’t want you – you’re not good enough.” At least that’s what you hear. The truth is that it may have nothing to do with you. It has to do with the interviewer/company getting the most for the dollar. And, there are tons of extenuating circumstances.

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About Carole Martin

The Interview Coach, Carole Martin, is a celebrated author, job coach, and speaker on the subject of interviewing and recruiting. A contributing writer at and featured on talk radio, Carole is using her proven methods for coaching job seekers on competitive interviewing skills in technical and non-technical industries. Learn more about her Federal Agency Interview Coaching and Coaching for Business Interviews at
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