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Your “self-talk” or internal dialogue is critical when it comes to effective interview preparation. In the days running up to the interview, tell yourself that this company would be lucky to have you and that you’re absolutely the right person for the role. Sometimes saying this out loud can go a long way.
This behaviour would have been controversial a few years ago, but nowadays it's quite normal to inform yourself about the interviewer beforehand. Take a look at his LinkedIn or XING profile and find out whether there are any interviews with or articles about him. This can alleviate the fear of the unknown that some candidates feel before the interview. Moreover, you then can assign a face to the interviewer's name, making him look more familiar to you. You may also be able to find some commonalities to lightly mention in the interview as a way of building rapport.
Psychologist Amy Cuddy recommends getting into your “power pose” before a presentation or interview. Staying in that pose for three minutes has been proven to increase confidence and decrease anxiety. Try it!
Take your time for sporting activities in the evening or in the morning before the interview. Through sports, your body releases more endorphins, which are proven to reduce stress and generally lead to a more positive feeling and to more energy. This in turn helps you think clearly and leave a strong first impression.
On the morning of the interview, look up inspiring quotes and photos from your friends or people you aspire to become. Imagine the sort of lifestyle you could be having and focus on the endless possibilities of what life could offer you. Visualising success is one of the most effective ways of achieving it.
Of course, you know to dress professionally for an interview, but why not make an extra effort, so you feel as confident as you possibly can be. Whether it’s taking a bit more time on your hair, wearing your best dress, or getting up earlier so you can go and get your shoes polished, this could be well worth the time if it’s going to give you that little extra confidence boost before the interview.
It’s always nice to be able to get on the phone before or after the interview as a way of getting some positive talk and encouragement. A good pep talk before something big gives you the feeling that there is someone who supports you.
Music is one way to relieve stress. Listening to upbeat music will not only pump you up, but will also take your mind off all that doubt and anxiety you’re having as you make your way to the interview location. Podcasts are also great, you can listen to them anywhere, they can transport your mind to another place, helping you to relax, plus you can listen to a podcast on just about anything to increase your knowledge on a subject; from how to be more positive, to how to communicate confidently.
Interview preparation can be both mentally and physically draining. To help you look forward to something after the interview, book something fun – perhaps a lunch of dinner with an old colleague or a friend. See this as a reward for all of your hard work towards preparing for this interview.
Lastly, remember that this isn’t the only job vacancy in the world and there will be other opportunities, if you aren’t successful this time. This will help you to see the bigger picture, and take some of that pressure off of yourself.
All these tips are practical steps towards a more optimistic, positive and calm attitude on the day of the interview. If you adopt such an attitude, you will be more likely to relax and thus appear more natural and authentic. As a result, the conversation will feel more like a dialogue and less like the familiar dry question-and-answer game. In this way, you will build a real bond with the interviewer and you will be kept in good memory – hopefully leading to good news for you.