Interviews for job or a colleague or an aware make people nervous. You might know this yourself. If you are preparing for a job interview, you might want to know the following:

  • Am I more nervous for the interview than others? If so, do this test

  • How do I best prepare for the interview? If so, watch the video below

Below a video full of tips how to succeed at interviews. This will give you extra understanding and hopefully reduce your anxiety

Maybe you want to study interview anxiety yourself. You can use the MASI in your own online PsyToolkit survey.

Interview anxiety is a problem because "high levels of anxiety may result in a low job interview score, in spite of the fact that the candidate may demonstrate superior on-the-job performance if hired" (quoted from McCarthy & Goffin, 2003).

Reasons why people might feel anxious for interview:

  • The interviewer is typically a stranger, and talking to strangers has been found to be anxiety provoking

  • Employment interviews are typically not under the applicants’ control, and this lack of control may lead to heightened feelings of anxiety

One finding in this study was that people who score higher on the MASI are seen as less favourable by the interviewers.

There are five dimensions:

Type Meaning

Communication Anxiety

Anxiety about being able to talk well

Appearance Anxiety

Anxiety about not looking good enough during interview

Social Anxiety

Worries about not being likable or being socially awkward

Performance Anxiety

Worried about not being good enough for the job

Behavioral Anxiety

Worried about shaking hands, sweating, etc

Scores and interpretation

The study by McCarthy and Goffin (2004) tested actual participants just after a job interview. The average scores for the 276 people who filled in the questionnaire were as follows:

Type Possible range Average score

Communication Anxiety

1 to 5


Appearance Anxiety

1 to 5


Social Anxiety

1 to 5


Performance Anxiety

1 to 5


Behavioral Anxiety

1 to 5


Total (Composite)

1 to 5


Run the demo

It seems that the MASI can be used for research, but you need to acknowledge the authors and their research paper when writing about it (McCarthy & Goffin, 2004).


This is a simple scale question with two reverse coded items.

The survey code for PsyToolkit

Copy and paste this code to your PsyToolkit account if you want to use the scale in your own online research project
scale: masiagree
- strongly disagree
- disagree
- feel neutral
- agree
- strongly agree

l: masi
t: scale masiagree
o: buildup
q: How much do you agree with the following statements:
- I become so apprehensive in job interviews that I am unable to express my thoughts clearly.
- I get so anxious while taking job interviews that I have trouble answering questions that I know.
- During job interviews, I often can’t think of a thing to say.
- {reverse} I feel that my verbal communication skills are strong.
- During job interviews I find it hard to understand what the interviewer is asking me.
- {reverse} I find it easy to communicate my personal accomplishments during a job interview.
- I often feel uneasy about my appearance when I am being interviewed for a job.
- Before a job interview I am so nervous that I spend an excessive amount of time on my appearance.
- In job interviews, I worry that the interviewer will focus on what I consider to be my least attractive physical features.
- If I do not look my absolute best in a job interview, I find it very hard to be relaxed.
- I feel uneasy if my hair is not perfect when I walk into a job interview.
- During a job interview, I worry about whether I have dressed appropriately.
- While taking a job interview, I become concerned that the interviewer will perceive me as socially awkward.
- I become very uptight about having to socially interact with a job interviewer.
- I get afraid about what kind of personal impression I am making on job interviewers.
- During a job interview, I worry that my actions will not be considered socially appropriate.
- I worry about whether job interviewers will like me as a person.
- When meeting a job interviewer, I worry that my handshake will not be correct.
- In job interviews, I get very nervous about whether my performance is good enough.
- I am overwhelmed by thoughts of doing poorly when I am in job interview situations.
- I worry that my job interview performance will be lower than that of other applicants.
- During a job interview, I am so troubled by thoughts of failing that my performance is reduced.
- During a job interview, I worry about what will happen if I don’t get the job.
- While taking a job interview, I worry about whether I am a good candidate for the job.
- During job interviews, my hands shake.
- My heartbeat is faster than usual during job interviews.
- It is hard for me to avoid fidgeting during a job interview.
- Job interviews often make me perspire (e.g., sweaty palms and underarms).
- My mouth gets very dry during job interviews.
- I often feel sick to my stomach when I am interviewed for a job.

l: masi_com
t: set
- mean $masi.1 $masi.2 $masi.3 $masi.4 $masi.5 $masi.6

l: masi_app
t: set
- mean $masi.7 $masi.8 $masi.9 $masi.10 $masi.11 $masi.12

l: masi_soc
t: set
- mean $masi.13 $masi.14 $masi.15 $masi.16 $masi.17 $masi.18

l: masi_per
t: set
- mean $masi.19 $masi.20 $masi.21 $masi.22 $masi.23 $masi.24

l: masi_beh
t: set
- mean $masi.25 $masi.26 $masi.27 $masi.28 $masi.29 $masi.30

l: masi_total
t: set
- mean $masi

l: feedback
t: info
q: Your scores on the MASI are as follows.
On each of the following scales, your score can vary from 1 to 5
Communication Anxiety: {$masi_anx}
Appearance Anxiety: {$masi_app}
Social Anxiety: {$masi_soc}
Performance Anxiety: {$masi_per}
Behavioral Anxiety: {$masi_beh}
Composite score: {$masi_total}


  • McCarthy, J. and Goffin, R. (2004), Measuring Job Interview Anxiety: Beyond Weak Knees and Sweaty Palms. Personnel Psychology, 57, 607-637. LINK