By Shea Ki
As a highly experienced Interview Skills Coach, I often get asked, "Do you have a quick tip for someone nervous about an interview coming up?"
It's my most favorite and least favorite question. I love doing what I can to help out and I often will offer my top favorite suggestions.
But then I also note that a band aid doesn't fix a broken arm.
Developing strong interview skills also takes much more individual attention and time.
Relying on fast guidance about how to interview that is not customized to your unique strengths and challenges will only get you so far.
Quick tips have their place, especially in today's fast-paced, short-attention-span world. I can list hundreds of quick fixes to upgrade your interview, like the ones below that are in this post that will calm your nerves. Being able to do that comes from years of helping others present their authentic, best self.
Reading information online like this blog can be helpful, but it doesn't get at the root of what is blocking your interview success.
So go ahead--scroll and scan through the quick tips below so you know a few holistic remedies to present a more relaxed, positive you. But if you really want to shine in the hot seat, GO BIGGER + BOLDER. I invite you to meet up with me online for your free sample coaching session so you can learn more about the Upgrade My Interview method.
1. Assess Where Your Mindset Is At
Which one below sounds more like the thoughts in your head when you think about how you interview:
Maybe you see yourself in the middle of both? You are in good company. Many clients I coach fall somewhere in between. They agree that positive thinking results in a better interview performance. But they also need support to learn what works best for them on how to consistently keep a growth mindset.
If you don't have the right people in your corner, it's easier to choose to avoid putting yourself "out there". Interviewing often means risking being rejected and experiencing other frustrations that happen along the way to a better opportunity. Who else has your back on the tough days? Reach out to them regularly and tell them when you need help with a mindset shift.
2. Keep Mood Boosters Always Within Reach
Waiting to hear if you will be called in for an interview or the days leading up to being in the hot seat can be highly stressful.
Sustaining your excitement and keeping your morale up is a challenge for many. This period of not knowing what the outcome will be often makes the thought patterns of those with a strong positive mindset start to go downhill.
As soon as you begin the process of looking for your next career step, make it easier on yourself by putting more mood boosters within easy access.
For you it could be funny videos, memes, pictures of loved ones, or a favorite music playlist. For me, what does the trick is usually putting my nose into an inspiring book or my ears into a headset playing motivational guided imagery.
This is my current stack of juice-me-up books and other go-tos that I pull from at the beginning, middle, and end of my work day. I enjoyed reviewing several of them in my recent article for Thrive Global.
Sometimes I open to a page that hits the mark at just the right moment or I listen to powerful guided imagery. Other times I grab that purple journal behind the stack of inspiring authors and write down my own thoughts to bring relief.
I started this practice of adding more intentionally inspiring, 5 minute mood boosters to my work day a few years ago. The benefits have been countless and my energy at the end of the day is so much higher + happier on the days I do it than on the days I don’t.
Do you give yourself time to take a motivating break on work days or while “job searching”? (As I tell my clients, I like the words opportunity attracting much better) If so, what do you reach for to spark you up? If not, what holds you back from allowing yourself to reboot?
3. Try Holistic Methods That Trigger Positive Thoughts
I read a definition recently that anxiety = "a feeling of worry, nervousness, or unease, typically about an imminent event or something with an uncertain outcome".
From years as a hiring manager, I know for sure that most people experience some form of mild to high anxiety before an interview. Anxiety looses a lot of its hold on blocking you from giving an amazing first impression WHEN YOU ARE ABLE TO NOTICE IT. Signs that you likely are starting to feel anxiety include shallow breathing, a faster than usual pulse, sweaty palms, or thoughts that are not in the present moment.
Here are two ways to help trigger a more relaxed response to the stress of interviewing:
For centuries, eastern medicine has reaped the benefits of seeing the organs of the body as not just having a physical function, but also as a connection to the mind and spirit. A common point used for relieving anxiety is labeled H7 in the image below, but is often called the "Mind Door" or "Spirit Gate".
You can find it easily along the outer edge of the crease of where your palm meets your arm, just inside your wrist bone. To stimulate the benefits of this point, press and hold it firmly (but not so hard that you feel pain) with your thumb for 60 seconds on each arm.
Focused, Deep Breathing
To double the effect of relaxation, combine the acupressure activity with a deep breathing exercise. Keep your in and out breaths long as you press on the point along your wrists.
Did you know there is a free resource that helps you feel more like the AMAZING YOU and less of a super nervous interviewee?
Simply use the moving image and any one of the breathing exercises by BreathingBuddies.com as a guide.
Your turn: Share in the comments below what song, book, or favorite quote boosts your mindset when you feel under pressure before an interview?
Most of all, believe in you!
About the Author
Did you enjoy this post? My name is Shea Ki and I invite you to join my mission to end the interview struggle for talented women. My coaching sessions help you shine in the hot seat and attract work that lights you up.