Whether you are applying for your first summer job or a high-stakes professional career, job interviews are often the most frightful part of the entire hiring process. LSA senior Krysten Dorfman is one of countless job-seekers who has felt this nervousness when seeking employment opportunities.
“You’re coming in and talking to someone who’s a stranger and you don’t know who they are, they don’t know who you are,” Dorfman said. “I feel like there’s a lot of pressure to present yourself really well, really quickly and really efficiently.”
For those suffering from social anxiety, however, job interviews are more than just a brief bout of stomach-churning nerves — they are excessive triggers of fear and self-consciousness and can often lead to a total avoidance of crucial interviews.
Joseph Himle, professor of social work and psychology, researches mental health and social anxiety and, specifically, how social ability functions in today’s workforce and economy. According to a recent article published by University of Michigan Research, Himle’s research led him to a project in Detroit, where he helped unemployed adults who experience social anxiety both manage their symptoms and find resources for employment.
What Himle has found, however, is that the effects of social anxiety usually become relevant before the job interviews themselves, and remain present long after employment begins.