Here at atWork Australia, we support people living with anxiety, depression, and other mental health conditions to overcome their barriers and help them reach their employment and life goals.
Often our clients find the interview process to be very confronting but with the right support they work through their anxiety and progress towards their goals.
Below we have gathered our top five tips for supporting you through the interview process if you live with anxiety.
1. Try an approach that works for you
We understand everyone has different needs and unique abilities. We work together to meet your goals with a truly individual approach, putting your needs front and centre. It’s important to take into account what is causing your anxiety and help prepare you to succeed in your interview. Our Job Coaches work with you to find an approach that works best for you.
Client Tanya was feeling low and frustrated that she was yet to be successful in an interview. She worked with her Job Coach Mary on a different approach when she learned she had an interview as a Canteen Assistant.
Together a few days before her interview, Mary and Tanya visited the workplace to look around. This helped Tanya become familiar with how to get to the interview, where to go, and what to expect when she arrived, reducing her anxiety on the day of the interview.
2. Have someone in your corner
Our Job Coaches are your advocate and your partner when it comes to finding a role you can thrive in. Our clients have found it helpful to have someone in their corner encouraging them, and supporting them to feel their most confident.
Carole’s self-esteem was at its lowest when she came to the atWork Australia office and was connected with her Job Coach Simone.
“I was welcomed at atWork Australia with patience and kindness. Simone trimmed down my five-page resume’ to a single page. I learned how to access SEEK and received weekly support and guidance,” said Carole.
Simone started teaching Carole the basics of job searching which she hadn’t had to do for almost 50 years. She also worked with Carole to establish her capabilities and limitations and look at what skills and ability she does have to offer.
“Little by little, my self-doubt eased, and my confidence increased. I was given opportunities for positions I qualified for close to home.
“I was not alone with Simone by my side,” said Carole.
3. Practice interview questions
Practicing standard interview questions can help you know what to expect and the types of questions you may be asked. This way you can have a range of responses on hand to be able to respond.
Client Robert, found interviews difficult when applying for jobs in the past. He was often overcome by anxiety and not sure of how to answer the questions. He worked with Job Coach Penina to practice answering interview questions.
“Robert found interviews very confronting due to his past experiences. By helping Robert know what to expect, we helped ease his anxiety around interviews,” said Penina.
Practice with your Job Coach or participate in our Jobs Now program to help you practice with peers.
4. Take it one step at a time
Job Coach Kellie from the Gold Coast on Queensland believes in the one step at a time approach to find employment. She says the full process can be really daunting so it is best to break it down to one step at a time.
Kellie does not believe in placing clients as quickly as possible into a role but takes the time to find a role they can sustain. She makes sure her clients know they are valued and heard.
This approach works well for many of our clients including Tara from Shepparton in Victoria. Tara had experienced difficulties with managing her anxiety and connecting with employers. She was keen to join an understanding employer who is culturally diverse and open to working with diverse groups of people.
Tara’s Job Coach Brad helped her to believe that she is capable of great things and worked through any doubts holding her back from adapting to change. They helped her build the confidence to leave her house so she can attend her regular appointments.
Job Coach Brad and atWork Australia also supported Tara to complete her RSA course so she could gain valuable skills and apply for a range of employment opportunities. With Brad’s assistance, Tara secured a role as a Team Member/Consult Operator at 7-Eleven.
Now, she is already helping train other staff members with her retail background. Her manager has called Tara her “floor queen” as she is proactive and helpful in the workplace.”
5. Focus on what you have to offer
Everyone has a unique set of skills, attitudes and abilities which can benefit an employer. Work is for everyone, and employers are looking to hire a diverse workforce with different minds, backgrounds, experiences and ages.
Focus on the skills you can offer an employer and you will find the right fit for both you and the employer helping you both to thrive.
Job Coach Chanel worked with client Jamie to create his first resume in over 20 years. They looked at his past and unique skills to create a resume and cover letter.
“I encouraged Jamie to help me write his cover letter as it is a reflection of him and his personality. He needed to feel comfortable with it. We spent our first appointment working on this and chatting about footy – Jamie’s favourite sport,” said Chanel.
Jamie had specific needs, with his health, he could only work eight hours across a few days – not all in one day. However, with Chanel’s relationships with local employers, he had a few ideas on some suitable employment.
“I called a few employers, marketing Jamie to them and talking about his skills and abilities. I called employers I knew were supportive and understanding to his needs.”
“With a bit of luck, one of the local employers was looking for someone to work a few hours a day across four days which suited Jamie perfectly. Within a month of starting, he was employed.”
We’d love to tell you more and answer any questions you may have. Please call us on 1300 080 856 or send an email to contactDES@atworkaustralia.com.au and let’s get started today.