5-Step Workout To ACE Your Job Interview
By Karen O'Connor, Head Writer at CareerJimmy.com
And contributor to the brand new "Job Interview Secret"
Joann headed for the local gym, her heart beating fast and her palms wet with tension. "I was an emotional wreck all weekend," she reported to her counselor friend Terri as they pounded the treadmills. "I want this job, really want it. I've been unemployed for too long, but the competition in this tight market is enough to..." She wiped her neck with a towel and then laughed. "...to throw in the towel."
Terri reached over and patted Joann's shoulder. "Relax. It's yours. Think encouraging thoughts and assure yourself that you're a capable, well-trained, and responsible person, the very kind of individual every employer wants to see in a retail manager."
Joann took a breath and slowed her pace. "Thanks. You're the best friend a girl could have."
The women quit the machines and went to the coffee bar to talk further. "I've gone over and over the essentials of a successful job interview, but I can't help wonder if there is something else. After all, I've done all this before and it didn't win me a job."
"What are they?" asked Terri.
Joann rattled off the list: "Arrive early, dress appropriately, know the company, listen carefully, and communicate clearly."
"I believe there's more to a great job interview than these obvious points, important as they are," said Terri. "I've counseled a few people before their job interviews and helped them see that taking charge of their minds is even more important than arriving on time and speaking clearly."
Working From the Inside Out
Some of the biggest obstacles you and Joann and other job seekers are likely to face are the defeating and frightening statements that cloud one's mind. "You're not right for this job and you know it" or "What are you thinking? You're a small fish in a big pond." "They're looking for someone with more personality, more savvy, more confidence."
If you buy into this thinking, however, a hiring manager will be able to tell your state of mind even before you say a word. Therefore, spend a few minutes each day during the week before the interview doing a complete mental workout. It can be more important than a physical workout when it comes to interviewing for a job.
What does it mean to conduct a mental workout? Experts such as Dr. Oz and other professionals, suggest meditating, playing word games including Scrabble or WordFeud on your smart phone, reading a variety of materials, from the op-ed columns in your daily newspaper to your favorite magazines, even ads on billboards.
Your brain also benefits from eating foods rich in omega fatty acids, such as fish and flax seed, which are known to boost mental stamina. Learning new words - how about one new word a day - and performing math calculations such as reconciling your bank account and keeping track of your expenses, all play a part in helping your intellectual capacity remain at peak performance regardless of your age.
And who would have guessed that humor is also a terrific way to exercise your mind? Jokes, funny stories, and comic books can stimulate your thinking too.
Finally, don't forget to spend some time in nature. A good walk, a hike, a couple hours of sailing or fishing or swimming can set you right again, especially if you're feeling nervous, irritable, or anxious about something going on in your life that might distract you from being fully present during the job interview.
Following are five simple mental exercises that you can do - right now. Here they are:
#1 Breathe deeply: Sit quietly for five minutes and take deep conscious breaths, thinking encouraging thoughts about yourself and the interview. Notice how your mind relaxes and your pulse rate slows.
#2 Lunge forward: Move your mind in a positive direction. Review your best traits: problem solving, organizational skills, leadership, and compatibility.
#3 Push up: Repeat affirmations about yourself. I, John (or Mary), am capable and confident. Remind yourself that you are an attractive, responsible adult with gifts to offer the job and the people you'll be working with.
#4 Step up: Walk yourself up the ladder of success mentally. Tell yourself you're the one for this position, you can do it, you will get the job of your dreams. And you'll move on from there. There is no stopping you from achieving your long and short-term goals.
#5: Shake out limbs: Relax and release the results to the universe. Accept whatever comes, trusting it will be for your ultimate good. Believe that if one door closes, another will open.
After a good mental workout you'll feel confident, clear-minded, and committed to walking into the hiring manager's office and giving your best.
So prepare yourself now - putting mind over matter - with a solid mental workout that will take you where you want to go, from a great job interview to a great job.
Karen O'Connor is the Head Writer at CareerJimmy. She has authored hundreds of articles on unique job search strategies that bring big results.
Discover the "Job Interview Secret" story on your next job interview, the moment you walk in the door, simply hand your customized "Secret Career Document" to the person conducting the interview and let the magic begin.