How to Ace your interview
The similarity between sport and interviews
Typically within the sporting arena one competitor isn’t beaten by another. The loser is often beaten by himself whilst the winner triumphs in the internal battle with himself. Jack Nicklaus (the best guy before Tiger Woods!) said that he didn’t win golf tournaments he just waited for the other guys to lose them!
An interview is just the same
There are two battles to have with yourself prior to an interview, win them and increase your chance of success.
Battle one: Preparation
Failing to prepare thoroughly is one of the biggest reasons for failure at interview. The most successful people in the world don’t “wing it” – they plan their goals and review them daily.
Ok, we all get scared at interviews. A few nerves are good; they show you care. But we want to avoid complete debilitation – don’t we?
Being prepared will give your confidence a massive boost and so will a little bit of positive thinking. You must not defeat yourself by allowing your “negative” self to play the tapes (in your mind) of when you last messed up! This is the equivalent of the golfer facing a shot over the water, who prepares for the shot by remembering the last time he hit this shot into the water! Guess what? He’ll do the same again because that’s what your mind has just told your body to do. Don’t worry if you don’t play golf, we’ve all got examples in our life when we’ve focused all our emotional energy on what we didn’t want to happen and brought it into effect.
So it’s crucial that you develop a positive self-image. "Belief is the thermostat that regulates what we achieve in life" (The Magic of Thinking Big, David J. Schwartz). Remember that because we are what we think about, you can set your thermostat to whatever temperature you like!
If this all sounds a little be too airy fairy for you (it does for most people because we’ve all been told that things are just meant to be or not meant to be) hang in there. Spend the night before your interview playing the positive tapes in your mind – the ones where you confidently walk into the interview room (free of anxiety), ask great questions and give equally brilliant answers to the very nice person who is interviewing you!
If you fill your mind with positive thoughts about how your interview will proceed, you’ll achieve this confident persona in the interview - learn to prepare thoroughly and then to trust yourself.
A great way to do this is to relax and speak first
Do your best to get the interviewer talking by asking questions about the things you weren’t able to find answers to in your research. This will be really easy if you’ve done your research. Most company websites will post news updates, so all you’ll need to do is pick a story and a sensible question relating to this story and ask the question as you walk towards the interview room.
If you are good at your job you can be good at interviewing too – we absolutely promise you. Remember your biggest opponent is yourself. Don’t defeat yourself by failing to prepare or by letting anxiety undermine the positive self-image you have developed. Don’t compete with yourself. Get prepared and take control.