I’ve been working with a client recently who’d secured a job interview after some years out of the workforce. My client was feeling anxious about the interview and was experiencing stress.

Stress is known to adversely impact a person’s ability to perform at their best in any situation, so I spent one of our scheduled sessions, helping my client develop a set of simple skills to enable her to control her anxiety and stress levels prior to, and during, the upcoming interview.

Here are six simple techniques I taught my client.

For use before the interview:
Adopt the power pose. Two minutes of Power Posing leads to hormonal changes that configure your brain to be assertive, confident and comfortable and it reduces your cortisol (stress hormone) by up to 25-percent. Click here for the TED Talk on Power Posing delivered by Social psychologist Amy Cuddy.
Visualise success. Visualisation is a form of mental practice. It can be used to prepare yourself for success. The majority of successful performers in any field of endeavour will attest to the benefits of visualising success. Click here to read more about visualisation.
For use before and during the interview:
7/11 breathing.  Sometimes everyone needs a quick, easy and reliable way to feel calmer and this is a brilliant technique for achieving this. Get the instructions for this technique here.
Quieten the annoying negative chatter inside your head. I use this simple, effective technique everyday.
Use your calm and confident anchor. Anchoring is simply our natural ability to make an association between an external event and an emotion and physical state. A few examples are:
  • Hearing a song on the radio that reminds you of the feelings you shared with a first date many years earlier.
  • Smelling your mother’s cooking and remembering times of the past.
  • Seeing a photograph and recalling the feelings you had at that moment in time.
Anchoring happens in many contexts and the above examples are examples of how we anchor emotions and events without us consciously thinking about it. We can use this ability to create positive anchors that we can use anytime, such as creating a calm anchor to use during an interview. Click here for the instructions for how you can create your own calm anchor.
Tell yourself you’re excited. When feeling pre-interview nerves remember to tell yourself these are signs that you are excited about the prospect of being interviewed.

Why will this help?

In a study undertaken by University of Pennsylvania researchers, volunteers were put into various nerve-racking situations including: singing karaoke in front of strangers; public speaking; doing ‘IQ-test’ arithmetic problems under time pressure. But before each activity, the volunteers spoke out loud a single sentence to themselves: “I feel anxious,” “I feel calm,” or “I feel excited.”

They all wore heart-rate monitors and, in order to make them aware of their bodily symptoms – how fast their hearts were beating -this information was displayed prominently to them during the experiment.

Surprisingly people who told themselves  “I feel excited” not only felt more self-confident but also performed better, objectively measured, at all the tasks — singing, public speaking, even arithmetic. The opposite was true for those who said “I feel anxious.” Surprisingly, saying “I feel calm,” had no effect at all, either on performance or self-confidence.

NB: The above techniques can be used whenever you have to perform at your best, for example delivering a speech/presentation, sitting an exam, engaging in a competitive activity.

What Next?

Helping people to gain freedom from problematic anxiety and stress is my passion. If you'd like to explore how I can help you to reduce your anxiety and manage your stress, let's have a chat. Contact me now on 021 056 8389 or email me at tony@tycoaching.nz

Wishing you a relaxing, calm week.
Go well


Tony helps individuals to harness the power of personal change to achieve success and well-being in life, work and business. Tony's particular area of expertise is in helping people perform under pressure and gain freedom from worry, anxiety and stress. Tony’s solution focused approach to coaching uses a range of techniques drawn from the fields of co-active coaching, hypnosis, positive psychology and neuro-linguistic programming (NLP).

Contact Tony today to discuss how he can help you, or if you think Tony could help someone you know, you might like to encourage them to get in touch with him.