Job interviews can be stressful. The truth is most people don’t look forward to them, but they are a necessary evil if you want a job. You want to put your best foot forward and impress the interviewer. You also don’t want to make any mistakes. This can cause some people to feel a lot of pressure and some even freeze up, preventing them from representing themselves in the best way possible. 

Do you experience job interview paralysis? Not sure? Below, our Toronto recruiters will explore this unique phenomenon. We’ll look at the signs you may have it and discuss some tips for you to overcome interview paralysis. But first, let’s define the term. 

toronto recruiters how to manage interview paralysis


What is interview paralysis?

Interview paralysis is a common phenomenon job seekers experience prior to an interview. It’s the feeling of freezing up, feeling anxiety or panic before you start or during an interview. The reason it’s such an issue is it prevents job seekers from showing the best version of themselves. 

People can experience interview paralysis for many reasons, according to Peter Harrison-Zapier from Fast Company:

  • You failed to properly prepare for the interview
  • You place a lot of pressure on yourself not to make mistakes
  • Unrealistic expectations 
  • You view the interview as a make-or-break situation
  • You’re a naturally anxious person or suffer from anxiety

Signs you have interview paralysis

Not sure if you have interview paralysis? Here are some of the most common signs of it:

  • You avoid applying for jobs so you don’t have to interview
  • You get uncharacteristically nervous or anxious before the interview
  • Your mind goes blank, or you stumble or lose your train of thought when asked questions
  • You over-fixate on upcoming interviews
  • Upcoming interviews consume your thought process

How to overcome interview paralysis

The good news is you can overcome interview paralysis if you are willing to put in the work. Here are some things you can do to overcome your job interview paralysis:

  • Put in the time to prepare for interviews
  • Practice your interview skills – do mock interviews with people you trust
  • Remind yourself you were called for an interview because the company thinks you are a good candidate
  • If you experience negative thoughts, reframe them in a positive manner
  • Try meditation and other mind-calming practices 
  • Work with a recruiter or other career professionals 

Interview paralysis is common. It’s something our recruiters in Toronto see frequently. You are not alone!


Get More Interview Tips From Our Toronto Recruiters

The Best Interviewers Are Exceptional Storytellers

Why You Should Discuss Salary Before the Final Interview

4 Interview Questions Experienced Candidates Don’t Expect


IQ PARTNERS is an Executive Search & Recruitment firm supporting clients across Canada and internationally. We help companies hire better, hire less & retain more. We have specialist teams of recruiters in Executive Search / Board & C-Suite, Technology, Media, Digital & Marketing, Accounting & Finance, Financial Services & Insurance, Startup, Data Science, Consumer, eCommerce & Retail, HR, Manufacturing, Supply Chain & Engineering, Construction & Engineering, Legal & Professional Services, Pharmaceutical & Life Sciences, and Sales. Click here to view current job openings and to register with us.

Liam O'Donnell Accounting Recruiter

Liam O'Donnell

Liam is a Recruitment Consultant on the Accounting & Finance team, specializing in the public accounting sector. Prior to IQ PARTNERS, Liam was a student at the Ivey Business School where he graduated with an Honours of Business Administration degree and certificate of Entrepreneurship. While at Ivey, he saw firsthand the complexities of traditional recruiting methods, and he knew he wanted to help make the experience more enjoyable and rewarding for both the businesses and individuals involved.

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