Preparing for Anxiety-Related Interview Questions: What You Need to Know

Interviewing for a new job can be nerve-wracking for anyone However, for people struggling with anxiety disorders, the interview process can feel especially daunting. Anxiety manifests in different ways for different people, but some common symptoms include excessive worrying, restlessness, fatigue, irritability, difficulty concentrating, and feeling on-edge

If you live with anxiety, you may worry about how your symptoms could impact your interview performance. However, with the right preparation, you can learn to manage anxiety and put your best foot forward. This article provides tips on how to prepare for and handle anxiety-related interview questions.

Why Anxiety Comes Up in Interviews

Many employers want to determine if you will be a good fit not just for the immediate job, but also the company culture. They may ask about your working style, habits interests values, and personality traits. For positions involving high-pressure, fast-paced environments or extensive interaction with others, they will likely probe into how you handle stress and social situations.

Unfortunately some employers still stigmatize mental health issues. Revealing an anxiety disorder could unfairly bias them against you. While illegal mental health discrimination still occurs. You must decide how much to disclose based on the interviewer and role.

Either way, you may face direct or indirect questions about anxiety. Interviewers want to determine if you can fulfill key job duties and handle workplace challenges. Preparing responses shows self-awareness and proactive stress management.

Common Interview Questions Related to Anxiety

Some frequent questions that touch on anxiety matters include:

  • How do you handle stressful situations? This screening question determines your coping abilities. Anxiety often worsens under stress. Your answer demonstrates resilience.

  • Tell me about a time you faced a conflict at work. How did you handle it? Conflicts and criticism often trigger anxiety. This assesses your interpersonal skills and grace under fire.

  • Describe a time you failed at a task. What was the situation and how did you address it? Failing can be anxiety-inducing. Your response shows if you view setbacks through a growth mindset.

  • What are your strengths and weaknesses? Poor concentration and worry are common anxiety symptoms. Turn these into positives by showing self-awareness.

  • Where do you see yourself in 5 years? Anxiety can create uncertainty about the future. Keep your answer positive and ambitious.

  • Why do you want to leave your current position? Dissatisfaction due to an anxiety-provoking environment is understandable. Keep reasons focused on growth.

  • Why should we hire you? Highlight your passion, qualifications, and fit. Career shifts due to anxiety are fine to mention if framed properly.

  • Do you have any questions for me? This is an opportunity to subtly assess company culture around mental health.

Practice answering these sample questions aloud. Draft responses highlighting your talents and growth mindset.

Strategies to Manage Interview Anxiety

To reduce anxiety before and during your interview:

1. Thoroughly research the role and company. Having in-depth knowledge boosts confidence and reduces stress of the unknown.

2. Practice frequently. Repeat mock interviews until responses feel polished and natural.

3. Arrive early. Allow extra time to get settled. Rushing heightens anxiety.

4. Use calming techniques. Try deep breathing, positive self-talk, or mindfulness exercises directly before.

5. Adopt power poses. Open body language communicates confidence. Strike poses like hands on hips or shoulders back.

6. Bring notes. Having a written outline or reminders reduces stress over forgetting things. Jot down stories rehearsed for behavioral questions.

7. Be authentic. Honesty and genuine interest appeal most. Avoid overthinking and let your passion shine through.

8. Mind your mindset. Stay positive. Tell yourself you are prepared and capable. Visualize success.

9. Stay present. Anxiety often involves dwelling on the past or future. When it strikes, redirect focus to the present moment.

With practice, mindful positivity, and an authentic personal brand, you can show interviewers your fit for the role. While you should not have to disclose your anxiety disorder, if it comes up, frame it as positively as possible. Describe the steps you take to successfully manage any challenges anxiety creates. You’ve got this!

Answering Questions About Anxiety Disorders

Deciding whether to disclose an anxiety disorder is highly personal. Consider legal protections, company culture, the role’s needs, and your comfort level.

A survey by the ADAA found 62% of respondents did not tell their employers, mostly from fear of being judged, passed over for promotion, or fired. While illegal, mental health discrimination still occurs, so consider carefully. Discuss with a career counselor if unsure.

