In this article we will be discussing the impact job searches and interviews have on mental health.
We will also be exploring how job interviews and searches tend to make you depressed and what you can do to cope.
What should you do if Job interviews are making you depressed?
A few things you can do to cope with job interview stress that might be making you depressed and anxious include:
- Treat Yourself Well by being kind to yourself.
- Understand that you are not alone
- Visualize Success instead of focusing on possible failures
- Reduce Stressors in your life
- Do Your Research of the jo, the company, and the role
- Interview the Interviewer can help you take control and turn things to a more hopeful direction
- Release Anxious Energy by engaging socially or with positive activities.
- Take Your Time, there is no need to rush the process.
Unemployment and mental health
A recent study on the impact of Unemployment on the Mental Health of Youth for the Journal of Psychology and psychotherapy found that,
“…Unemployment …can greatly affect one’s mental health, leading to depression and decreased self-esteem. In addition, one can alienate family and friends or feel alienated, which can result in lack of support in one’s life.”
A similar study conducted on adults in the US found that the longer one remains unemployed, the more likely they are experience poor psychological well-being.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), has named the issue of unemployment a ‘public health concern’ while the. The health foundation, UK finds that the relationships between employment and mental health is bi-directional.
Your mental health impacts your employment prospects and your employment impacts your mental health.
A positive mental health status is important in the process of finding a job and maintaining that job. In fact, if you are not mentally resilient, your job search process can be affected, leading you to develop issues related to stress like depression and anxiety.
Let us take a look at why you might be feeling depressed as you go through job searches and interviews.
Causes of Job search and interview depression
Some of the reasons why you might be feeling depressed or low after your interviews for various job position could be:
- Lack of quality positions and having to settle for a job that you don’t like because you need money to survive. It is also possible that the job market is so competitive that the position that you want might seem out of your reach, making you feel hopeless.
- Not getting called for an interview after applying even if you think you are a perfect fit can impact the way you see yourself, especially if you take things too personally.
- Not landing the role after your interview can leave you wondering what went wrong with no concrete answers. And the more time that passes, the worse you may end up feeling.
- You regret not performing well as you expected in your interviews. This can make you feel immense regret and you might even get angry with yourself.
- It could be possible that if you keep failing job interviews, you may start to take it personally which can make you feel upset.
How to Beat Job Hunting Depression
Here are some of the things for you to consider and keep in mind as you go through the process of job interviews and searches.
You are not alone
It might seem like you are alone in this predicament and that your career is not going according to plan, the truth is that these feelings of anxiety, fear, stress, and depression are more common than we know.
While everyone else around you might be having jobs and might seem like they have made it, there is a high likelihood that many of them might be feeling demotivated or depressed by their own career challenge.
Don’t Let the Job Search Define You
It’s important not to take the results of your job interviews and any rejection personally. There may have been several reasons why you didn’t hear back or land the role, many of which may be out of your control.
There are inherent flaws to the recruitment process because recruiters are also prey to biases, expectations and other unconscious failings. Faults in the recruitment process can occasionally lead to good applications being rejected and all of this is out of your control and should not be taken personally.
For example, a lack of communication between hiring managers and decision-makers, or poorly organized interviews can lead to mistakes being made. Your rejection should not disregard the amount of good you can do so, keep the mindset that it’s their loss, not yours and this rejection is a redirection on to something better.
If you’re not having much luck with your job search, it may be time to buckle down and get more serious and consider a more organised approach.
Start by setting daily targets and setting specific hours of the day to dedicate to different tasks. For example, spending two hours browsing for jobs and two hours in the evening applying for openings.
Spending time networking or reaching out to your connections, meeting new ones, and building relationships may lead to your next role.
Keep all your efforts organized so that you can keep a track of where/when you applied, whether you’ve heard back, and the results.
Expand Your Skills
It is advisable to switch gears and fill your time sharpening your skills or adding new ones while you are searching for jobs. You can add these new skills to your resume, which will also help you stand out as a well-qualified candidate.
An easy way to do this is to see what the job ads you’re applying to are looking for. If anything is missing in your skillset, start there.
By learning these skill sets, it could be possible that you can hold a conversation around the topic during your interviews which can help your hiring managers look at you favorably.
If you’re currently out of work, you might be feeling isolated and alone especially if everyone around you is occupied with their own jobs.
Your own process of seeking out jobs can keep you away from friends and family especially if you are someone who dreads the question of “how is the job search going?”
As much as you might not want to, socializing with people who love and support you can be a good place to start if you want to overcome the stress and worry of your search.
Talking to them about your job interviews and your experience can help you garner support and some might even give you some helpful tips around it.
Consider something new
Sticking to the same job search sites can limit you especially if your preferred industry is a niche one. So opening yourself up to various new opportunities can be something you can try out.
Instead of sticking to a traditional career path, considering your hand in new roles and new opportunities can be something you can do to grow into your career.
Try searching out niche job boards or tap into your network to help you find jobs that are new and exciting or even close to the ones you want.
You are so much more than just your job
Remember that you are more than your resume, that the person you are is more than the job you have and the salary you make.
Remember that your life consists of different experiences, ideas, interests, perspectives that make you more valuable than a piece of paper will ever represent. So lean into that knowledge when you go for interviews and seek out jobs- lean into the fact that you are valuable in every aspect and not just in terms of a career.
In this article we have discussed how unemployment and the job interview process can impact mental health. We have also explored why you might be feeling depressed as you go through multiple interviews and what you can do to cope.
Frequently asked questions related to “job interview depression”
How do you get rid of stress before an interview?
A few ways you can deal with stress before interviews include:
- Go for a Walk before the interview to clear your head.
- Prepare for the Worst by understanding you might get selected but that doesn’t mean you don’t have other options or chances.
- Rehearse generic topics like an introduction about yourself.
- Plan Something for Afterwards that can help relieve stress.
- Eat a Good Breakfast (or Lunch) …
- Call an (Uplifting) Friend or a mentor
Do you find job interviews to be stressful?
Job interviews can be stressful, even if you have gone on a lot of them. The reason it is so stressful is usually because of our own beliefs about our own skills and abilities. A lot of the stress can come from the idea that if you do not land this job, you are a failure or that your life is over which is simply not true.The high level of anxiety around interviewing can make it difficult to cope, and even sabotage your chances of landing a job.
Why am I scared of getting a job?
A previous negative experience or event in the workplace can be one reason why you are afraid of getting a job. Another reason could be because you have anxiety about adjusting to a new place and with new people.
Why are job interviews hard?
Job interviews are hard because it is a process of assessing your skill set and also your limitations. Your interviewer may be asking you certain questions about your career field which you might not be clear about to understand your level of experience or knowledge in the field.
The best thing you can do when they ask you something you do not know is to be honest and tell them that you are unfamiliar with this area and you are willing to learn about it if given the chance.
Why do I cry in job interviews?
Being overwhelmed with positive emotion is not necessarily a bad thing. However, sometimes you might cry in interviews because of the anxiety and stress that most interviews puts on an individual.
The stress of the interview might lead you to cry while for others it might even lead to profuse sweating, restlessness, and nausea.