Turning Red During an Interview

Interview nervousness can trigger an uncontrollable blush.
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You might want a rosy glow at certain times -- but feeling you cheeks suddenly go on fire during an interview is not something that anyone wants. The pressure of trying to remember the responses you worked so hard to prepare, feeling scrutinized by the interviewer and wanting the job so badly you can taste it, can set your nervous system into high gear and trigger an uncontrollable and embarrassing blush during your interview. As awful as this feels, on the bright side, you're not alone -- and there are things you can do to help your situation.


Any emotion that's a form of excitement including embarrassment and nervousness can result in flushing in the face. When you blush, your nervous system releases adrenaline, which for some people makes the blood vessels near the surface of the skin expand and flow blood to the skin. When you become nervous during an interview, your face, ears, neck and chest might all become red. The redness can spread evenly or appear blotchy like a nasty rash. It's an involuntary reaction and completely out of your control. If it's any consolation, chances are your interviewer is likely familiar with nervous blushing.


While turning red is typically just a sign of nervousness, it can also create the impression that you are not telling the truth. For example, an interviewer could ask why you want to leave your job. Your response might start with the truth about limited opportunities for growth, but as you add little white lies to enhance your skills, experience and qualifications, your nervousness can increase -- and so can the degree of redness on your face. What started as a good response can turn to a red-alert situation for your interviewer. Expanding on just the facts might help ease your nerves during the interview to keep you from turning red.

Covering Up

As a drastic approach to blushing, some people consider surgery to cut the sympathetic nerve, which is the nerve that causes sweating and blushing. However, there's a less invasive way to reduce your redness. You can use a concealer with a yellow or green tint or liquid foundation with a yellow base as part of your make-up application on your face, ears and neck. When you turn red, the green and yellow tints -- opposites of red and pink shades -- help neutralize the redness and even out your skin tone. Knowing that you're "covered" can give you the peace of mind to stay calmer during your interview, which in turn, can help reduce your blushing.


There are also some very simple solutions to help control your blushing. For example, while you're waiting for your interview to take place, think of something to keep your mind off the interview like how to reorganize your bedroom closet. This can help calm your nerves. And just before you walk into the interview, take slow deep breaths to relax. If you feel a blush is about to start during the interview, focus on getting as red as you possibly can. This will actually take your mind away from the cause of the blush -- and your color will likely stay close to normal.

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