That said, some progressive companies actively support mental health in the workplace. Transparency can be freeing and prevent misunderstandings. Know it only explains challenges, while your skills and assets get you hired.

If you decide to tell, frame it positively:

  • Note any therapy, training, medication, or lifestyle changes that help you thrive. These show proactive self-care.

  • Explain how you overcome or compensate for symptoms at work. This proofs your ability to excel despite challenges.

  • Share how past bosses or co-workers have supported you. This conveys you are low maintenance.

  • Describe anxiety coping strategies you find effective. Tactics could include exercise, deep breathing, or shifting negative self-talk.

  • Assure you have sufficient focus, energy, and calm to fulfill core duties with reasonable accommodations.

  • Express enthusiasm to support mental health awareness. Your condition gives valuable perspective.

  • If interview anxiety arises, honestly share the emotions arise from excitement to join such an amazing team.

  • Most importantly, pivot quickly back to the incredible assets you offer. Keep the focus on your passion and fit.

If asked directly if you have an anxiety disorder, you could say, “I do deal with some anxiety, but it is well-managed and has not impacted my ability to [give examples] in past roles. I am committed to ongoing personal wellness practices so I can excel in positions like this one.”

Illegal Interview Questions

While employers may legally ask how you would perform job duties, they cannot violate disability discrimination laws. Questions cannot directly relate to protected health conditions, including mental disorders.

Illegal anxiety-related questions include:

  • Do you have an anxiety disorder?
  • What medications are you taking?
  • How often is your anxiety a problem?
  • Have you been hospitalized for anxiety?
  • Will anxiety stop you from meeting attendance or deadlines?
  • Do you think you are fit for this high-pressure position?

If asked an illegal question, you can politely decline to answer:

“I do not feel comfortable disclosing personal health information at this stage. I am able and eager to excel in this role based on the qualifications we have already discussed.”


Interview anxiety is normal but can be overcome. Thorough preparation builds confidence to put your best foot forward. If anxiety arises, redirect focus to the present moment. While assessing culture fit, employers may probe how you handle stress or conflict. Frame anxiety as a challenge you successfully manage, pivoting quickly back to your assets and passion. Consider carefully if disclosing is right for you based on legal protections, company culture, role needs, and your comfort level. You’ve got this!

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Interpretation of final score: If you have moderate to severe anxiety, you need to see a doctor right away. Getting help is important as anxiety is not something that will just go away. This is a chronic condition, and it can be treated effectively. Call us at 530 889 8780 and learn about our different treatment options. We are here to help!.

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OVERCOMING INTERVIEW ANXIETY! (7 Tips For Reducing Interview Stress, Nerves & ANXIETY!)


What is the 3-3-3 rule for anxiety?

It’s an easy technique to remember and use in the moment, it’s available to us the majority of the time, and it can be a simple strategy to help us focus and ground when anxiety overwhelms. Put simply, you name three things you can see, three you can hear, and move three different body parts.

What is the best questionnaire for anxiety?

The most common measure used to assess anxiety in treatment outcome studies is the Hamilton Anxiety Scale (HAM-A),7 8 which is a primary measure for generalised anxiety disorder (GAD) and is often used to assess general anxiety symptoms across conditions.

What is interview anxiety?

Interview anxiety refers to nervousness, anxiousness, or panic that you may feel before or during an employment interview. This feeling can indicate that you care about the interview and want to do well. Symptoms may be physical, such as an increased heart rate, or mental, like racing thoughts.

What questions are asked during an anxiety interview?

These questions explore various aspects such as the onset, frequency, duration, triggers, and severity of symptoms. The interviewer also assesses the functional impairment experienced by the individual due to their anxiety disorder in different domains, including work, social interactions, and relationships.

Is it normal to feel anxious before an interview?

It is totally normal to feel anxiety before an interview. The reality is, expect to have anxiety on some level. Identify how the ‘Ideal You’ would like to present during the interview. Confidence stems from competence, so spending some time researching the company and potential questions is crucial.

Is interviewing for a job difficult if you have anxiety?

Interviewing for a job is never easy. But for people who suffer from anxiety disorders, interviewing for a job is more than stressful. In fact, it can be completely debilitating, preventing some of us from showing up for an interview at all. So what do you do?

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