From an early age, we are taught to ‘dream big’ or reach for the stars.
As children, we think the world is a wide and wonderful place, that anything is possible. But we grow up and (sadly) realise the world can also be savage and cruel. We can’t seem to pass an initial interview and get to the job offer stage, we get rejected from a job we’ve applied for, or sadly even, we could be made redundant from an organisation we thought we’d work with until retirement. But even with these adversities, it should never discourage us from moving forward, especially in finding the right job. We forget that the world is our oyster and that there are plenty of opportunities out there, waiting for us to just grab them.
Here are three tips that have not only helped me in my daily life but also in preparing for an interview:
1. Fake it ‘til You Make It
This does not mean lying on your resume, such as stating you were the Head of Sales, but you were a team member, and actually the whole organisation comprised of you and one other. No, what I’m specifically referring to is in terms of your confidence. Feeling really anxious before an interview? Take a couple of deep breaths and smile! Even pretending to smile will trick your mind into feeling better. More often than not, pretending to exude confidence whilst you’re flailing inside, will actually not be evident. It’s like you’re a swan in a river - others see you gracefully gliding along the water, but underneath the surface, you’re paddling away like a maniac. So don’t worry (or, at least, pretend not to), take a deep breath and slap on your winning smile.
2. Positive Vibes Only
Ever heard of positive visualisation? Trying to use the power of your thoughts to manifest them into real, tangible situations. It’s not exactly magic, but its similar to pretending to smile, to trick your mind into making yourself feel better. It’s human nature to think of the worst case scenario, then imagine it to be ten times worse, but ever think of visualising the scenario going in the opposite direction? Imagining yourself confidently answering all the interviewer’s questions and successfully obtaining a job offer right on the spot! Realistically, it never works out that way, but visualising a positive outcome does wonder for your self-esteem and ultimately helps you perform better. So once your mind starts wandering down Negativity Road, rein your thoughts back in and direct them towards the Positivity Path instead.
3. Practice makes Progress
You’ve heard of ‘practice makes perfect’, now replace ‘perfect’ with ‘progress’! Because even undertaking one little task purposefully and consistently every single day, you will eventually get better and better at it. The key is to be consistent. To master anything, whether it’s learning how to play the guitar or public speaking, it’s said you have to deliberately practice for 10,000 hours (not all at once, of course!). Depending how efficiently you learn, you definitely don’t need that exact amount, but the moral of the story is: to get better at anything, you need to set aside time to actually do it. Whatever it may be. In this case, to get better at interviews, practice in front of the mirror, or with a trusted person to do some roleplaying. Research some common questions which may be asked and practice the SAO method. Soon enough you’ll be a pro at interviews!