You All Fear The Job Interview, So Relax!

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Ever think you’re the only one who gets nervous before a job interview? Think again. A whopping 92 percent of adults in the United States said they fear something about the experience, according to the 2013 Job Interview Anxiety Survey conducted by Harris Interactive.

The biggest fear was having the jitters, as 17 percent stated being too nervous as their top concern, followed by 15 percent being overqualified for the job, 15 percent being stumped by the employer’s questions, 14 percent being late for the interview, 11 percent being under-qualified, and 10 percent being unprepared.

Here are some of the key factors the survey found that play a role in leading interview fears:

Gender. Women and men have some key differences when asked what they fear most about the job interview. Women are most afraid of being too nervous (19 percent) or not being able to answer a specific question (19 percent), while men are most worried about being overqualified (18 percent).

Income. Those whose household income is less than $50,000 said their top fear during a job interview was being too nervous (22 percent), compared to just 11 percent of the highest earners (with an income of $100,000 or more). Those households making between $75,000 and $100,000 are more likely not to fear anything compared to those making between $35,000 and $50,000.

Education. Not surprisingly, 22 percent of the survey participants with a high school diploma or less ranked being too nervous as their top fear compared with just 11 percent of college graduates. College grads ranked being overqualified first (19 percent), followed by not being able to answer a particular question (17 percent), and being late for the interview (15 percent).

Fast Facts:

  • While 92 percent of Americans said at least one thing is stressful about job interviews, 7 percent said nothing stresses them out about interviews.
  • Regionally, workers who live in the South were more likely to choose being late for the interview as their top fear (17 percent), compared to those in the Midwest (10 percent).
  • American workers 18-34 are more likely than those 45-54 to say they fear making a bad first impression as their biggest job interview fear.

Dedicating time to preparation is the best way to allay your job interview fears. Do your research, practice answering questions, and bring your A-game. Interviewers know you’re going to be a bit nervous, so don’t let your fears ruin your chance at your dream job.

What are some of your job interview fears? How do you deal with them?

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