This past weekend I was watching Super Bowl commercials (I’ll admit, the Super Bowl just isn’t as appealing without my Packers in it). I did however tune in at the end when that Patriots rookie Malcolm Butler intercepted the ball to secure a win. It was an incredible and rather unexpected catch he attributed to a “vision.”
“I just had a vision that I was going to make a big play and it came true…”
There’s a popular saying in sports that winning is “90% mental and 10% physical,” and Butler’s play spurred by his vision, well, I’d say exemplified this saying perfectly.
It seems kind of funny when you think about it; the fact that seasoned athletes in their physical prime, achieving super-human physical feats such as a Super Bowl, would require more mental effort to succeed. But the truth is, it’s the mastery of mental power, positive thinking and harnessing a vision of success, that delivers the winning formula when paired up with the physical component.
The mental game is key in the job search as well, particularly when it comes to interviewing. Interviewing for most, is incredibly awkward and stressful. It’s the whole being in the interview setting and having questions fired off at random that can tend to make the interview process intense, nerve-wracking and dreaded by just about everyone. However, interviewing is the Super Bowl of the job search and one you’ll want to win if you’re going to achieve your job search goals.
You can have all the right experience in the world but if you go into an interview with zero mental strategy, you’re doomed to exude whatever insecurities you’ve got going in.
So how do you get mentally ready to ace an interview? Here are a few strategies:
1. See Your Winning Vision
If you can see it you can achieve it so see yourself at the company before you set foot in the door for the interview. Spend 2 minutes each day leading up to your interview visualizing you in your new job. Who will you be interacting with? What will be on your desk? What kinds of interactions will you have? Visualization is mental goal setting and if you can see where you’re headed, you’ll be more invigorated and positive as you work to get there. Those are both vibes you’ll need in the interview setting.
2. Work On Being Comfortable
Interviews are awkward and uncomfortable largely due to the fact that you can’t know fully what to expect when you walk in the door. Work on making your interviews comfortable by being really well prepared for everything. If you don’t want to experience that awkward silence due to not having the right answer, then practice your answers. Have your mental memory bank full of examples that demonstrate your strength as a candidate. This means spending time getting prepared.[wpcb id=”9″ text=”Click Here for a Free PDF download of this blog post.” style=”black_flat”]
3. Give Yourself a Pep Talk
Spend some time telling yourself that you can do it instead of panicking about how awkward the interview will be (even if this means talking to yourself in the mirror). Again, this will be huge in making sure your mental game isn’t shaken up at the last minute. Reinforce positivity and excitement around any thoughts you have about the upcoming interview. This means forcing out the negative thoughts when they start to creep in.
4. Don’t Forget, You’ve Earned This
A common mental insecurity around not feeling qualified enough for the job, can start to develop as the interview approaches. Don’t let it! Remember, you mentally in charge here. Know that something about you (your resume, phone interview, past experience) stood out to the hiring manager and he or she is invested in getting to know you better. Therefore, don’t let yourself convince anyone otherwise. Remain confident that you are indeed qualified and capable.
5. Think “Conversation” vs “Firing Squad”
Keep in mind that the end goal of an interview is to see if you, the job, and the company are a match. This is a conversation, not an inquisition so think of this as a friendly chat more than anything else and try not to be too intimidated.
If you can master your mental game when it comes to interviewing, your personal Super Bowl trophy awaits.