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Nigel is a highly experienced Manchester Hypnotherapist, Psychotherapist and NLP Master Practitioner who specialises in working with anxiety related issues.
With clinics in Manchester and Harley Street, London. Now also available for Online Therapy.
To book an appointment with him, or to make an enquiry, call 0161 881 4333 or Click here to email.
What is Interview Anxiety?
It is quite normal to feel some anxiety during an interview, however when that anxiety becomes overwhelming, debilitating or stops you performing at your best then it is time to consider doing something about it.
In these times of economic difficulties and high unemployment, competition for jobs is very intense with huge numbers of applications for each job.
The added pressure to stand out and perform well at an interview and appear confident, competent and calm can create heightened levels of anxiety and even panic in many job applicants. In effect the anxiety can actually cause you to seem even less competent and confident than you actually are. Reducing your chances of getting the job.
Thankfully it is easier than you may think to overcome your interview anxiety and build you confidence.
During our work together we will aim to substantially reduce or eliminate your anxiety in a interview, help to build your confidence and self esteem, enhance your belief in your abilities, and teach you some interview skills and relaxation methods. The process itself is very flexible and is adjusted to your specific requirements and needs.
Fight or Flight
Someone experiencing interview anxiety is feeling the effects of the ‘fight or flight’ response. The fight or flight response is our mind and bodies natural response to a perceived threat. The perceived threat itself may be physical or psychological in nature. (e.g. making a scene, looking foolish, not being liked or accepted, appearing weak, potential physical harm etc.)
When it is activated, hormones are released into the body to enable us to either deal with or escape from the dangerous situation.
The effects of the fight or flight response include an increase in our heart rate to pump blood faster to the lungs, muscles and brain. We breath more rapidly to increase our oxygen levels, our muscles tense ready for action and many functions not necessary for fighting or escaping, such as digestion or reproduction, slow or stop.
It is important to realise that all anxiety including interview anxiety starts with our thoughts, and it is our brain that then stimulates the release of the various stress hormones. It is the negative thoughts we have about what is happening in the environment around us, or other people who are there, or our own bodily sensations, or even thoughts about our own thoughts that will start the anxiety response within our body, and keep it going.
It is the negative thoughts we have about what is happening in the environment around us, or other people who are there, or our own bodily sensations, or even thoughts about our own thoughts that will start the anxiety response within our body, and keep it going.
In some ways our minds and bodies can’t tell the difference between the thoughts about a situation and the situation itself. Therefore by simply thinking negatively, worrying, or ‘what if’-ing about an upcoming interview, or presentation, you are activating the fight or flight response in exactly the same way as if you were actually experiencing it in reality.
Due to the way anxiety functions, you simply can’t fight it head on. You’ve probably tried that already and failed. Often the more you fight and try to control the anxiety, the worse it gets!
Could you imagine just how useful it would be for you to learn new and different ways to think and react so that your fears just faded away and no longer seemed a problem?
Symptoms of interview anxiety may include:
Fear of being ‘found out’
Tightening of the throat
Short term memory loss
Frequent need to urinate
Feelings of inferiority/ inadequacy/ weakness
Lack of concentration
Fear of losing control
Fear of embarrassment
Feeling detached from body
Nausea and/or vomiting
Hot prickly feeling
Pins and needles
Fear of making a fool of self
Fear of going insane
Fear of having a heart attack
Sense of shame
NOTE: If you are suffering from any of the above physical symptoms then do discuss them with a doctor first to rule out any potential physical causes.
A panic attack may also be experienced before and/or during an interview, and is an intense rush of very uncomfortable physical symptoms such as increased heart rate, nausea, lightheadedness, shortness of breath, inability to concentrate, and confusion. Which is coupled with negative thoughts about the situation (e.g. making a scene, looking foolish, not being liked or accepted, being found out, appearing weak).
Symptoms of panic attacks can include palpitations, sweating, trembling or shaking, sensations of shortness of breath or smothering, feeling of choking, chest pain or discomfort, nausea or abdominal distress, dizziness or light-headedness, derealisation or depersonalisation, fear of losing control or going ‘crazy’, fear of dying, paresthesia, and chills or hot flushes.
The Interview Anxiety Treatment
The treatment is available at the Manchester, Harley Street and Online practices and is custom made for your unique requirements. So the exact form of treatment and number of sessions will vary from person to person depending on your needs, the severity of the problem and any other complicating factors. Most people will usually need as little as 6 to 8 one hour sessions, for more deep rooted or complex problems, more may be required.
The overall aim of this process is to help you to experience a deep permanent change in how you think and feel about interviews.Which then allows you to feel more comfortable and at ease, and even enjoy situations which used to cause you anxiety and fear.
During the process we will address whatever issues need to be dealt with to enable you to overcome your fears and anxiety. The treatment process itself is relaxed, sensitive, respectful and non-judgemental. I have had personal experience of overcoming anxieties, and therefore can fully understand and empathise with what you’re going through every step of the way.
Examples of some commonly dealt with issues:
- Changing limiting beliefs and building powerful empowering beliefs.
- Disassembling of the negative feedback loops, and self reinforcing and self sustaining aspects of the anxiety.
- Changing your perceptions of others, and what you think they think of you.
- Change what you feel about yourself and your abilities.
- Building your self-esteem, self-worth and self confidence.
- Emotional state management.
- Learning to relax/ground/centre yourself so you can stay more in the moment.
- Positively changing your perceptions of past events and future worries.
- Learn useful interview skills.
What this treatment is not: The treatment is not a list of quick fixes, tips or tricks about anxiety. Nor is the treatment a ‘miracle secret’ technique that can be applied in moments that will somehow mysteriously and magically cure you of a lifetimes worth of anxiety without any effort. You can find that sort of ridiculous over hyped product and information on a thousand other websites, and may even have wasted good money and time on them without any real or lasting success. In those cases the old adage holds true ‘If something seems to good to be true then it probably is.’
In reality: There are rarely any instant fixes or magical cures, but that doesn’t necessarily mean you can’t change, or that change is hard or takes a long time. All that is really required to change, is a little bit of commitment to your own personal growth, taking ownership of your issues, putting in some effort for a few weeks, and getting some helpful and realistic guidance from someone who genuinely has considerable experience with anxieties. Before you realise it you’ll be surprising yourself with what you are capable of doing.
I practice from a consulting room in my home in Chorlton in South Manchester. If you can’t travel to me then I am also available for online therapy, psychotherapy, counselling and coaching via Skype. Within easy travelling distance of Withington, Didsbury, Fallowfield, Stretford, Whalley Range, Salford, Sale, Altrincham, Eccles, Urmston, Worsley and Stockport.