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How to Stay Positive During Your Interview
The interview room is a test of your courage, and it can be difficult for even the most seasoned applicant to stifle their doubts.
In a charged and airless room, you exhale slowly, trying to keep your nerves in check. Your resume highlights your skills and experience, but now's the time to prove it to this employer. However, with each adjustment you make in the chair, a knot seems to pull tight inside. Doubts arise as fears of saying the wrong thing or facing difficult questions come into focus.
While there were feelings of exuberance for being invited for an interview, it now appears like a dismal chance of success, especially after sending out several resumes and hearing nothing in return. You take one more deep breath as you prepare yourself for success - never forgetting that simply preparing for this interview is enough proof that you have what it takes.
Here are some tips to help you stay positive in an interview and make sure that you have the best chance of nailing it.
Prepare Ahead of Time
Preparation is key when it comes to staying positive during an interview. Being well-prepared will give you more confidence, which will, in turn, help you stay on the right track throughout the process. Research the company ahead of time so that you know about its mission statement and values as much as possible before arriving at the interview.
Knowing what they stand for will help ensure that your answers match their expectations throughout the process. Additionally, practice answering common questions ahead of time so that you are ready with thoughtful responses and won't get caught off guard by anything unexpected during the interview.
Be Confident in Yourself
It may sound cliche, but it's true - confidence is key! Confidence can be a difficult thing to fake, but it makes all the difference when going into an interview.
One way to give yourself a touch of extra assurance or confidence booster for your interview is to take a moment and remind yourself of the few (or many!) successes you have achieved in recent years. It doesn't matter if it's something big or small; write down all forms of accomplishments from the past five years.
This list will serve as tangible proof of your worth and ensure that you have things to be proud of regardless of the outcome of the interview. On top of that, if you practice this exercise, there won't be any awkward silences if the interviewer asks what you're proudest about. Whether your interview goes well or not, remember that confidence comes with knowing the value you bring; so, don't hesitate to show off your many achievements!
Control Your Body Language
Body language speaks volumes in the interview without saying a word. It's important to ensure that what we communicate through words is backed up with strong body language, which means exhibiting confidence and enthusiasm through good posture, eye contact, and a firm handshake.
Smiling often also projects positivity and friendliness, showing employers that you are passionate about what they do and would be a great addition to their team.
Although it's totally normal to feel a bit anxious when entering an interview, it's important to keep your cool and focus on all the experience and qualifications that make you the perfect candidate for the job. Taking a few deep breaths before entering the room can be immensely helpful in dispelling some of those nerves.
Our brains tend to jump to the worst-case scenarios immediately, but doing your best to set those thoughts aside and remaining confident in yourself is essential. Do your best not to think too much about what could go wrong; instead, focus on how well you know yourself and why you would be a great fit for the job.
Keep in mind that 99% of all worst-case scenarios never happen.
Use a Realistic Approach
Stress is a fact of life, and there's no way to avoid it completely. Although we may not always fix the problem, taking a realistic approach and recognizing our limitations can help us cope with difficult situations. It's important to remember that we cannot change anything out of our control, no matter how hard we try.
Rather than letting ourselves get too wrapped up in what we can't do, let's focus on coming up with workable solutions for the things that are within our power. Doing this will give us a sense of control over the situation so that if it can't be resolved, at least you can remain calm and make sure that nothing else is affected further.
Practice With a Friend
Interviewing for a new job can be intimidating, especially if you haven't done it in a while. It's helpful to practice with a friend beforehand to help you get ready for your upcoming interviews and make sure that you're on top of your game. Ask them to act as the interviewer and pose questions to you. This exercise can help you develop confidence under pressure while making sure that your responses are clear and concise.
Plus, having someone provide feedback on how well they think you delivered your answers is invaluable; they may even unearth some points you didn't realize!
