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 1 – The 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 2 – Your 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.
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
Touch 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.
- PQ rep using breath
Take 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.
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: