Clear, calm, laser-focused in a job interview

von | 6. Jul 2021

As career coach I am often confronted with the question of how you can be and stay your authentic and clear self in a job inter­view, be impactful in the middle of a poten­ti­ally stressful situa­tion, facing both chance and risk of denial.

You hold two keys to success in your hands!

Follow a clear-cut process to step up fully with your perso­na­lity and exper­tise and activate your mental strength to be be resilient under stress.

Key 1The process part is a path of explo­ra­tion, analysis and focus ahead of the inter­view. It’s about you, your passion and your USP for the market and the specific job in front of you. There are 3 leading questions:
What is your „I want …“, your values and goals?
What is your „I can …“ – your exper­tise and your success stories?
What is your „hitpoint and sweet spot …“ – your why this job and why this company?

This clarity gives you confi­dence and impact in how you step up and it makes you believ­able having matching stories and successes to tell.

Key 2Your mental strength is to step up with clarity and calmness in the challen­ging context of a job inter­view and recover quickly when you are hijacked by stress

Does any of the following scenario and self-sabota­ging mindchatter sound familiar?
Before the inter­view: “I want this job so much. I am afraid I am blocked tomorrow and will forget what I want to say.” “If I lose, I will be in trouble. I need this job so much.“ „Am I good enough?” “What if they ask why I have left my old job. I am afraid my emotions come up again.”
During the inter­view: “This HR-execu­tive looks so puzzled. I seem to have given the wrong answer.” “I am so nervous, my voice trembles.” “Shit, I forgot an important info.” “I hear myself speaking and I don’t seem to come to the point.” “I am tense and not my usual self.”

If you are in that mindset of negative emotions you are in the stress part of your brain and have no access to your full poten­tial, your creati­vity, clarity and to calm laser-focused action.

What now!

I recom­mend highly effec­tive exercises to both activate your mental fitness muscle before the event and to recover quickly in case of stress hijacking during the event. These tools are from Positive Intel­li­gence by Shirzad Chamine.

  • Preempt your saboteurs:
    Antici­pate the inter­view and your possible self-sabota­ging reaction; Pause and breathe. Then imagine yourself reacting calm and clear and stepping up your best self.
    What is fasci­na­ting: our brain does not diffe­ren­tiate between real and imagined. When you imagine the positive process, the same neuro-circuitry pathway is activated as during a real success experience.
  • Activate your mental fitness muscle:
    This can be used before the situa­tion to gain energy and focus and in the stress situa­tion to quickly calm down and recover.
    What is fasci­na­ting: the little exercises, called PQ reps, only take 10 seconds each and they don’t need a quiet solitary place to practice. Do it in the middle of the hustle-bustle of life and if needed during a stress hijacking:
    The secret is to actively focus on your sensa­tions. By that you stop your mind jumping around and instead focus on one physical sense. You can feel the effect immedia­tely. If in that moment you were under a MRI you would also get the scien­tific proof that your stress center is quieted down and your sage creative part of the brain is activated.

Here are two of many varia­tions you can do

  • PQ rep using your sense of touch
    finger-printTouch one device (pen, paper, coffee cup, glass of water) in front of you and really feel the tempe­ra­ture, texture and sensa­tions on your finger tips. Maybe move your finger tips slowly so you can feel more sensations.
    Great Job!
  • PQ rep using breath
    breathingTake a couple of deep breaths. Now let your breath settle into its normal mode. Feel the rising and falling of your chest and stomach with each breath. Notice the tempe­ra­ture of air as it enters your nostrils and the tempe­ra­ture of air as it exits your nostrils.
    Great job!

If you do PQ reps regularly during the day, you can contin­ously build up your mental muscle.

 

Explore further possi­bi­li­ties with Mental Fitness – how to sustainably train and build up your mental strength, to be resilient facing any challenges and setbacks and recover quicker – for more click here

You have questions around impactful job inter­views and you want to learn more about a successful job shift:

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