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Marcus Arvan

Great post, Matt, and a good post by Zero over at the Smoker. I've found the best way to handle/avoid anxiety is just to keep busy. As long as I'm working on something -- whether it be a paper, lectures, whatever -- I find it easy to keep a positive attitude and avoid worry. Worry only creeps into the picture when I have too much time on my hands. Anyway, you might want to try it -- I find it works like a charm!

On another note, I think it's super-important to control anxiety, especially in interview/application situations. My wife does Industrial-Organizational Psychology, and she reports that hiring committees, etc., tend to penalize people for appearing anxious, regardless of how capable they otherwise appear. So, on Zero's point, if he comes across as calm ("disinterested"), it may actually be to his advantage (though of course it's hard to know).


Honestly, I think you're right to point out that anxiety/over-enthusiasm works against one in interview situations. Especially on the job market, you have to realize that at the on-campus stage (definitely) but also at the first round (less so), the search committee is also trying to convince *you* to work there (it's not just you trying to convince them to hire you). So if you go in with interest in the position, but somewhat the attitude that you're interviewing them, too, that can work to your advantage. Definitely, when I had an offer in hand when I did my last two on-campus visits, it made a big difference.

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