Three winning ways to cope with job interview pressure

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As we just witnessed in the Olympics, athletes  from all over the world came to etch their names in history. Picture the moment- the world is watching, the spot light is on you, the weight of expectation of millions rest on your shoulders. It’s your  time to shine! There’s no time for self doubt or fear. Just confidence and self belief. If doubt enters, you  know, your race is over even before it begins, and  no one wants that! Now as much as the physical preparation is vital,  athletes know that their mental state is the glue that holds it all together. Just ask Usain Bolt or Michael Johnson.

In a similar way, one can spend hours upon hours preparing for interview, however if your mentality isn’t right and you allow the pressure to  overcome you, all your preparation and efforts can go to waste! So here I’ve put together three ways to maintain a calm mental state before your big job interview, so that you can perform at your absolute best!

Visualise the moment

Sit in your chair close your eyes and picture yourself absolutely acing your interview! You’re answering the questions such as “why do you want to work for us?” “tell me about yourself?” with confidence and charisma (the way you’ve always wanted to).  Research has shown a direct correlation between visualisation and enhanced sports performance. On top of that many sports stars such as Wayne Rooney, Michael Phelps and Novak Djokovic have been renowned for visualising prior to their sporting event . Rooney famously said “You’re trying to put yourself in that moment and trying to prepare yourself, to have a ‘memory’ before the game.”

I teach the same methods to my clients and one thing I can say, is that it works! Ensure that you visualise your interview both in the first and the third person, and you’ll find that when it’s time for the interview you’re able to execute your answers with far more confidence and charisma.

Don’t put the job on a pedestal

Sometimes you want to succeed so bad that you end up putting unwanted pressure on yourself. I remember one of my clients who had an interview for an assistant producer at a huge media company. It was her dream job and one she’d always wanted. Normally she came across fantastically at interviews however on this occasion she froze and her interview didn’t go well at all.

So how do you stop putting the job on a pedestal so  that it doesn’t impact your performance.  Well you have to  continually remind yourself of two important things.

  • Know that your world isn’t going to fall apart if you don’t get the job. There are going to be other opportunities around the corner, this just being one of them.
  • That you are an amazing candidate whatever the outcome. If you’re not successful it’s their loss.

This mindset will allow you to reduce the amount of pressure that you put on yourself so that it doesn’t hinder your performance.

Practice out aloud- Give yourself your very own mini mock interview

The interview is a performance and by physically going through the motions and mimicking how it would be like, will ensure that when you do enter the interview room your body and are mind are acclimatised to what is to come. We do it other facets in our lives,  such as mock driving tests and mock papers before a big exam.  Jonny Wilkinson the English Rugby legend would practice for hours, mimicking real match situations, so that when the moment came his body and mind were able to deal with the pressure.

For you it’s simple, sit in a chair, in front the mirror and start giving yourself an interview. Ask yourself the question “tell me about  yourself” or “why do you want to work for us”. Answer the questions out aloud as if you’re in the interview. You’ll find, that on the day of the interview you’re able to deal with the pressure and deliver your answers with far more confidence and fluidity.

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Farhan RajaThree winning ways to cope with job interview pressure

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