Mindfulness can help you stay calm during a job interview
Like most HR professionals, I’ve sat on both sides of the desk during a job interview, so I know what you’re going through. As a regular meditator, I’ve learned that mindfulness is a great technique for staying calm during a job interview.
But wait – please don’t think I’m letting you off the hook regarding all the preparation I’ve coached you to make! You really, really, really need to be prepared, to have done your research and have notified your internal network connections. Rather than restate prior advice, I’ll link to early posts (my own and other coaches) at the bottom of this one so that you can read up on how to prepare.
But as with any obstacle you face, mental preparation through mindfulness is key
Being mindful involves focusing on the here and now so don’t focus on the implications surrounding the interview. Yes, you want the get a job offer. But as many as 10 people might be among the semi-finalists, and only one of you will get the offer, and it might not be you. This could affect your state of mind for future interviews. You’ll second guess your answers, blame your outfit or a regrettable comment, when likely you did nothing wrong.
So go in there not wanting it so much. That does not mean be diffident or have an “I don’t care” attitude. Care very much – about the interview itself, not its outcome. Try mindfulness to remain calm so that your mental focus is on the matter at hand, which is to learn more about the position and how well it fits your nature and your skills. If you detach from the need to get hired, you’ll be far more relaxed because the interview will be far less fraught.
And insider tip – interviewers subliminally respond better to relaxed, confident candidates; it takes the pressure off of them as well.
Accept that your worst fear is absolutely true Being judged makes you nervous? Get over it, because, yes – you’re being judged. So what? Don’t you make about 500 judgments every day? what news article to read? which size coffee to order at Blue Bottle? Your position on Syrian refugee immigration? Being judged, or more accurately in the case of a job interview – being considered – isn’t necessarily a bad thing. It’s just how humans process choice.
Think about the person interviewing on her interview for this job. Instead of viewing her as the person who holds your fate in her manicured hands, think about how she felt sitting in the chair you’re now occupying. Warning: she’s probably not empathizing with you; people like to forget their humble origins once they earn a modicum of power. But you keep it in mind. She got the job because 1) she was qualified, 2) she was lucky to have been selected among other qualified candidates, 3) she’s the CEOs favorite niece. One or all the above. It doesn’t matter.
Only one person will get the job offer.
Come prepared, detach from desire (as the Zen masters advise), and accept reality. The mental state this approach engenders will allow you to crush the interview – even if you don’t get the offer.
Would you like some help preparing for your upcoming job interview? Let’s talk