Ask A Recruiter: Panicking at Interviews? The Recruiters at The Bagg Group have a Solution!


I prepare well for my interviews. But often, when I’m sitting across the desk from an interviewer, I blank, or I babble.  After I leave, I’m so angry with myself.  Any tips to avoid the interview wipe-out?

Don’t be too hard on yourself.   There’s nothing like the pressure of having to be brilliant to shut you down.  This is performance anxiety and it has a habit of spinning out of control.  Panic leads to more panic.

The recruiters at The Bagg Group have extensive experience with helping candidates succeed at interviews.  We’ve been working with top employers in the GTA for decades, and we know how they think and what they need.  So whether we send someone to interview for a full-time job, contract work, or temporary employment, we know what hiring authorities are looking for.  And we understand our candidates too. 

In an interview situation, we know that both parties are feeling some stress.

That’s right.  You may not be the only one who is nervous. Your interviewer is under pressure to make the right decision, and choose the best person for the job.  They have to select a person who can not only do the work very well, but can also fit in with the company. 

(Companies count on The Bagg Group to send them great candidates, but the hiring authorities still must choose the best person for their organization from the group.) 

So while you may feel that you are alone on a stage, and the interviewer is a critic who is watching you with a skeptical eye, that’s not the way it is.  You are not giving a performance. You and your interviewer are engaged in a conversation. Both of you are trying to learn what you need to know about each other.

But if you still feel performance anxiety, here are proven tips of recruiters at The Bagg Group:

1. Take the desperation out of the situation.  Remind yourself that this interview isn’t the last opportunity you will ever have.  You will get another one if this one doesn’t work out.

2. Whenever your mind goes blank, ask a question.  This buys you time to sit back and breathe.  Have some questions prepared in advance. A great question may be, “How would you describe your ideal employee?”  

3. The only thing you have to do when the interviewer talks is listen.

4. When the interviewer stops talking, repeat back key points or qualities they mentioned. And then address each one, preferably by using examples to show how you possess the desired attributes they described. 

5. Finally, don’t panic about panicking.  Just remember, all you ever have to do is ask a question and that will get you back on track.

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