There are a number of great resources that can help job seekers prepare for an interview—a quick Google search will yield advice on what to wear, what to do before the interview, what questions to ask during the interview, how and when to write a thank you note post-interview…the list goes on. While the hard skills are critical, our team at ResumeSpice believes it’s just as important to develop a healthy mindset going into the process. Below are some tips for calming the nerves and getting into the right frame a mind, so you can perform your best.
Preparation is Key
Pre-interview stress is normal. It’s your body’s natural way of preparing you for something significant and for most people, a healthy amount of stress helps them get ready to perform. However, if your stress level is bordering on high-anxiety, that can certainly have a negative effect in an interview setting. What we recommend is to prepare the questions you’re most likely to be asked and then practice answering aloud, either in the mirror or to a friend. The practice and preparation will help take the edge off and give you the confidence that you are ready for (almost!) anything you may face in an interview setting. Next, envision a positive outcome. Imagine yourself smiling at the interviewer, shaking their hand firmly, and then answering every question with confidence and poise. Imagine yourself shaking the interviewer’s hand at the conclusion of the meeting and then expressing interest in the role. Between your preparation and envisioning techniques, you’ll be amazed at the positive effect on your confidence.
Put Your Old Journal to Use
Keeping a log of your interviews and progress can be an extremely valuable resource tool. If you are actively searching, keep a log of your interviews, note your areas of strength, questions you struggled with, and how you would approach the question the next time you’re asked. This can also serve as a nice record for contacts, reminder to send thank you notes, and a record of your progress. If you find yourself in a rut or becoming pessimistic, your log can help serve as a reminder of your progress and the network you’re developing. You never know when someone you meet during the interview process might turn into a future co-worker, boss, or even a customer.
Capitalize on Your Strengths
We all have unique strengths and your future employer needs to know what they are. This doesn’t mean you will not be asked about your weaknesses during your interview. In fact, you most likely will. However, by knowing what your strengths are, you will have the ammunition to nail that question. When responding to questions about weaknesses or disappointing situations, tell a story about how you overcame your weakness (preferably a weakness that is unimportant to the job you’re applying for) using your strength.
Take a Walk
The power of nature is far too underestimated. It’s well-known that walking and exploring nature improves mood and short-term memory by decreasing blood sugar, cortisol (stress hormones), and rumination (repetitive negative thinking). Yet many of us regularly ignore that advice. Even during a stressful job search process, it’s important to take of yourself and take a walk. The benefits of a 30 minute walk will likely outweigh that of an extra thirty minutes in front of a computer.
Let us Help!
Preparing for a job search isn’t easy, but the good news is that you don’t have to go about it alone. If you need help with interview preparation or marketing yourself to employers by creating a great resume, cover letter, or LinkedIn profile, contact the career consultants at Resume Spice today. Let us help!