Monday, August 11, 2014

Preparing Yourself to SHINE at Your Interview

You have landed an interview for the opportunity of a lifetime! Congratulations!!! The excitement of preparing for an interview can be overwhelming. However, do not let this excitement transfer into stress, indifference, anxiety... or worse: blowing the interview all together!

Here are 7 tips to ensure you enter your interview with a clear mind and help you SHINE!

1) Just breathe. Before you walk into your interview, take a few deep breaths--the kind that forces your abdomen in and out. Your body will relax a notch. You want to avoid upper chest breathing, as it tends to just move your stress upward to your face. This will allow you to be more articulate and help you avoid being "lost for words" due to the stress.

2) Stop the negative thoughts. If you go into an interview picking apart your outfit or imperfect responses, you're only hurting your chances of coming off as calm and collected. Turn off your negative self-talk, and create a different self-talk message, like, "I am here to share myself to the best of my ability and that is all I can really do." If you think positive things, positive things will happen!

3) Work it out. Putting in some gym time the morning of your interview can help you get rid of any nervous tension, or go for a walk at lunch or walk to the interview in nice weather. Exercise is proven to help calm your nervous system and tends to reduce the intensity of physical manifestations of stress such as fidgeting. Yoga or meditation will have similar effects.

4) Role play. Ask a friend or family member to role play with you. Ask them to be as objective as possible. Just be ready to handle their advice! Or, video yourself practicing your interview, so you know what issues you need to work on.

5) Arrive early. If you are traveling to an unfamiliar area, take a "practice run" to where your interview is located. Add extra time to allow for unexpected hold-ups such as traffic or mass transit delays. Adding the stress of rushing to your interview on time will not help alleviate your anxiety--it will only exasperate it!

6) Smile. Your first impression means everything. When you arrive at the building, office, or general vicinity of where your interview is to take place, smile at everyone in sight! You really have no idea if any of these strangers will be included in the selection process. Take this smile all the way to the interviewee chair! Remember to maintain a confident posture. It will be noticed!

7) Refer to 1 & 2. Time to make yourself SHINE!

Good Luck!!!

Written by:
Todd Koester
Vice President of Operations
Steffan & Company, Inc.