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  • Writer's pictureStephanie Thornburg

Conquering Pre-Interview Anxiety: Tips for Success

Landing an interview for a Big Law associate position or a coveted executive role is a huge accomplishment. For some, that initial excitement is quickly replaced with dread and anxiety. Regardless of one’s experience, self-doubt can creep in causing sweaty palms and fluttering in your stomach. Soon enough, the pressure to ace the interview feels suffocating.

If you are struggling with interview anxiety, remember you're not alone! There are steps you can take that will ease those pre-interview jitters. Check out some of the tips below to navigate the job search process with confidence.

Preparation is Crucial: It's time to take those research skills you’ve honed and put them to use. Research the firm or company, their history, culture, mission statement, recent news or achievements and key partners or executives.

Review the job description to ensure you understand the role and it's responsibilities.

Put together a list of questions to ask the interviewer about the company, the position or relevant topic.

Preparation will not only give your confidence a boost, it shows your genuinely interested in the opportunity.

Practice, Practice and Practice: They say "practice makes perfect" for a reason. While no one is perfect, practicing can help ensure you get as close to perfect as possible. Find a trusted friend or family member and practice answering common interview questions, especially those specific to the role.

If you are working with a legal recruiter, you can ask them to do a practice interview together. The types of question asked will likely focus on your role, your achievements, greatest strengths and what you hope to accomplish.

The more you practice, the more comfortable and confident you'll be your responses when it’s time for the interview.

Focus on the Positives

Make a list of your accomplishments and strengths. Reflect on your past achievements and successful projects. If there was an instance where you feel you could have performed better, focus on what you learned from that experience instead.

First Impressions Make a Difference: There’s a theory that clothes can improve our mood. Before your interview, plan what you’ll wear. Ensure your clothes are well-fitted and free of wrinkles or stains. Present confidence during the interview with eye contact and a strong handshake.

Stress Management: Deep breathing or mindfulness meditation are popular techniques that can help calm your nerves before the interview. Try to avoid large amounts of caffeine and get plenty of rest the night before. Remind yourself that it's normal to feel nervous but you have the necessary skills for the role.

Interview anxiety is common, but it shouldn’t stop you from landing your dream job. By preparing the best you can and utilizing stress management techniques, you can overcome interview anxiety. Remember, if things don't go exactly as planned, don't let it get you down. Learn from the experience and use it to find success in your next interview.


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