Social anxiety and job interviews (5 Tips)

Social anxiety and job interview

Social anxiety can make job interviews very difficult. Some main reasons for this could be meeting outsiders in a position of specialist, talking around yourself, being assessed and judged on your appearance, deportment, and capacity to offer yourself these are all triggers for social uneasiness.

A job interview might trigger a lot of mixed emotions in an individual. One of the prominent emotions that an individual might experience with their job interview is a sense of anxiety.

This anxiety might kick in with the very process of the interview or after stepping into the office on the first day of conducting a first official meeting in front of the team.

With the feelings of satisfaction about having a job, a person might also feel uneasiness due to the uncertainty a new job can hold.

There are two cases where individuals might experience anxiety at a job interview.

In case one it could be a job interview they are taking up immediately after their education while in another case it could be the first job interview in a completely new field

In both cases, the amount of anxiety experienced by an individual might vary depending on their ability to handle stress and also prior related experiences.

What are the ways to deal with interview-related social anxiety?

Many favorable and healthy strategies can be used to cope with interview related anxiety :

Tell your employer

The first and the most effective way is to convey how you are feeling to your employer and seek help when offered by them.

Stay away from the identifiable triggers

It is safe to say that anxiety is contagious in nature and more environment and situation-driven, keeping distance from identifiable triggers can help in avoiding work-related or workplace anxiety.

Take a break

It’s important to understand that spending most of your time thinking about the interview and work might disrupt an individual’s life balance. It’s necessary to take some time off from work and indulge in pleasurable activities to restore a balance between work and personal life.

Concentrate on the positives

Try to list out and concentrate on the positives of job interviews and personal life.

Examine and re-evaluate the negative thoughts

Examine and reflect upon the negative thoughts about the interview that you entail, this could be done individually or with the help of a peer review. This not only helps in giving a different angle to a perspective but also helps identify irrational thoughts and feelings.

 What is social anxiety?

Individuals experiencing social anxiety might feel uncomfortable being in social situations to an extent that it hampers their daily functioning, it’s sometimes referred to as a social phobia.

Individuals consider public spaces as potential spaces of humiliation and embarrassment. Social anxiety affects how a person Interact with the world around them.

Social anxiety can be differentiated from shyness. In that shyness does not affect an individual’s daily life and functioning, moreover shyness is short-lived.

On the other hand, social anxiety is persistent and negatively impacts various aspects of an individual’s life like their ability to work productively or even develop or maintain close bonds with people outside their family.

What are the symptoms of social anxiety?


The symptoms of social anxiety can be both physical and psychological.

The most significant physical symptoms of social anxiety are:

  •     Nausea
  •    Excessive sweating
  •  Shaking or trembling
  •   Lightheadedness or feeling dizzy
  •   Increased heart rate

The psychological symptoms that individual experiences during a social anxiety attack are:

  •     Excessive and intensive worry about the social situation
  •     Worrying days or even weeks ahead of an important social event
  •  Trying to camouflage themselves in the background all we need to avoid the social situation on a whole
  •  The need for intoxication to face a social situation
  •  The constant worry of being observed by other people
  •  To avoid social contact an individual might also miss out on school or work.

In addition to these individuals with social anxiety may avoid social interactions such as asking another person a question when in doubt, potential job interviews, shopping call mom using public services like transport or washrooms, carrying out activities in public such as speaking or even eating in that matter.

How to kill social anxiety using self-help techniques?

Lifestyle changes

Apart from therapy and medication what works best to manage social anxiety is certain lifestyle changes. These may include:

  •  Regular exercises
  •  Having a balanced diet,
  •  Socializing and talking to people about their anxiety,
  •  Journal writing to express and understand one’s feelings and
  • Avoiding alcohol or drugs.

Take control of your breathing

It is normal for anxiety to bring about changes in your body, for instance, increased breathing. these changes often make an individual feel uncomfortable.

One can take control of this discomfort by carrying out a few simple steps such as holding one’s breath for two seconds and slowly letting it out through their mouth.

