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Job interviews are incredibly intimidating…not to mention exhausting.
I don’t know about you all, but I always find myself getting super worked up about the whole ordeal. By the time it’s done, I feel like I could sleep for hours upon hours. They are pretty h*ckin tiring. As I’ve gotten older, I’ve realized how much job interview mindfulness plays a role in the success of an interview.
After I started learning about mindfulness, and why it matters, I began applying it to high-stress situations (aka job interviews). I’ve noticed a huge improvement in my confidence, memory, and question-answer quality. By practicing job interview mindfulness, you too can train your brain to stay alert, calm and laser focused. Friends, you’re already on your way to crushin’ your goals, help yourselves out with a little job interview mindfulness practice.
4 Tips for Job Interview Mindfulness
1. Pre-Interview Meditation
The moments leading up to an interview are, in my opinion, some of the most frazzle-inducing parts of the entire process. It’s super easy to get inside your own head, and frantically go over any pre-prepped answers, or some one-liners you want to mention about yourself. Just like cramming for an exam, this often gets you even more stressed out.
The best way to slow down your racing mind is by refocusing your energy inwards with a little pre-interview meditation. Perhaps perform a full body scan, becoming aware of your breathing rate, and any muscle tension.
Pay special attention to places where you often don’t realize you’re holding a lot of stress such as your forehead, eyebrows, and tongue. Notice all these things without judgment–just becoming aware of the sensations as a whole. I love starting with my tippy toes and working my way up my body. I like engaging my muscles for a few seconds and releasing. It helps my physical body feel calmer, all while focusing my thoughts fully in the present moment.
Using all five senses as a guide is another fantastic method to apply to job interview mindfulness. Have a look at the environment you’re in, noticing the sights and/or decorations of the room. Feel your clothes on your body, or the weight of your body against the chair. Notice any smells in the room, or tastes in your mouth (hopefully minty freshness 😊). Finally, listen to any noises around you…perhaps the clicking of your pen, or the inter-office chatter. I personally like listening to the click-clack of my heels on the floor.
2. Focus on the Question at Hand
Almost everyone struggles with this right off the bat because we usually get stuck on our past answers. Rather than focusing on the present moment in front of us during an interview, we get hung up on the things we should or shouldn’t have said, and mentally tell ourselves things along the lines of “Oh I wish I didn’t say this”, or “I should have added this…”
When we allow ourselves to focus on the one question in front of us, we can devote 100% of our brain power into conjuring up an answer to that specific question. No distractions allow us to get stuck in a rut, or my favorite—start rambling and forgetting the question altogether. No brain farting here.
Sometimes, the interviewer will be a little tricky by asking multiple questions at one time. Pro tip friends—listen to the entire question before you start developing your answer. That way, you’ll be able to answer the question(s) in its entirety.
3. Reflect on your Objectives
I mean, let’s not kid ourselves here. A pretty central reason why we all look for jobs in the first place is that we want to make money. But actually, saying that? That leaves a super, ultra-microscopic, slim chance of actually landing the role.
Prior to the interview, research your role, and reflect on your overall job objectives and goal (besides making some coin). Ask yourself what you are trying to get from this position. For example, you may be a recent graduate and you’re looking to dip your toe in the water and get some working experience. Or maybe you’re looking to broaden your horizons and gain exposure to a new industry.
Regardless of whatever your career objectives are, be mindful of your end goal. All your answers should tie into this one goal, and how your position as a ______ at the ______ company will help you reach your career objectives.
Breathe, breathe, BREATHE. I saved this one for last because it’s one of the easiest and most important job interview mindfulness tips out there.
Something so simple as taking breaths in between sentences can help us relax, speak at a nice, slow pace, and express ourselves clearly and concisely. Be mindful of your breathing and the rest will fall into place.
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Like I said earlier, interviews are pretty stressful. Especially in today’s job market, the pressure for us to get a job sooner rather than later is pretty damn high. Once I started applying job interview mindfulness to my interviews, I’ve seen a great deal of improvement in my performance, my confidence and my chance at landing the job.
You’re probably asking yourself, “how the hell am I supposed to practice these techniques if I can’t seem to land an interview?” The answer to that is simpler than you’d expect…especially since it’s probably no further than 10 ft. of you right now.
Grab a phone and record yourself answering common interview questions for your dream job. When you’re done, give it a listen and critique yourself by noticing what you did well, and what you can work on improving. Also, try and get a family member or friend involved. Have them ask you random questions, and mindfully work through your answers.
How have you incorporated mindfulness practices into your careers and/or job hunt?