Preparing for a Stress Free Psychology Job Interview

There’s no shame in feeling tense and anxious before a psychology job interview. It’s an important event, and with the potential to forever change your life, one that’s certainly worth some planning and smart introspection. Thousands of employees feel nervous and stressed before their job interviews on a daily basis, with some drastically changing their routines in an effort to impress and score the job.

But you don’t need to completely change your routine before an interview. You don’t even need to spend days preparing.

What you do need to do is take some small steps to ensure that you’re free of stress and anxiety during your interview, and completely prepared for any questions. These five tips can help you eliminate stress before a big interview without making any drastic life changes.


Have everything prepared.

Got salary expectations? Write them down, practice delivering them, and memorize the figures. Got previous experience? Note it, memorize it, and run through it with a friend. Just like public speakers spend days rehearsing their speeches, greater interviewees learn all of their key points in advance. A dedicated practice and preparation session will help you deliver slick, thoughtful answers.


Clear your schedule.

Rushing to an interview leaves you stressed, tired, and in need of immediate nourishment. Clear any appointments and spend the morning reviewing important talking points, and leave with no shortage of time to get to the office. Walking into an interview with other appointments on your mind leaves you struggling to find answers. Clear your schedule so that you can focus solely on preparation.


Ask about the hiring timeline.

Some firms like to leave their potential hires in the dark, treating them to very little information in the days after their interview. Others are more transparent about their hiring timeline, and happily share information about the process with potential employees. Ask about how long it could take to make a decision. While some employers won’t answer, doing so can help cut stress and confusion.


Eat sensibly before the interview.

Most employment experts recommend consuming a light meal before your interview. In some ways, it’s better to stick with your regular eating habits. Consume a small, familiar meal around an hour in advance, making sure to avoid exotic foods, stimulants, or potentially messy meals. Interviews can vary in time and depth, and it’s important that you remain energetic and focused throughout.


Don’t think about it too much.

There’s no doubt that job interviews are important, but there’s also no reason to let them dominate your life. The classic interview preparation manual tells jobseekers to over prepare, and while it’s a great way to ensure you have everything in check, doing so can lead to undue stress and lost sleep.

Prepare your major talking points, memorize your qualifications, and practice a few snappy lines to help you emphasize your value. Don’t plan to the point of exhaustion.

While it’s important to walk into your interview prepared and ready, excessive practice can often do more harm than good.