How to Mentally Prepare for an Interview When THIS Happens!

(The links on this page have been updated)

Below you will see three dilemmas that commonly occur BEFORE interviews that make people so nervous that they sometimes don’t even try! Next, you will see the negative thought or thoughts associated with the dilemma. Finally, we will show you how to prepare mentally when the dilemma happens, so that you can ace your next interview!

Before we begin, here’s what you need to do to apply for employment:

  • Get a professional to help you develop a resume and cover letter. If possible, attend other employment preparation classes to help you.

Free classes here:

  1. Go to:
  2. To the left click the “Career information” link
  3. To the left, hover over “Appointment Center”
  4. Click, “Events Calendar”
  • Complete a sample job application. Once you are ready to apply for a real job, simply transfer your answers or customize them to fit the position.

Sample Employment application

  • Develop a “Thank You” letter template, so all you have to do is customize it to the position for which you are applying. It’s always right to say, “Thank You.”

thank you letter template

Now you are all set! Keep reading…

Delimma 1: The employer does not provide much time for applicants to apply

Negative Thought: My deadline is today at 11 pm. I’m going to look lazy for applying at the last minute!

Mental Prep:

  1. Stay calm. You are applying for a job that you are qualified for. They need YOU.
  2. Use your job preparation templates.
  3. If there is an option to email it, take advantage of it.
    • Use an email program that has a “return receipt” feature so that you will know if the message was received.
  4. If called for an interview, always take a hard copy of your completed application packet with you, so that you can refer to it whenever necessary.

Delimma 2: You need to make a certain amount of money, but the employer has NOT disclosed how much the position pays.

Negative Thought: I’m going to have to turn down the position because it doesn’t pay enough. I’m going to lose everything!

Mental Prep: 

(This answer will vary for each person)

  1. Before applying for any job, you should do labor market research so that you will know the average pay of a comparable position in your local area.
  2. Once you know how much the job typically pays, talk to a Consumer Credit Counselor or Money Manager as soon as possible. You need to know if you do take the position, if you can stay at your current cost of living, or if you will have to downgrade to small house, apartment, get a roommate, etc.
    • (Follow this link:
  3. Get in touch with your support system for help if necessary.
    • (Friends, family, church, support group, etc.)
  4. Know your options. If you have no support system because you are new to the area and haven’t gotten to know many people, develop a support system before you need it.
    • Contact the community resources hotline to find support:
    • (United Way 211:
  5. If you have been searching for work for quite awhile, you may have run out of options.  In some cases, we’ve provided information on community shelters and housing programs. We’ve also provided assistance to customers who have been sleeping in their cars, on couches, porches, etc. These situations are normally temporary. If you must enter a shelter, it is only temporary. Most shelter rules require work search. It won’t be long and you will be back on your feet!

Delimma 3: The employer has requested you to record an interview video

Negative Thought: Ugggh! I hate to talk in front of people! I will look like a fool in front of a camera!

Mental Prep:

  1. Before getting in front of the video camera, practice in front of the mirror.
  2. Also, practice with your family or friends.You could also attend a free mock interview session if you have time. Mock interviewers normally take a video of each interview so participants can be critiqued and remove any mistakes that were made, and also to show them how they look on camera.
  3. If you don’t have time to attend a mock interview, create your own! Get your camera phone, gather common interview questions, get in the mirror, and then ask yourself questions (answer them too) based on what you’ve learned about the position. This should make you laugh, so have fun!
  4. Be sure to get enough sleep before you record your interview video. You don’t want to appear tired and uninterested. The camera is not your enemy. It is your friend! It will tell you the truth!
  5. Finally, if you didn’t have time to prepare, do the best you can and don’t worry about it. You can’t hide who you are, just be the best at being yourself! Think positive thoughts. Either you will get this position or another one!

(Go here for sample interview questions/answers: )

Remember to keep in mind that unemployment is temporary.  The more you believe it is temporary, the more it will be temporary. We will always have problems in life. No one can prepare you for life’s problems if you are not willing to face them.

We are here to help! If you have a dilemma that you need help with, reply to this blog to let us know! You may also visit our online partnership network to find community resources in Guilford County, NC


NCWorks Career Center – Guilford County, NC


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