One Really Good Tip to End Your Job Search: Reduce Interview Stress

woman at interviewWe all feel the stress caused by interviews.  But not everyone knows how to it reduced by breathing.  Not just any breathing, but diaphragmatic breathing or belly breathing.   There is a remarkable relationship between how you breathe and the stress you feel.  Put breathing from your diaphragm into your preparations to ace interviews.

The Benefits

When you breathe from your diaphragm, you use your entire lung. The increased lung function makes the oxygen/carbon dioxide exchange more efficient which provides more oxygen to your blood.  The results of more oxygen in your blood will:

  • Relax tense muscles
  • Reduce stress
  • Lower blood pressure
  • Clearer thinking
  • Lower heart rate

The Problem

When you take fast, shallow breaths from your chest, you reduce the oxygen levels in your blood.  This can cause some unpleasant symptoms such as:

  • Dizziness
  • Muscle tension
  • Depression/anxiety
  • High blood pressure
  • Confusion
  • Rapid heart rate

If these symptoms look familiar, they are.  These also happen to be the same things you feel when you interview.  However, these signs can be reduced significantly by breathing from your belly or diaphragm.

Back In the Day

You used to breathe deep down in your abdomen.  Everyone did.  As newborns, you breathed from the belly naturally.  You may even breathe like that during your sleep.  Somehow, you began breathing from your chest.  Perhaps it was because you were told to stand up straight with your chest out and stomach in.  This position constricted your abdominal muscles then reduced the depth of your breathing.  Tight clothing does the same thing as does slouching when you sit.

But you can relearn to breathe from your diaphragm.  In few minutes a day, you can learn and practice breathing to increase your physical and mental wellbeing.  It may feel awkward at first, but with continued practice, you can change your breathing at will.  You will be able to stop stress in its tracks when there is a need.

Learn How To Breathe

To begin, first find a place where you won’t be interrupted.  You can either sit down with your feet on the ground or lay down on the floor.

  1. Place one hand on your chest and the other hand on your stomach.
  2. Close your eyes as you breathe slowly through your nose.  Inhale the air all the way past your lungs and down into your abdomen.  You should feel the hand on your stomach rise, while the hand on your chest stays where it is.
  3. Concentrate where you want the air to go.
  4. Breathe out slowly through your nose.
  5. Keep breathing this way for a few minutes.
  6. Increase the amount of time each day.
  7. Don’t rush and take slow even breaths.
  8. Practice, practice, practice

Practice while waiting for a traffic light.  Practice as you are falling asleep.  Practice while reading.  Practice while watching a movie or TV.  Practice while preparing for an interview. Practice anywhere and anytime you want.  Just practice.

You need to practice so that when you have an interview, you will be ready to become relaxed and ready for anything.  If you reduce your stress, you increase your interview performance.  And your chances for a job offer.

5 Comments to "One Really Good Tip to End Your Job Search: Reduce Interview Stress"

  1. Lynn Spiro's Gravatar Lynn Spiro
    April 2, 2013 - 10:55 pm | Permalink

    Hey Arleen.

    Loved the info on how we used to breathe! I find myself breathing very shallowly during the day due to high stress. It was a nice reminder to breathe deeply as I end my night! I don’t do very well using the breathing technique when I’m on an initial consultation, but I try! Thanks.

    Lynn Spiro

    P.S. Did you change your banner graphics – very nice looking?

  2. Amy Kinnaird's Gravatar Amy Kinnaird
    April 2, 2013 - 5:49 pm | Permalink

    I’m not doing any job interviews, but this great breathing technique would work before going to speak in front of a large group! I tend to rush through the first couple of minutes unless I am more relaxed.

  3. Karen's Gravatar Karen
    April 2, 2013 - 5:34 pm | Permalink

    These are fantastic tips, not just for an interview, but any stressful situation!

Comments are closed.