Even at the best of times and with all the qualifications and confidence in the world, job interviews can be stressful.
Job interviews serve many purposes and the main ones are for the employer to sort out the wheat from the chaff amongst those who have applied for the job on offer. It helps them to see how the prospective employee may perform under stress. How they present themselves, how committed they are to getting the position and what skills they have pertaining to the particular expertise sought. They will be looking at the level of intelligence presented by the applicant. Not necessarily intellectual intelligence but adaptability in learning. We call it “streetwise.” Most importantly they will be looking for someone willing to put the effort in.
Also what extra experiences and skills they may have that could enhance the offered position with. They will also be looking for someone who is willing to learn and go the extra yard when needed. In short they are looking for not only the best person for the job but one that will perhaps perform better as time goes on. Not necessarily the one with the most qualifications. For the most part. We have to add in here that some big franchises just want the person who will work for the least money and can do the job or learn quickly on the job.
People normally stress over job interviews for many reasons. The first being that they are more than likely going to be in competition with many others possibly with more educational qualifications. For young first time applicants straight out of school, college or University it can be extremely stressful. They do not have years of practical experience to bring to the table in the particular job field or in the interview room. Add to that the way we have been taught to be submissive to authority figures and you have a whole lot of people coming into an interview so unsure of themselves that they appear to have no self-confidence at all in being able to perform their duties or to think for themselves if required. In fact they may even be so stressed they are struck dumb at the thought of having to present themselves and speak confidently to someone they don’t know and who is a potential boss. They may even make themselves so sick that they cannot go through with the interview. This is not only for young first timers either. For many who have been turned down time after time the same reaction and symptoms can flare up due to a lack of confidence brought about by constant rejection.
The biggest reason we put so much pressure on ourselves in an interview is simply we want the job. For many reasons as well as the fact that it may be one we would really love to do. The other big factor is that we may feel we are being judged and of course we are! In this situation a necessary judgement. Job interviews are no different to presenting, public speaking or dating for the first time. The emotional, mental and physical reactions can all be exactly the same. Sweating profusely, stammering, forgetfulness, physical symptoms such as headache and nausea as well as shaking. All learnt behaviours that can be unlearnt with patience and experience.
So what can we do to present ourselves confidently at an interview?
The first thing we suggest anyone does is to make sure you are actually qualified for the job. That means having all the training certificates, resumés and references, both personal and professional, in place. Secondly, do you really want the job or are you applying out of frustration or you just want something to get by on. We suggest you don’t even go there if you don’t want the job because you won’t get it as it will show in your answers, your energy field and your presentation. Remember most of the people doing the interviewing these days will be trained in
spotting all the micro expressions on your face and in your body, especially in big companies. They will be looking for specific answers and how you answer.
One of the best ways to fail at an interview is to go in with self- doubt and lack of confidence not only in your ability to do the job but to get the job in the first place. Ask yourself if you were an employer would you give someone who appeared not to believe in themselves, a job?
Physical presentation, how you dress, your posture and how you address the interviewer are all vitally important. Tonality is over 70% of all verbal communication. It is not what you say but how you say it and how you sit or stand when you are speaking. A confident, self-assured person will sit straight and still, yet relaxed whilst connecting with the eyes of the interviewer. It doesn’t matter if you hesitate with your answer because the best ones will be those that you take the time to think through. Most importantly be yourself. Anything else will present as being false. Leave your past experiences of rejection, failure or inexperience out of the interview room, VERY IMPORTANT! And believe in yourself and your abilities.
To help you perform better in an interview mentally and emotionally prepare in advance by going into a visualisation of you doing well and getting the job. Feel the emotions, the colours, the sounds of being confident, self- assured and successful. Make it as real as you can and remember a time when you did really well and embrace that feeling, see it surrounding you and going with you into the interview. You can also give yourself an anchor that will help you to step straight into being confident. An anchor is something that has a strong link to a memory. As you think of that successful time touch a place on your hand with your other hand when the emotion is at its strongest. Repeat this a few times with different events when you felt strong and confident. This has now set up the anchor and it will be ready for you to fire it off as you walk into that interview room. You will feel the feelings of confidence fill you as you fire off your anchor.
You can also call on your guides and inner guidance to be with you to help you to be calm and confident. Use your intuition and don’t be afraid to offer more than just a cursory answer or to walk out of an interview if your gut feeling tells you it is not for you. Be polite, say thank you and walk
Here is the tricky but very important part. Whilst in the interview detach from the emotion of needing the job because then you are not emotionally hooked into a needy position. You will appear to be relaxed and confident. So what you are saying is I would like the job but if I don’t get it then there will be something better for me just around the corner.
Now go get that job believing in yourself and your abilities. Look at what YOU can bring to the company and don’t get hooked into the emotion of rejection before you have even started.
Paul and Phoebe Hoogendyk
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