The interview is seemingly the hardest part of the employment process for the job candidate. Understandably so, the interview can be intimidating, nerving, and just down right stressful for the ill prepared. Fortunately, you don’t have to experience any of these feelings again, when it comes to an interview! Below are tips on how to overcome interview intimidation through preparedness, and mindfulness, creating confidence!
When beginning to prepare print out the job posting to which you applied or if you can obtain a copy of the functional job description, even better. Read through and identify the core or major duties within the role by circling them.
#1. Role Preparation: Now on a separate piece of paper list the core or major duties and next to each identify 3 occasions per from your prior experience that specifically speak to how you performed the function or skills related to the performance of this function.
For example: Major Duty: Project Management
- Lead the XYZ project through coordinating multiple stakeholders, yielding a completed integration of the software on time and under budget.
- Example 2
- Example 3
Notice in the above, when writing the example of how you performed the major duty, it benefits you to do so in a format of “problem, action, and resolution” or PAR. (Quick memory aid tip- Golfers and Interviewers are always want to shoot for PAR!) PAR is the preferred response format for Behavior-based interviews, the most common interview style used today.
In this case, the “Problem” is the project, the “Action” is the coordination of multiple stakeholders and the “Result” is the projected was completed on time and under budget; two outstanding outcomes.
By following this format for each major duty, you will no doubt be well prepared to speak to how your current or prior experiences or formal education relate to the major duties of the role for which you applied. By writing, reading and reviewing your responses you are conditioning your mind to think in the PAR format which will provide clear, concise responses demonstrating your comfort and depth of experience to the interviewer.
Now that you are well prepared functionally, we need to address the mindful preparation. Your beliefs!
What are your thoughts about interviews? When you think about them do your palms get sweaty, chest tighten, heart quicken? For some, the biological effects of the stress associated with their thought about interviews can be debilitating. Wherever you may fall on the spectrum; cool as a cucumber or nervous nelly, these mindfulness techniques will serve you well.
#2 Personal Preparation- Visualization is a key practice used by many professional athletes, performance artists and now executives! Visualization includes a complete mental run through of the occasion (in this case, the interview) picturing the events proceeding in the exact manner you would like them to. The more detail and senses you can pull into and create in your visualization the more real and the more you will feel the interview going well in your mind. The process of doing so, shifts your mental perspective from one based in fear about what could happen to one of pleasure because you are creating what will happen through your own mental projection of what you would like to happen.
#3 Organizational Preparation: Research the organization extensively prior to stepping in the door. You are quite fortunate that in the current digital age you have so much information at your fingertips. Go to the company’s website and read about their recent accomplishments and bring them up in conversation during the interview. Read about the core values, mission and vision and make your responses relate to the context or culture of the organization. Find out why the position is vacant. You may need to ask this question during the interview. It could be something as benign as the prior person was promoted or left for a new opportunity or it could be the prior person was terminated. This could be a red flag. Is the supervisor hard on his employees? Does the job require extensive hours that burn out employees? Evaluate what you can by asking questions that allow insight to the expectations, the culture and management style.
Does the organizational style, culture and values match yours? The employer is thinking the same about you. Take cues from the website. What you observe is likely to indicate how conservative the culture and culture is the lens for how the organization operates.
Affirmation is a powerful tool for shifting belief as well. Many of us have adopted views and perspectives unconsciously which either serve or hinder us. Affirmations can shift those that no longer serve us by literally reprogramming how you think (belief) about something. Affirmations around confidence, deserving, self-esteem, leadership, public speaking are popular topics for interview preparation.
Rocking an interview is all about the preparation; Positional, Personal and Organizational preparation as described above will give you the information necessary to be confident and articulate your highest value for organizations.
By: Ryan McShane, Vice President, Marc3 Leadership Solutions [email protected]
Marc3 provides small to medium sized businesses Fortune 500 Level Resources, creating “High Performance Organizations” with Greater Profit, Top Talent, and Outstanding Culture through Leadership Development, Assessments and Career transition support.
Marc3 also serves individuals in career transition with professional resumes, LinkedIn profiles, interview skills development, networking strategies and coaching.
Contact Ryan to get the results that, elevate individuals and organizations to their highest potential.