Surviving a job interview with social anxiety disorder is not easy, but you may find the following tip useful. While I don’t recommend reliance on medication as a sole method for beating social anxiety (because you never really overcome it in the long run by using medicine), it can be useful to get you through a tight spot like a job interview when you family is depending on you to bring home some money.
There are three major types of medication that are used for social anxiety sufferers. The most commonly prescribed type will do you no good for a job interview. I’m talking about the SSRIs (serotonin selective reuptake inhibitors) like Paxil, Zoloft, Prozac, Celexa, and some others. These medications have a gradual effect over a period of four weeks, with a gradual reduction of generalized anxiety, not specific to your social anxiety fears. If you have generalized social phobia (meaning its all the time and with everyone instead of the kind that only shows up in certain situations) then you might benefit from an SSRI anyway (you should discuss it with your physician).
The other two kinds of medication can be helpful for a job interview that you have scheduled for a few days from now. One is better than the others, though, and I’ll explain why.
Xanax and Ativan are the brand names for a class of drugs called the minor tranquilizers. They will make you more relaxed and less self-consious, with fewer physiological and emotional reactions to being in the spot light during a job interview. The problem with these medications is that they can cause dependence over time, they can make you sleepy, and they make a large portion of people depressed when taken for more than six weeks.
The beta-blockers are the medications you should rely on for a job interview if you decide that you need help to get through it. The beta blockers stop adrenaline from causing you to have physiological symptoms of social anxiety like a pounding heart, sweating, and the associated feelings. As a result, you will feel like your body is staying calm, so it allows your mind to remain focused on communicating with your prospective employer. These medications should only be used with the supervision of a physician, but they are very cheap and they are one of the most commonly prescribed class of drugs of all time (because people with high blood pressure often are prescribed this kind of medicine).
To get a prescription, talk to your family physician, and explain the social anxiety symptoms that you get and ask about a beta blocker like Propranolol (brand name for Inderal). You couls also use Atenonol (which doesn’t cross the blood-brain barrier so it stays in your body without the possibility of slight loss of focus that some people have complained about with Inderal.
Whatever you do, don’t stop with medication. Take the next step toward beating your social anxiety symptoms so that the next time you face an interview you won’t need the medication. One thing to focus your mind on during this interview is the content of what you want to say to the interviewers. The more you focus on what you want to say (and what they are saying) the less brain space is available for having panic-like thoughts or self-conscious reflection. Act assertive and outgoing even if you don’t feel that way yet.
To get help with beating social anxiety symptoms without medication, get the insider secrets with no sugar coating here. The link takes you to a description of a complete system I developed to jump start the recovery process for people who have social anxiety symptoms.
Live with Courage and Discipline!
Dr. Todd Snyder