Before a big game or sports performance, professional athletes are trained to visualise their success, to double (and sometimes triple!) check their equipment, and at times, to listen to their favourite soundtrack before heading out onto the field.
The minutes in the lead up to your job interview should be the same – they might not contain the same amount of intensity, but mental preparation has been proven to make a difference between getting that dream job, or starting your search all over again.
Experts recommend that job applicants take the time to visualise the way the interview might go. Being slightly nervous before an interview can be helpful if it makes you feel energized, but too much anxiety and you could be one cold sweat away from not being hired.
Consider practicing deep breathing and repeating a soothing word to yourself during the drive or walk to you interviews, and adopt a go-getter mind-set.
To gain additional confidence, recruitment specialists advise you to list several of your accomplishments and then breaking those down into the skills you used to achieve them. In that way it will be easier for you to describe the situation during an interview.
Same logic should of course apply to your weaknesses. Long before the day of your interview, think of three questions you absolutely would not like to be asked – write them down and practice the worst possible scenario in your head over and over until you’re almost comfortable with it.
If, on the other hand, you haven’t been afforded the luxury of time and have been given a 24 to 48 hour waiting time, you are still in a position to outshine your competition if you are adequately prepared.
Executive coaches recommend finding out as much as you possibly can about your potential employer beforehand. Call the person who scheduled your interview and ask about who you might be talking to, as well as enquiring about clear directions to the office – the last thing you’d want before an interview is getting lost!
Of course, an interview is much more than a CV review, and this is your time to shine. Prepare and memorise three achievements of yours and be prepared to talk about them in the context of a story – quantify whatever you’ve done wherever possible, it’s almost much more impressive to say ‘sales increased by 30%’ as opposed to ‘there was a boom in sales’ – if you’ve got it, flaunt it.
And finally, lay out your interview outfit the night before and have an early night – being stressed out, overtired, hungover or overly flustered never helped any body in an interview – I suspect it isn’t going to start from you.
Best of luck!