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Interview Success

Our focus in this article is on how you can be successful at interviews by preparing your mind, body and soul for the interview process.

Mind

So how do you prepare your mind?

Past We have in previous weeks spoke at length about preparation, preparation and preparation, from preparing for everything like questions about your C.V. to questions you want to ask about the business. Ensure that you make the time to practice answering a few of the most common and also difficult questions and always give examples of past positions, responsibilities and accomplishments. You can do this on your own or you can ask a friend to help you rehearse your interview. This should increase your confidence and the more you practice, the more confident you’ll be. However, it is important to remember it is impossible to plan for every outcome, so you should always expect the unexpected. Should an interviewer try to throw you off guard, just take a deep breath, stay relaxed and in control before you attempt to answer the question.

Present The night before an interview is akin to taking an exam the next day! Run a bath, drink a hot chocolate or even an herbal tea to help gently relax your mind for a great night’s sleep. Make sure you have an early night, so you wake up feeling refreshed, relaxed and ready. Trust me, it really does make a difference for the interview day.

Future Focus your mind on your long-term career goals (for a recap look at Week 2). Ensure you know the skills you want from your next role and the type of company you want to work for. This focus will ensure you are on track for your personal career plan.

Body

Body language Always enter the interview with the right positive body language, like a warm smile and a firm handshake. Remember it is not what you say, but how you say it. Make eye contact with your interviewer; make sure that your posture is right and your arms are not folded. Build a rapport, showing them your energy and a sense of humour too.

Imagery The old advice to dress for the job you want, not the job you have, may have roots in more than simply how others perceive you but also how you perceive yourself. Be suited and booted for a senior role within business. Daft as it may sound include something that makes you feel confident. Wear your favourite perfume or aftershave or even that favourite lingerie set or underwear that makes you feel super confident. This will positively change how you feel in your mind and even how you come across in person. You want to dress for success, to feel like a success, before your become a success!

Practice positive visualisation Actors and professional athletes do this all the time. Before you enter the interview room, spent 5-10 minutes in your car or even in the restrooms, looking at yourself in the mirror. Believe and picture yourself getting the job. Absorb the mystical and positive energy, visualise yourself in the role you want. Replay that image in your mind over and over until it becomes so familiar that it actually becomes a part of your self-image. Then tell yourself “I’ve got this. The job is mine”. Then go and make that vision a reality.

Soul

When interviewing, align your head and heart, ensure your ‘gut feeling’ agrees with your thoughts. Once you have taken all the factors into consideration, your preparation, the interview, the company, the culture, the role and personnel, is your gut feeling saying this is right for you to progress your career? If not, have the confidence to ask questions but if it still doesn’t sit well with you, this career move probably isn’t right for you.

Demonstrate inner confidence Have a good understanding of your uniqueness, truly be comfortable in your own skin and be open with others in the interview. Life (believe me) gets easier when you genuinely feel an inner confidence. I am not saying be arrogant or fake-it-til-you-make-it attitude, but have the confidence to believe in yourself. Concentrate on your strengths and ditch the doubt if you haven’t come across a scenario before.

Be Authentic In job interviews, show up in your own personality or character and as close as possible to how you would behave in the job itself. Stay true to your own ideas, values and how you present yourself and interact with others. In the words of Oscar Wilde “Be yourself; everyone else is already taken”.

Know Your Worth Know the difference between your needs, market trends and your value to the company. Your financial needs are important to you. Investigate the market trends for the position for which you’re interviewing. Don’t understatement the value that you can bring to the company. Only you can define and present this to a prospective employer. Base your value upon the demonstrable contributions you’ve made in previous roles. Capture key achievements in revenues or profits generated, costs reduced and numbers of people or clients that you have managed or supported.

Show your passion! As adults, we tend not to get excited about the little things in life, but it’s important to speak with passion and energy. A positive attitude is contagious.

So when it comes to interview success make sure your mind, body and soul are all aligned. Know your worth in the market and show your true self and passion.

Lastly, don’t forget to write an email to your potential employer shortly after your interview, to ensure that you leave an even better impression. A short paragraph is more than sufficient, thanking your interviewer for their time in interviewing you for the role. Unfortunately, if you are unsuccessfully still make sure you follow up with the interviewer to get feedback for your next interview.

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