By Shea Ki
Have you ever had that feeling you have left something behind or forgot to do something important before a job interview?
Your outfit looks sharp. You are ready to present that engaging smile and firm handshake. There is no food in your teeth according to your last selfie camera check. It's nagging you though. What have you forgotten to do?
In my years of experience as a hiring manager, employment center supervisor, and an interview skills coach, I can bet you have not taken a few moments to remind yourself of your value.
And even if you have, it's worth it every time to pause and do it again. Your self-talk has the power to relax your muscles, deepen your sense of confidence, and boost your first impression. Are you using it in a positive way?
As I often remind my clients, I've discovered career movement happens quicker when I pay more attention to my strengths instead of the naysayer in my head. (That critical voice would have me feeling stuck, eating ice cream and Netflixing my favorite shows most of the time if I let it).
Are you not sure where to start with positive self-talk or squeezed for time? Telling yourself these three itty-bitty but oh-so-powerful statements will do the job.
1. You belong.
Putting yourself out there where you have to talk about yourself and your achievements may make you cringe. Maybe even want to throw-up. Or at least not feel like your best self.
You might be thinking, who am I to be going for this opportunity?
You could begin to question if all this effort to get closer to work you enjoy is worth it.
It feels safe to stay where you are, although you know you could do better and want more satisfaction in your day to day.
It would be so easy to pull out of this opportunity.
But you were selected to show up. For this interview. In that hot seat.
Hundreds of other people most likely also put their application forward or raised their hand. Many of them won't be invited to share their value in person. You will.
They chose you to sit there and connect in a meaningful conversation with them.
Really, you belong.
2. You are enough.
But others have more experience than you.
But maybe your degree is different than what they want.
But perhaps you had a bad thing happen that created a work gap on your resume.
But, but, but.....
The list goes on in how we can so quickly talk ourselves down instead of lift our spirits up. Our ego wants so much to protect us from new things, change, and taking a risk. It's time to park that default reaction that many of us have to a high pressure, professional situation. Or at least put it in neutral. It is of no help to you right now.
Your hard work, preparation, and goal setting are there on the sidelines cheering you on. Look closely at them and remember how far you have come. What does that say on their sign they hold up proudly and are waving around like crazy? Oh, it reads: YOU ARE ENOUGH.
It is common for your mind to flip back and forth from doubt to confidence before your big moment. Suddenly all your flaws may feel like they are about to be under a microscope. But in this moment before your job interview, remind yourself you belong in that chair. In that opportunity. In that spotlight.
Really, you are enough.
3. You got this.
So your palms might be sweaty or maybe you can feel your armpits giving away your secret that you are nervous. But still, you got this.
Perhaps you notice other candidates walking by while you are waiting your turn to interview. And you see their proud smiles. They must have done a great job in there. But still, you got this.
Maybe you start to remember a moment when you had an epic fail in front of a crowd when you tried to share your true voice. But still, you got this.
Ignoring what is happening inside you only makes your first impression seem less genuine, less the real you.
Trying too hard or not being yourself can send a red flag to employers or hiring managers that you are hiding something or not comfortable in your own skin.
Please don't let those normal reactions to being under pressure steal the light of your show.
Instead, allow yourself time to recognize and hold space for any feelings of self-doubt and memories of shame, vulnerability, or failure that an interview triggers. But then in the moments before your interview, see those heavy feelings or negative memories start to fade or shrink. They may still be there (and might come back in strong force later), but their energy within you before your interview can be decreased.
Choose to change the channel in your mind to a time that you felt successful. See the details of that moment. Feel what it was like. Let your mind stay there for a few minutes. Notice how a feeling of empowerment starts to rise up. Sometimes at first it is small, but the spark is still there.
This unique inner light that belongs only to you is willing to expand as you breathe in and out deeply. Being as connected as you can to your positive energy will help others trust the value you can bring to their company, team, or project.
Really, you got this.
But Are You Believing It?
These three statements hold a significant power to upgrade your interview, especially when they are backed up with a deep belief in yourself.
Are you struggling to believe these statements about your work or do they feel uncomfortable to tell yourself? If so, please connect with me so we can help get what is blocking your potential to share your professional value out of the way for good.
You deserve to shine in the hot seat and attract work that lights you up. Life's circumstances and challenges often knock us around. Unexpected hurdles can make it hard to see our value and know where to begin.
I'm here to help you believe it and gain clarity on your next best career step.
Most of all, believe in you.
Your turn: What ritual or routine do you rely on to not melt in the hot seat at an interview? Share your tips or question about this topic in the reply box below. I love hearing from readers of this blog and enjoy seeing how we all support each other on our career journey.
If we have not met yet online, I invite you to see my calendar and schedule a time that works for you to connect more.