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The Daily Tar Heel

Column: Interview nerves are not (I repeat, NOT!) sustainable

DTH Photo Illustration. Amidst the COVID-19 pandemic, many interviews have been conducted over Zoom.

As I sit here at my desk, clad in what I like to call my Zoom mullet (business on the top, party on the bottom), I find that my stomach is in knots. It could be that the Pumpkin Cream Cold Brew I recklessly tried this morning at Starbucks is finally hitting, but more likely, it’s interview nerves. 

And in a time when I’ve been hyper-applying to all that Glassdoor has to offer (like 40 positions a day!), interview nerves are simply not sustainable. In case any of you are experiencing the same anxiety, I’ve curated a list of proactive methods to try as you await the green light of your webcam alerting you that The Time Has Come.

  1. Think about it like this: There’s a good chance your interviewer is as stressed out as you are. Going down a long list of applicants one by one, hastily running through pre-determined questions as twin toddlers fight in the next room over. That crash you just heard? That wasn’t bad signal, that was a lamp. Seriously, try putting yourself in your interviewer’s shoes. Hold up, they’re wearing SPERRY TOP-SIDERS? ON DRY LAND? Forget it. 
  2. I did yoga once because it was free at that bougie spot on Franklin and the only thing I remember is that they placed a lot of emphasis on breathing. There are people who actually pay for those classes, so they must be onto something. Let’s try! Take a deep breath. Nothing is ever that serious. If you don’t get this job, you’ll get a different one. Unless, of course, you don’t ever get anything. Oh God, I’m never getting anything. It’s OK, at least my parents love me! Fine, at least my mom loves me. Wait, are you still holding that breath? Release :)
  3. Imagine a world where none of this existed. There’s no Zoom. There’s no interviews. There’s no pants on your legs (that might apply to the current world, too). Anyway. There is only hunt. And there is gather. When we romanticize hunting and gathering, we forget that it’s incredibly high stakes. When I have a bad time in the Zoom room, I simply exit and heat up my Trader Joe’s Vegan Tikka Masala in the microwave. When I have a bad day in the world of hunting and gathering, there’s no dinner. And to top that off, there’s no microwave. See, it could be worse!
  4. Try writing in your journal. It’s been too long since you’ve sat hunched over in a chair, subtweeting your roommates the old fashioned way. Plus, you’ve been complaining about your back pain too much, and hand cramps will serve as a much-needed distraction!

In all seriousness, don’t do any of these things. Except the deep breath. Seriously, you got this! And if you don’t got this, have you tried the Trader Joe’s Vegan Tikka Masala? Get that instead! 


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