10 Job Fears Holding You Back (and How to Beat Them!)

Searching and applying for jobs, attending interviews and selling yourself to people you’ve never met before isn’t the easiest of tasks.

Even native English speakers find it daunting, so it’s no wonder then that a recent CV-Library survey found that certain elements of the job hunt scare over half (55.5%) of Brits. One in three (30%) state that they wouldn’t apply for a job that required them to face their fears.

But if you want to start a new role, facing your fears head on is sometimes the only route you can take. With this in mind, below we’ve outlined ten job fears that could be holding you back and explain how you can beat them.


1. Being rejected for a role you really wanted


CV Library's survey found that over half (55.7%) of UK workers are scared about being rejected for a role they really wanted. While it’s never a nice feeling to know you haven’t made the cut, rest assured that some of the most talented people in the world were rejected before they became a success.

Remind yourself that everything happens for a reason and there are lessons to be learnt from every application you make and interview you attend. If possible, ask for constructive feedback so you know what to focus on next time round.




2. Attending interviews


For four in 10 professionals (42.4%), attending interviews is a truly terrifying experience. Meeting new people for the first time can certainly be daunting, especially if your future career is reliant on the interview going well.

But, it’s important to remember that your interviewer is only human. They’ll have attended job interviews themselves and may even be feeling nervous if they’ve never led an interview before. Do your interview preparation and don’t be afraid to tell the employer if you’re feeling a little nervous – they’ll appreciate your honesty!


job fears - attending interviews
Just remember your interviewer is only human!


3. Having to do an interview test or task


According to the research, 39.9% of Brits worry about having to do a test during an interview. Not every interviewer will ask you to complete a task, but it might be necessary in certain lines of work.

For example, if you want to become a Sales Executive, you may need to show the employer that you can sell. Alternatively, if you want to become a copywriter, you may need to complete a written task to show you’re a strong writer.

Rather than viewing this as a negative, see it as a great opportunity to highlight your skills. If you’ve got through to the interview stage, the employer has seen something in you that they like.


Job fears - completing an interview
Use the opportunity of a task to highlight your skills


4. Speaking to recruiters or potential employers on the phone


One third (34.8%) of professionals admit to being scared of speaking to recruiters or potential employers over the phone. However, this is just part of the process of looking for work! 99% of jobs require you to speak to people face-to-face and over the phone, so overcoming this fear is crucial.

If it’s the ‘out-of-the-blue’ calls that freak you out the most, try to schedule in a set time to speak to the hiring professional. Make sure you’re in a quiet place with a notepad and pen to write any important information down.

What’s more, if you can’t think of an answer to the question, tell them that you’ll follow it up with an email - it’s perfectly acceptable to do so.


job fears - talking on the phone
Schedule a time for a call so you feel prepared 


5. Having to include a video with your application


A further 34.1% of professionals said that having to include a video with their application puts them on edge. Yes, no one really likes the sound of their own voice or talking directly to a camera, but some employers favour video applications as it enables them to get a feel of your personality.

Again, don’t see this as a negative. If it’s not a live video, you can do several takes before you get to a version you’re happy with. It might be a little cringe, but it can help you to stand out from the other candidates applying for the same position.


Job fears - video application
Use the job spec to help flesh out your covering letter 


6. Video interviews


Similar to the above, 33.7% of Brits don’t like the idea of video interviews. But, we’re afraid they’re something you’ll need to get used to as more employers are introducing these types of interviews into their recruitment process.

This is because they’re great for putting a face to a name, while also saving time and money for both parties. Treat your video interview just as you would a normal face-to-face one. Here are some tips on how to prepare, which will help ease your nerves.


Job fears - writing a cover letter /CV
Video calls are easier as you can have notes to refer to 


7. Writing a cover letter


Interestingly 29.9% of candidates worry about writing a cover letter. But, as long as you stick to a clear format, this shouldn’t be a daunting experience.

Your cover letter should outline the position you’re interested in (and why), the relevant skills and experience you have for the role and how these skills and experience can benefit the employer. 

You should close your cover letter with a request for an interview and ensure that you tailor it to every role you apply to.


8. Writing a CV


We found that one in four (25.9%) workers were also nervous about writing their CV. Again, this doesn’t need to be an issue, so long as you spend time getting your CV right.

While the format of your CV depends on your level of experience and the type of industry you’re working in, the basic layout that you should stick to should include: your contact details, professional profile, your skills, experience and education.

Make sure you have a generic copy of your CV on file, which you can then tweak for each application you submit.


Job fears - writing a CV
Follow templates online and edit, edit, edit until you are happy with the final outcome


9. Having to take time off to attend interviews


For 25.3% of professionals, having to take time off to attend interviews is stressful – and who can blame them! While you might be looking for a new job, you don’t want to upset or annoy your current employer, so it’s important to approach it in the right way.

Most interviewers will understand if you can only meet before or after work. If you’re worried about your interview over-running, why not take a half or full day, rather than coming up with some absurd excuse. If it’s going to help alleviate your fears, it’s definitely worth it!


10. Meeting with new people


Finally, the research found that 13.3% of candidates worry about meeting new people. This is completely natural and definitely not something to be ashamed of. As mentioned earlier, don’t be scared to say you’re nervous – your interviewer will want to help put you at ease.

Meeting new people is something we all have to do in life and it’s important to remind yourself that everyone is in the same boat. So slap a smile on your face and give it your best shot – you have nothing to lose.


Job fears - meeting new people
Be yourself, you will fit the right role 


This post was brought to you by our friends at CV-Library, who are the UK's leading independent job board, hosting over 175,000 live roles across all sectors. With over 10,000 top companies advertising their roles with them, why not start your job hunt today. Register your CV and browse the latest jobs near you!


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