Interview nerves trip up three quarters of young Brits

  • 72% unable to answer simple questions due to debilitating nerves
  • 58% of 18-24 year olds have admitted to having physical reactions during interviews

Today, new research from GoThinkBig has revealed that almost three quarters (72%) of the nation’s 18-24 year olds have admitted to crumbling under the pressure of job interviews.

The stressful process has caused severe physical reactions for over half (58%) of those polled who experienced shaking hands, a quivering voice, fainting and even vomiting.

However the majority (57%) of young interviewees are still of the strong belief that ‘practice makes perfect’ and prepare well for questions they think they may be asked. Furthermore, one in five (21%) always rehearse with a friend ahead of a big interview.

The survey also identified a superstitious streak in young job seekers with over one in five (21%) admitting that they wear a special piece of clothing or jewellery including lucky underwear and 13% give themselves a pep talk in the mirror, before heading to an interview.

Tokunbo Ajasa-Oluwa, Head of GoThinkBig said:

“Many young people have had limited opportunity to apply their skills in a business environment, so they find it harder to translate existing skills and talents and demonstrate their relevance to the world of work”.

“We want to help young people get on the career ladder and sadly interviews can be a major stumbling block for those who lack confidence or experience.  This is why we are encouraging young people to gain valuable work skills by taking part in practical opportunities offered by GoThinkBig”.

The findings by GoThinkBig, the site set up by O2 and Bauer Media to help get more young people into the workplace also suggests that potential employers are asking questions designed to throw the interviewee off guard.

Applicants have been demanded to answer questions such as; ‘Can you rap a line from Eminem, and then analyse it?’, ‘If you were a pet, what would you be and why?’, ’How would you estimate the number of trees in the UK?’ and ‘If you were a jacket potato filling what would you be?’

Bill Eyres, Head of Sustainability at Telefonica O2 UK adds:

“The New Year sees a wave of young people looking for jobs, either first time or a change of career. It is normal for anyone to feel nervous ahead of an important interview, but younger candidates with less work experience often suffer most.

Work experience or internships are a great way to build confidence within a working environment, which in return helps during interviews.  At O2 we are very passionate about supporting young people and GoThinkBig is the perfect resource to help young people into employment.”

For advice and tips on techniques to cope with interview nerves go to http://www.gothinkbig.co.uk/features/best-advice-for-job-interviews/

In 2013, GoThinkBig offered over 10,000 work experience and skills opportunities to young people, nearly £8m worth of paid employment and engaged over half a million young people through online advice, guidance and educational tools. Founding partners O2 and Bauer are now joined by over 30 UK businesses, including Sony Music, KPMG and the BBC who advertise their work skills opportunities on the site, helping young people to explore a wide range of career pathways. The platform aims to deliver over 30,000 work experience and skills opportunities by end of 2015.

Nationally representative survey of 1,000 young people aged 18-24 by OnePoll carried out 16 August 2013.

Hope&Glory PR for GoThinkBig
t: 020 7566 9747

e: nicola.gibbens@hopeandglorypr.com

About Think Big
Young people are full of ideas, energy and enthusiasm. As one of the UK’s leading digital businesses, we believe that we can, and should, play a part in inspiring a new generation of creative, entrepreneurial young people. We want to back them. Invest in them. Campaign for them. Give them a platform and a voice.

That’s why O2 is the driving force behind Think Big – a series of programmes to help 1 million young people gain skills for life by 2015. The Think Big programme is now supported by the Telefonica Foundation.

We know that the job market is tough for young people, so we’ve joined forces with Bauer Media to create GoThinkBig.co.uk, an innovative digital platform which offers careers advice, tools and thousands of high quality work experience and skills opportunities to help young people get a foot on the career ladder. We’re working in partnership with UK businesses including Channel 4, Reed Smith, Capgemini, Spotify and many others to offer 30,000 work opportunities to young people through GoThinkBig in the first 3 years.

www.o2.co.uk/thinkbig

www.gothinkbig.co.uk