7 Emotions You Feel in Every Job Interview

Most great authors deal with the emotional turmoil created by love (Romeo & Juliette), revenge (the Count of Monte Cristo) and badly written bondage (50 Shades of Grey). But not one author has dedicated to ink the insane cocktail of emotions experienced by the noble job seeker during an interview. So what emotions does a job seeker feel when going through the gauntlet of a job interview? Let’s take a look.

1. Excitement

euphoric woman staring at smartphone

One of the first emotions that our protagonist will feel is excitement. After rummaging through job search websites, worrying about being jobless and paying the bills for months, an unknown phone number pops up on the jobseekers screen: “Hello we are from Company Co. Inc. and we’d like to schedule you in at your earliest convenience”. The heart stops for a moment, and a stuttering job-seeker responds “su…sure I’m available immediately”. Upon ending the phone call, the next emotion sets in.

2. Elation


Oh, joy of joys! Months of hard work looking for a job have finally paid off in the form of a callback, our jobless hero hesitates for a moment and then proceeds to do a faithful recreation of the Maniac dance number from Flashdance. Because this is beyond excitement, this is joy you could only feel as an eight-year-old having ice-cream during summer vacation, the joy a father feels the first time he sees his new-born child…the joy a pervert feels when spring comes around and skimpy clothes start showing up on the street.

3. Gnawing


Once elation dies down though, a dark creature starts to invade the prospective employee’s head-space. A dark emotion starts pulling at our candidate’s leg, moving up like a boiling cesspool from their stomach…finally it dawns on the hapless soon-to-be-interviewed: “I suck at life! Why am I excited? I am totally going to blow this interview!!!” They sit down on the couch to purge themselves of this dark entity but it continues to grow and bubble up…until it manifests itself into a full blown monster.

4. PANIC!!!


Yes, the little gnawing annoyance eventually (usually on the day of the interview) becomes full blown panic. This is not normal manageable panic either; this is forgetting to wear your pants type of panic. The worse side effect of this all-consuming panic is that everything triggers it from clothing choices to the time the job-seeker must leave home. The peak of panic comes in the moments of quiet reflection immediately before the candidate enters the room where the interview takes place.

5. Focus

While waiting to be called into the interview room, the interviewee tries to suppress the panic, they think of their responses to the questions they might be asked…they mentally play Eye of the Tiger in their head’s radio. Suddenly like a storm dying down, the panic subsides and our hero becomes hyper-focused, mindful like a meditating Kung-Fu monk. Their clothing choices stop to bother them; their inadequate work experience doesn’t matter, they have decisively convinced themselves to take the bull by the horns and rock this interview. They are called in and enter the room like a boxer entering the ring. They have come to win.

6. Relief

happy woman in field

The interview is finished, and the candidate can now breathe and let go. It has been a long road and now it’s time to relax.

7. Finally Frustration

angry woman screaming at phone

Days following the interview the interviewee will re-visit each of the emotions but as the days drudge on frustration will start to boil up, “why haven’t they called me yet.” And “if they don’t want me why haven’t they told me yet” will be often mentally repeated during this period. Be patient.

See Also: How to Survive the Waiting Game After an Interview

Is there an emotion that I missed please let me know in the comment section below.




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