According to a recent research study conducted at Western University, while women may experience more stress than men when it comes to dealing with a job interview, women have better coping skills when it comes to dealing with the stress.

The Study:

Most people suffer from anxiety before an interview, but the real question, according to Justin Feeney, a Psychology doctoral candidate, is the extent to which this anxiety impacts the performance of men and women.

Conducting his research with Psychology professor Richard Goffin and Rotman School of Business professor, and Western graduate, Julie McCarthy, Feeney deployed more than 400 mock interviews to assess the coping mechanisms of both sexes.

Due to the fact that women tend to experience more anxiety before an interview, it would make sense that they would perform worse than men. According to Feeney’s results, this is not the case.

The Findings:

  • The study found that although women experience more anxiety, men’s performance suffers more
  • Women participate in more practical coping methods in anticipation of the job interview

According to Feeney women cope with job interview stress better than men. Unlike men, women develop coping mechanisms to deal with the anxiety including:

  • discussing their thoughts and feelings with friends and colleagues
  • practicing mock interviews
  • reading self-improvement books
  • seeking professional help

Men, on the other hand, were significantly less likely to deploy those types of ideas. Instead, they were more likely to avoid the problem, such as making light of the interview, pretending the interview wasn’t happening, and refusing to think about it, says Feeney.

Take Aways:

If you are going in for an interview soon, you might want to consider the research and perhaps do a few of the things that were found to help women cope with the anxiety before an interview. Feeney’s evidence reveals the proactive approach improves confidence and the ability to deal with anxious moments when they arise.

Do you find the research to be accurate? How do you cope with interview stress?


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