Repeating this step several times until one feels relaxed. This is most effective when one sits down in a comfortable position with their back straight.


Carry out progressive muscle relaxation

Research indicates that certain activities such as walking, or jogging can help in killing anxiety. Another effective technique to kill anxiety is progressive muscle relaxation.

Progressive muscle relaxation involves flexing and releasing a group of muscles in one’s body which helps to maintain their attention on the feelings of this contraction and relaxation.

Prepare ahead of situations

It is best advised that people who experience social anxiety must plan ahead of these situations that make them nervous to increase their confidence.

Start small

to kill social anxiety people must start small. In that individuals must avoid big social situations and start with the situation that they are compatible with.

For instance, one can start by going for lunch with friends and family members rather than with a set of individuals that they’re not familiar or confident with.

Push back negative thoughts

One very effective way to kill social anxiety is to focus and work on one’s negative thoughts actively.

Think about the negative thoughts that one has about a particular situation and write them down. Following which the person is required to write down positive thoughts that challenge the negative ones.

Sensory awareness

One’s senses can help them calm down while they feel anxious in any situation. For some people trying to look at photographs that give them a sense of happiness or using a particular scent that can help to distract them from the negative thoughts and reconnect with more positive ones can help to kill the anxiety at the moment.

How to kill social anxiety using other methods?

Like other physical conditions, even social anxiety has different approaches for its management and treatment. Some people might only need a single type of treatment while others might require a combination of approaches.

Some of the ways to manage or treat social anxiety disorders are:

Cognitive-behavioral therapy

Cognitive-behavioral therapy helps an individual to control their anxiety by using strategies like relaxation and breathing. It works on the principles of replacing negative thoughts with positive ones.

Exposure therapy

Exposure therapy is a kind of therapy in which an individual is exposed to a particular situation that they usually fear in a graded manner.

It usually starts with exposing the individual to a situation that is least triggering when the individual gets comfortable with this situation introduced or exposed to them with each session individuals become comfortable with a real-life situation that is otherwise anxiety-provoking.

Group therapy

As the name suggests group therapy usually involves two or more individuals who are experiencing similar symptoms and problems.

It is based on the principle that when an individual interacts with other people who are suffering from the same condition or fears they might not feel left alone or isolated.

This kind of therapy also helps in developing and maintaining social skills or techniques to interact with people in other social settings.

 Prescribed medication

Social anxiety can also be treated with the help of medication prescribed by a health professional. There are different types of anxiety medications each with its benefits and side effects.

Online therapy 

Individuals with social anxiety can also seek therapy online. This would involve interacting with the therapist one-on-one over an audio or video call. 

Some individuals with social anxiety might be more comfortable seeking help through this mode than others while in a different case some might prefer face-to-face therapy sessions. 


Job and work-related concerns can be more challenging for individuals with social anxiety. There can be various triggers for people to experience anxiety during the interview process. 

This does not mean that people don’t try for potential jobs or give up on their goals and accomplishments. They can actively seek professional help for their anxieties to participate optimally at the interviews.

Frequently asked questions

Can someone with social anxiety get a job?

Due to the nature and triggers of people with social anxiety people who experience it might find it very challenging to find a job.

However, many job options provide for the financial stability and exposure of a person with social anxiety which can further help to improve their confidence and self-esteem.

Does social anxiety count as a disability?

Social Anxiety can be considered a disability by the Social Security Administration (SSA)

How can I make money with social anxiety?

Some ways to earn money with social anxiety are:

  • Animal care assistant
  • Entrepreneur
  • Freelancer writer
  • Childcare assistant
  • Computer programmer
  • Artists

What kind of jobs should I get if I have social anxiety?

Working with animals is a great opportunity for those with social anxiety. This involves much less communication with other people and the chances of humiliation or rejection. Apart from this working with animals can be beneficial for an individual’s mental stability.

Can you be a leader with social anxiety?

Leadership with social anxiety disorder can donate important viewpoints in working environments that esteem extroversion. Neurodiversity is a critical calculate within the thrust for more comprehensive work environments.