Sadly, it’s often not the best person for the job who gets it; it’s the person who performs best in the interview.
So with competition for jobs increasing, how can you ensure that you are the one who performs best? How can you plan for interview success?
The first step is to PLAN. There are many books on how to answer interview questions and what to ask so we won’t cover that here. If you are using a recruitment agent they ought to be able to help you. Make sure you have a strategy for answering questions to keep your responses focussed and relevant. If you don’t already have one try the S.T.A.R. technique (do an internet search)
In this piece we will focus on another “P” – PRACTISE.
Think of your favourite sports person and the hours of practise they put in prior to achieving a win. They don’t expect to just turn up and perform, it is the work done on the training ground that enables them to perform in the high pressure atmosphere of competition. Interviews are no different.
There is a particular kind of practise that we regularly teach clients, it is known as “Mental Rehearsal”. This is a method used by elite performers and high achievers in many fields from sports to medicine.
Step 1 – How do you want to perform?
Define for yourself what a good performance by you in an interview would look, sound and feel like. How are you looking? What are you doing with your body? Where is your focus? What are you thinking?
Step 2 – Watch the performance
Imagine the interview you have designed in step 1 taking place in front of you as if you are an observer watching on a large, HD TV. Notice what you can see – how is the you in the picture behaving? What is the interviewer doing? Is there smiling? Can you see rapport developing?
Hear yourself responding to the questions, exuding authority and confidence. How does your voice sound? How fast, soft, loud, animated etc is your speech?
Sense the atmosphere in the room – what is the temperature and mood?
Make any adjustments you like to the movie – change the body posture, shift the focus, more smiling, greater rapport etc. See yourself dealing with challenging questions easily and effortlessly. Do not stop until you are satisfied with what you are seeing.
Step 3 – Step in to experience interview success
When you are happy with the film you have made, “step inside” and run through the action again as if you are really there being interviewed and demonstrating all the behaviours you identified in step 2. See, hear and feel it as if it is really happening. Make any further adjustments you think would help from this new perspective. Crank up the positive feelings.
Repeat step 3 as many times as you can before the interview, stepping out to the observer position (Step 2) to make additional adjustments.
How it works
Functional MRI studies have shown that similar pathways in our brains light up when we are imagining an activity and when we are actually doing it. Mentally rehearsing success sets up and strengthens these pathways so that performing excellently becomes a habit. As you know, when something becomes a habit, it takes little or no effort to maintain, this means that you will be able to focus your attention on the interviewer and the questions without being distracted by worrying about your performance.
Find out more
If you have any questions or would like to discuss how interview readiness coaching could help you, contact The Life Coaching Centre Or if you’d like to learn more about this NLP technique and others check out the courses available at UK College of Personal Development.