If you’ve interviewed for a job you’ve probably thought about the practicality of trying to tell the interviewer everything you thing she will want to hear. Some people actually appear on autopilot as they run through their interview answers, barely taking a breath to actually listen to the question – before it is even completed. Other people appear so afraid of “silence gaps” that they use endless run-on sentences. Grammar does not appear their strong point. Nervous anyone?
Stop, Listen, and Relax
How many job applicants do you think find that easy? Relax? How do you do that when you are fighting for a job?
When you’re looking for a new job – you may have been out of work for a while, you may be thinking that you will be losing your job soon by becoming extraneous to your company’s mission, or, you may just want a change, but are not sure why.
Here are a few questions to consider:
- What’s your level of self-confidence – do you believe that you possess the capabilities to succeed?
- How secure is your self-direction – are you certain and clear about where you are going?
- How are you at handling stress – can you separate yourself from stressful situations?
Usually when I talk with job applicants these 3 attributes are most notably lacking and adversely impact an applicant’s ability to perform well in an interview. Given the different circumstances that an applicant brings to the job interview it’s quite understandable why these 3 (and other attributes) are low.
How to Get Your Mojo Back
Getting your game (or mojo, edge, or control) back is not difficult – as long as you understand how and why you got in your situation, and how you can change it back. The interview is not the challenge.
# 1. Pay Attention To What Got You Where You Are
For instance, if you are out of work or thinking that you might lose your job, your inner self, your gut, or your subconscious may be telling you that it’s your fault that you lost your job – when that may not be the case at all. There are many situations in business where circumstances are not in your control.
# 2. Put Your Job Situation In Perspective
You have talents, skills, and expertise that are of value to employers. What is it about your unique set of talents and expertise that an employer will need to understand in an interview setting? Understand and communicate.
# 3. Become Future-Focused
Based on where you’ve been, where do you want to go on the next stop of your career? Assess your skills, talents, and strengths and identify what position functions you would like to perform – and more importantly – identify which companies for whom you would like to work and research opportunities with those and similar types of companies.
# 4. Understand Your Talents – And Your Non-Talents
There’s a saying in the recruitment business – know what you’re great at – and maximize your efforts to perform job functions that use those talents. There’s the other side of the coin less spoken about – perhaps because neither recruiters nor applicants like to acknowledge it. Understand what you can’t do well. Be honest with yourself. Try not to become something and do something that is not natural for you. Most importantly – be honest with the interviewer. If working on data, detail, and writing reports is not your cup of tea – acknowledge it.
# 5, Look Back To Look Forward
I would expect that, for the better part of your career you were able to manage stressful situations very well based on your own ability to encounter stressful situations and to deal with them successfully as well as being able to step away from the situation (resolved or not) in a way which allows you to move on to other matters. Focus on regaining that talent. You may have misplaced the use of the talent, but you have not lost the talent.
Successful interviews start with a confident, focused, and in control applicant. Learn how to regain your self-confidence, self-direction, and ability to handle stressful situations. Just as you were successful in work you can be successful in interviews. When you identify how you were successful in the past you can be successful in the future.