[Ed. note: It’s becoming increasingly common for professionals to switch jobs, rather than stay with one company for life. And now, with the economy the way it is, great interviewing skills are at a premium. But with the current economic climate comes increased pressure to perform well — and not mess up. Here’s a guest post by Jeannette Kavanagh on how NOT to succumb to that pressure and let your best self shine through.]
If you’ve been shortlisted for an interview, congratulations. It’s always great to win an opportunity of an interview.
Job interviews can vary from having to speak to one person, through to facing panels of up to nine people, as I’ve done. Alternatively, you might be presented with a problem facing the company and asked questions to test how well you’d deal with it. You must remain calm in order to present your talents at their optimum. Here’s some help to stay calm in any interview.
Rather than re-invent the wheel so ably created by recruitment experts, I recommend you read Thad Peterson’s article The Four P’s of Interviewing. He’s a staff writer with www.monster.com , one of the best sites on job interview skills.
Within Mr Peterson’s article is a link to Beverly West’s article Perfect Your Business Handshake where she tells you exactly how and when to shake hands, and what to say, for maximum impact. It’s very well worth reading whether you’re going to a job interview or not.
As is Chris Lytle’s article When You’re Smiling. It has great tips about using your smile in all your business communications.
PRESENTING A CALM AND CONFIDENT SELF
Whether you’re facing a job interview, or a few thousand at a conference, the principles of conquering nervousness are the same.
Within my Public Speaking Success e-Program you’ll read that it’s almost all down to the preparation – of your material and of your self. You can’t possibly feel confident or calm if you’re neither competent nor informed.
PREPARATION OF YOUR MATERIAL
That’s covered by Thad Peterson and others. I will say that it’s totally appropriate to ask questions about the selection process you’ll face, including:
* Who will interview you, how many, what are their roles?
* How long will the interview take?
* Is there a written component to the interview?
* Is it task-based or more exploratory?
PREPARATION OF YOUR SELF: ACCENTUATE THE POSITIVE, ELIMINATE THE NEGATIVE.
Imagine that between now and your interview you think:
I’m not good enough;
I don’t really have the skills they want;
I’ll be really, really nervous like I was last interview;
Thinking those thoughts can make them a reality.
When you do the following, you can realistically start to re-write the negative with the positives.
1. Remind yourself that you’ve been selected for interview because you have what the employer seeks.
2. Divide a sheet of paper in three. In the first column write the key selection criteria. In the middle write questions related to the skills, experience, qualifications and attributes sought. A great site to source some likely questions is www.monster.com. Ask people who’ve applied for similar jobs for help. In the third write your answers.
3. Re-read Lesson 2 in this course. Those strategies are applicable to your job interview, so use your answers as the script for your visualising success exercise.
4. Enlist the aid of a friend or family member to let you practise a run-through of the interview questions and your answers.
5. Ask for constructive feedback. Re-do the interview practice if necessary.
Once you feel that you’re ready to answer questions clearly and concisely, you’ll automatically send that positive message to your subconscious mind. When you hear your calm and confident answers you can start to construct what we call your non-anxious reality for your subconscious mind.
Remember to listen to that cool, calm and confident voice. That positive memory is a key to replacing your fears of failure with your visions of success.
THIS TRUTH WILL SET YOU FREE.
That voice, that calm person, is you. The unafraid you. S/he can automatically re-emerge in the interview once you’ve realised that your nervousness is a result of only one thing.
Your thoughts. Your thoughts of the last time you were nervous, even terrified. Just remembering, re-living the last time you were anxious and nervous brings back the symptoms of fear! I’ve written more about that in an article called The Truth About Panic Attacks which you can read on this website. It sets out how your memories and thoughts keep your anxiety and panic well fed.
To prepare for a great interview, remember the opposite. Remember your calm confidence at the practice interview.
Every day before the interview visualise how relaxed and happy you’ll be in that interview. Send the first flutter of butterflies or nervousness away by this simple mental ‘trick’.
1. Say. STOP!
3. Breathe in deeply through your nose. Feel the breath slowly go down to your belly. Breathe out.
4. Think to yourself. “I’ll be wonderful”
A FINAL TIP. SIP WARM WATER THE DRINK OF CALM
Most offices have hot water. Fill your glass with hot water, let it cool. Just two sips of warm water before your interview will instantly dispel all nervousness. It’s magic. Sip warm water throughout your interview to re-inforce your calm. As always, to your continued happiness and success.
About the Author: Based in Melbourne, Australia Dr Jeannette Kavanagh works as a solution-oriented counsellor helping people conquer anxiety and panic attacks, particularly when speaking or performing in public. Sign up here for your FREE e-zine Oasis of Calm (http://www.calmingwords.com/ezine_login.html)