Dealing with Anxiety (Post-Interview Or Otherwise)

dealing-with-post-interview-anxiety2016 Update: We still stand by the advice below on dealing with post-interview anxiety — but you may also want to check out our latest discussion on how to focus on work (when your thoughts are elsewhere). 

Reader M had a question about post-interview anxiety, something I notice coming up in the comment threads a lot…

I had a second round interview this week, and I’m waiting to hear back. The job is working in-house for a big company. Their legal team is spread throughout their offices, so my first interview was with HR, then my second interview was with their VP Legal Counsel and another Senior Counsel attorney. I think it went well, but I’m so anxious. My first question is what to do with anxiety while waiting to hear back about a job? My second question is if anyone has stories from successful interviews that might shed light on whether or not it went well.

The wonderful thing about interviewing for jobs outside your own company is that they have no idea what a stressball you may be after the interview. (Of course, for jobs inside the company you have to keep your cool, which is even tougher — but hopefully less stress-inducing given that you can “read” the personalities better and they know you better.) There are two interesting questions here: what to do to ease anxiety, and how to know if an interview went well.  I’ll take the second one first.

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Open Thread: Everybody’s Working for the Weekend

how-to-enjoy-your-vacationIf you’re anything like we are, a vacation — no matter how restful or amazing the vacation itself is — is always preceded and followed by periods of extreme stress at the office.

With a holiday weekend coming up — to say nothing of summer vacations! — we thought we’d start a thread today on what tricks and tips you use to prepare your workload for a vacation, how you manage your workload while on vacation, and how you catch up, if at all. (Pictured:  Palm tree, originally uploaded to Flickr by TheLizardQueen.)

For this author, before I leave on vacation is an intense time, even if it’s just a day or two out of the office — I generally try to avoid scheduling a lot of lunch dates, doctor’s appointments, or nights out in the weeks on either side of a vacation. I do my best to review the landscape of what needs to go out to my superiors, as well as what’s going to come in from those I manage, and leave time for a quick review in my schedule.  (If that “you’re on the wrong path” discussion needs to be had, it’s much better to have it before the assignment sits on your desk for a week and a half while you snorkeled and drank coconut drinks.)  I also try to make sure I know what I expect the landscape to look like when I return. In terms of getting my own work done, I find Leechblock is absolutely essential — there’s a “lockdown mode” that allows you to block a number of sites for a set period.  (I like to set it for an hour and a half, but that’s me.)  If there is midnight oil to be burned, Emergen-C is my good (good) friend, as well as the other tips  mentioned in the post on eating for super-long days.  Finally, before I leave I do my best to put my work in neat piles and label them clearly — in case anyone I’m working with needs anything, they can find it easily.  (Call this a lesson learned after an hour-long cross-continental phone call a few years ago trying to help my then-secretary ransack my office to find a certain document.)

While away — know your company’s policy on checking e-mail and voice messages.  If you’re only required to check your e-mail once a day, set your Blackberry’s Auto On/Off settings to be more restrictive (like turning on at noon and shutting off at 5 — in whatever time zone you’re in) and don’t worry about it beyond that unless you have a really active project.

Readers, how about you? What are your tips for actually getting to that exciting vacation that you’ve been planning?  Any horror stories about last-minute work and how you dealt with it?  Any Blackberry rules — how often do you check?