Monday, November 14, 2011

Upcoming Interview? Success Starts with the Right Mindset

Self-confidence is a powerful, but often elusive, asset when interviewing.  Stiff competition, concerns over qualifications and the uncertainty inherent in the interview process can easily rattle even the most poised job seeker.

Just as you prepare your answers to interview questions, you should also prepare to be confident.  Use this list of techniques to enter your next interview with the right mindset:  calm, self-assured and ready for anything the interviewer throws your way.

Keep the interview in perspective.  One constructive way to manage your fear is by putting your interview into the proper context.  Instead of viewing it as an interrogation, think of it as a conversation.  Remember, you are interviewing the potential employer as much as he is interviewing you.  To boost your confidence, research the company and prepare a list of questions to ask during the interview.

Practice, practice, practice.  If you rehearse answers to common interview questions you’ll be more confident answering them.  Use a tape/digital recorder or webcam to record yourself, or simply practice saying your answers out loud in front of a mirror.  Sure, it will feel awkward at first, but after you get past your self-consciousness you will be able to critically examine yourself.  Are you sitting up straight?  Making appropriate eye contact?  Gesturing too little or too much?  What about your answers – are they concise and relevant?  Once you are confident in your delivery, ask a trusted friend or relative to act as your interviewer.  Ask for their honest feedback, so you can further refine your presentation.

Realize that it’s natural to be nervous.  Do you typically feel uptight before an interview?  This is a perfectly natural response.  In fact, a little bit of anxiety can actually be beneficial.  When you are nervous, your body releases adrenaline, a hormone which raises your energy level.  The key is to control your reaction to this feeling, before it takes control of you.  Learn to recognize an adrenaline surge when it occurs, realize that it’s normal, and then channel the energy you get from it.

Try calming techniques.  What should you do if your nerves get the best of you?  Stop them in their tracks – before you walk into the building.  Controlled breathing is a great technique to help you relax and focus.  If you feel anxious, try closing your eyes and taking a few deliberate, shallow breaths.  Take in air through your nostrils and exhale, quietly, through your mouth.  Repeat a few times until you feel better.

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  • About David Allen

    I am the President and CEO of Snelling Staffing Services, LLC, based in Dallas, TX. Leveraging my years of C-level business experience in the financial and service sectors, I help clients and candidates use Snelling’s services to achieve the success they desire. 
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