Interview Stage Fright? Ask an Actor

To paraphrase Shakespeare, the job search is a stage, and candidates are players. Every interview is a command performance, and stage fright can strike just as hard in an employer's office as it does on stage.

So what can theater pros teach job applicants about beating jitters and passing the audition?

In "How to Beat Interview Fear," TheLadders' Karl Rozemeyer talked to Broadway actors and theatrical coaches to bring job seekers the specific techniques they use to beat stage fright and deliver a winning performance.

For actor John Treacy Egan, star of such Broadway hits as "The Producers" and "The Little Mermaid," the key to overcoming nerves and ensuring you ace the audition is simple: preparation. In an audition, Egan said, "You sometimes think, 'Oh, I will do fine, and it will get me to the next stage.' You can get lax like that as an actor. You really need to give that performance the first time and not rely on a callback. Be as prepared as you can be."

Stage fright, said Egan, usually occurs about five minutes before the actor goes on stage. Actors beat back the paranoia by breathing, he said.

Egan advises that you give yourself a chance to shake it off. Literally. "Shake your limbs and jump up and down and give the adrenalin the chance to have an outlet of actual movement."


If you're feeling the pains of panic set in, find yourself a private space â€" a lobby bathroom or a secluded corridor â€" and practice these breathing and shaking tips to beat back stage fright.

Want visual tips on how to carry yourself in an interview? Check out "Body Language Speaks Volumes on a Job Interview," in which Egan models the ways your body can help or betray you when the pressure's on.

Job Search Resource: "You're Better Than Your Job Search" by Matthew Rothenberg and Marc Cenedella