And if you do not know what questions you will be asked, you can find a list on Google with various topics, ranging from general inquiries regarding your educational background to specific areas to focus their company's needs most urgently. The best way is by searching for a "List of Interview questions," and you will get plenty!
Think Positive Thoughts
Staying positive in an interview isn't just about physical appearance—you must also have a positive mindset! Before going for your next interview, take some time to think positively about yourself and your skillset as it can help boost your energy levels and make sure that you come off confident and capable. When faced with those tough questions, remind yourself that you are prepared for this situation and have all the necessary tools to answer anything thrown your way. Thinking positively during an interview demonstrates that you're eager and ready to take on whatever challenge comes your way – a crucial quality employers look for in every candidate.
Having strong mental fortitude will help keep your spirits high when faced with difficult questions or challenging conversations throughout the process.
What Works for Me
Music had the power to manipulate our mood, and this little trick has proven to be quite helpful for me when I have upcoming interviews. Whether it puts me in a more positive or relaxed mood, 15 minutes of my favorite songs make quite a difference for me. What was pretty cool is that after sharing this tip with a few friends, it turned out that some of them did the same! It seems like we are all looking for the same result: feeling more composed before an important meeting or interview. So, if this little trick could work for us, who knows? Maybe it could help someone else too - why not give it a try?
Interviews Don't Have to be Stressful
The interview process can be a source of frustration and stress, especially if you've been searching for a job for a prolonged period. But don't let yourself become overwhelmed and succumb to the pressure - positive change in your career could still be on the horizon.
Presenting yourself as confident and energetic is essential in any interview process, even if you don't feel that way. An interviewer will most likely hire someone who is excited and full of energy rather than one that appears depressed. "Fake it till you make it" could cut right to the heart of the matter here! Appearing self-assured during an interview could make all the difference and lead to success.
Of course, not getting a job or failing during an interview can be difficult, but it can also be seen as a blessing in disguise. While it may ultimately be disappointing not to land the job you wanted, you may have been introduced to someone who could point you in the direction of an even better opportunity.
Treating every interview as a networking opportunity is key; after all, if you don't get the job that time, who knows what could become of your connection in the future? There is no better way to leave your impression on someone than with genuine interest and enthusiasm - even if things don't go as planned this time, they'll remember you fondly when they hear about another role that aligns closely with your goals.
Posts and comments from other people are some of my favorite things about LinkedIn. They're usually pretty inspirational! Here is something Chris Hogg said in his comment that made me chuckle – and if you know me, I love good jokes, so I need to share this one too.
There was a woman who was getting some job coaching, who said to her coach, "You know, I hate searching for a job."
To which the coach replied, "Well, the key is positivity, of being positive. You need to be more positive."
The woman got a surprised look on her face, then paused for about 30 seconds, apparently deep in thought, and then looked at her coach and said, "You're right, I positively hate searching for a job."
Maybe the next time you feel gloomy before your interview, you may recall this story. :)
Good luck with your job search!
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Questions and Answers
Have you ever had a question about recruiting but were too afraid to ask? Now you can ask your question in comments, reply to this email or anonymously (Ask your question here).
Saying yes to Serge and Shelley's invitation to return to The Recruitment Flex podcast was an easy decision.
It is one of my favorite podcasts to listen to - plus, with amazing hosts like Serge and Shelley at the helm, it's always lighthearted, educational – and always entertaining.
We discussed a lot of interesting recruitment myths regarding the use of ATS and AI in recruitment, as well as how the entire hiring process works.
Help Me Spread the Word
Since 2023 is coming soon, it is time to set goals. The goal I have set for myself for next year is an incredibly ambitious one – to provide support and guidance to at least 1,000 people as they navigate the job market.
With that goal in mind, I have started this newsletter so that I can provide advice, information, and tips that may be useful in helping you take the right steps toward your job search goals. I hope this will be a convenient way of providing advice, information, and tips tailored toward helping people with their unique situations and job goals.
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Have a great weekend!
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