92% of U.S. Adults Fear Something About Job Interviews, Survey Finds

Everest College's National Study Finds That Nervousness, Being Overqualified and Tough Interview Questions Cause the Most Anxiety for Job Seekers

Santa Ana, California, UNITED STATES

LOS ANGELES, Aug. 20, 2013 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- For an overwhelming majority of Americans, the job interview is a dreaded, stressful ordeal as 9 in 10 employed adults said they fear something about the experience, according to data released today in the 2013 Job Interview Anxiety Survey conducted by Harris Interactive on behalf of Everest College.

The telephone survey of 1,002 employed adults found that 92% of Americans are stressed by at least one thing about the job interview process. The biggest fear was having the jitters, as 17% of Americans stated being too nervous as their top concern, followed by being overqualified for the job (15%), being stumped by the employer's questions (15%), being late for the interview (14%), being under qualified (11%) and not being prepared (10%).

"For so many, the job interview can be a high-pressure, make-or-break event when searching for a job, so it's only natural that anxiety can play a major factor," said survey spokesman John Swartz, regional director of career services at Everest College. "Everyone is different when coping under the pressure, but the best advice to help manage job interview fear is to simply be prepared. Conducting research, anticipating questions and acting professionally are staples that will stand the test of time, regardless of the latest job interview trends."

Women, Men Differ on Leading Interview Fears

The survey found that women and men have some key differences when asked what they fear most about the job interview. American women are most afraid of being too nervous (19%) or not being able to answer a specific question (19%), while American men are most worried about being overqualified (18%).

Income played a significant role in determining the top job interview fears, the survey found. Those whose household income is less than $50,000 said their top fear during a job interview was being too nervous (22%), compared to just 11% of the highest earners (those with a household income of $100,000 or more). Those households making between $75,000-$100,000 are more likely not to fear anything compared to those making between $35,000 and $50,000.

Not surprisingly, 22% of the survey participants with a high school diploma or less ranked being too nervous as their top fear compared with just 11% of college graduates. College graduates ranked being overqualified No. 1 (19%), followed by not being able to answer a particular question (17%) and being late for the interview (15%).

"The interview, without a doubt, is the most important part of getting the job you want. You are essentially trying to sell yourself and communicate how your skills help the employer," said Swartz. "Hiring managers have reported recently that a great number of college graduates lack basic interview skills. They take calls, text and can seem disinterested in the entire process. The job interview is still a traditional environment, one where the distraction of social media and smartphones are not appropriate.

"As part of the core training at Everest College, we make certain our graduates are equipped with the necessary tools to handle the interview process with poise and confidence. We also encourage them to enjoy the interview and ask the right questions. A potential employer wants someone who is friendly, engaged, and has done their homework regarding the company. If job seekers implement these tactics and expect to do well during an interview, they will."

By the Numbers: 2013 Job Interview Anxiety Survey Fast Facts

  • While 92% of Americans said at least one thing is stressful about job interviews, 7% said nothing stresses them out about interviews.
  • Regionally, workers who live in the South were more likely to choose being late for the interview as their top fear (17%), compared to those in the Midwest (10%).
  • American workers 18-34 are more likely than those 45-54 to say they fear making a bad first impression as their biggest job interview fear (10%).

About the Survey

Everest College's 2013 Job Interview Anxiety Survey was conducted by telephone within the United States by Harris Interactive between July 11-21, 2013 among 1,002 employed U.S. adults ages 18+. Results were weighted for age, sex, geographic region, and race when necessary to align them with their actual proportions in the population.

About Everest College

Everest College is part of Corinthian Colleges, Inc., one of the largest post-secondary education companies in North America. Its mission is to prepare students for new careers or for advancement in their chosen field. It offers diploma programs and associate and bachelor's degrees in a variety of occupational areas, including healthcare, criminal justice, business, information technology and construction trades. Programs and schedules vary by campus. For more information, please visit www.everest.edu. For more information about our graduation rates, the median debt of students who completed the program and other important information, please visit our website at www.everest.edu/disclosures.

About Harris Interactive

Harris Interactive is one of the world's leading custom market research firms, leveraging research, technology, and business acumen to transform relevant insight into actionable foresight. Known widely for the Harris Poll and for pioneering innovative research methodologies, Harris offers expertise in a wide range of industries including healthcare, technology, public affairs, energy, telecommunications, financial services, insurance, media, retail, restaurant, and consumer package goods. Serving clients in over 215 countries and territories through our North American, European, and Asian offices and a network of independent market research firms, Harris specializes in delivering research solutions that help us – and our clients – stay ahead of what's next. For more information, please visit www.harrisinteractive.com.

EDITOR'S NOTE: John Swartz, regional director of career services at Everest College, is available for interviews to discuss the survey. To schedule an interview or for more information on the 2013 Job Interview Anxiety Survey, please contact Ron Neal or Joanne Sibug at PondelWilkinson Inc.: Tel: 310-279-5980; Email: rneal@pondel.com and/or jsibug@pondel.com



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