Interviews are a situation we all face and for almost everyone they can trigger panic, shyness and fear. Interviews are difficult because, not only do you have to conquer your fear to attend, you need to combat your natural stress responses which inhibit effective communication and performance.
Clear thought, clear speech and effective communication whilst building rapport and appearing confident and capable. These are all things that help us succeed at interviews, but unfortunately these things are also difficult to achieve when under stress. The signs are easily recognised – sweaty palms, fidgeting, tight chest, dry throat, stuttering and inability to focus.
So is there anything we can do to overcome the fear of interviews and perform well? Yes.
It’s all about changing the way your mind, and therefore body, responds to the situation. Hypnotherapy works by helping us reprogram our minds and building positive visualisations and expectations. By preparing for stressful situations in this way you can enter feeling confident, prepared and positive. A skilled practitioner can help you understand your fears, feel safe and calm, connect with your interviewers and present yourself well.
Tips and Techniques
There are a few things you can do to increase your chances of success at interviews:
Prepare – Nerves are only made worse when we feel underprepared. Make sure you research the company and the people you’re meeting. The unknown can create fear but if you know exactly where you’re going, who you’re meeting and what you can talk about, you’ll feel much more confident.
Practise – It’s not uncommon for people to read a lot before they go and even write out prepared answers. However, when under stress, speaking out loud can sometimes be tricky and we stumble over our words. Practise a few answers out loud and get used to speaking clearly.
Empathy – People who have conducted interviews themselves will often find they become more successful when they themselves are interviewed. This is because they are able to understand the feelings of the interviewers. They want you to succeed and can sometimes be nervous themselves. Picture yourself as one of the interviewers – what would you want to hear?
Stay calm beforehand – This is especially important if your interview is towards the end of the day as you have more time to let nerves take hold. Spend some time going over your notes and then put them away and relax. You might try yoga, meditation, breathing exercises or light exercise. Listen to some uplifting or relaxing music and repeat positive assertions to yourself. Make sure you arrive at the interview with plenty of time to avoid any extra unnecessary stress.
Positive visualisation – Before your interview, visualise yourself arriving there and feeling comfortable and confident. See yourself answering the questions well and enjoying the experience. This will ensure that your mind expects you to succeed, rather than fearing failure.
Be rational – It’s easy for us to let our emotions take hold in situations where we feel uneasy or threatened. Try to take a step back and think clearly. What is the worst that can happen? You might not get the job, but then you’ll go on your way and continue with your life. With this is mind, what is there to be nervous about? You may as well give it everything you can. Perhaps view it as practice for future interviews to relieve some pressure. Don’t skip ahead – When you’re preparing for the interview or in the interview, try not to skip ahead and start thinking about the offer or rejection phone call. Be mindful and present in the moment, Listen carefully and answer honestly and authentically.
Interview the interviewers – Interviews aren’t just an opportunity for you to be tested. You should also be asking questions to determine whether this is the right opportunity for you. When interviewers sense that you are taking the opportunity seriously, asking relevant questions and believe in your own self-worth, this will work in your favour.
Relax – whilst it can be easier said than done, relaxing will help you with many things in an interview. You’ll come across as more controlled and confident, you will speak more clearly, smile more and build better rapport.
I help many clients prepare for and succeed at job interviews. If this is something that you struggle with, why not consider what hypnotherapy or coaching could offer you?
To learn more please do get in touch.