Jobs in the marketing and creative industries are amongst the most competitive in the world. Naturally the intensity of competition for the best jobs leads candidates to constantly ask me how best to manage the pressure of having to perform at a very important job interview. So here I’ve put together three effective techniques that can help you manage the pressure of a big interview so you’re able to perform at your absolute best.
Sit down, close your eyes and visualise yourself absolutely nailing your interview! You’re answering questions such as: "What will you bring to our teams?" and "tell us about your biggest achievements" with confidence (the way you’ve always wanted to).
Research has shown a direct correlation between visualisation and enhanced sports performance. Many sports stars such as Wayne Rooney and Michael Phelps have been renowned for visualising prior to their sporting event. Rooney famously said: "You’re trying to put yourself in that moment and trying to prepare yourself, to have a ‘memory’ before the game."
I teach the same methods to my clients and it works! Ensure that you visualise your interview both in the first and the third person, and you’ll find that when it’s time for the interview you’re able to execute your answers with far more confidence and charisma.
Don’t put the job on a pedestal
Sometimes you want to succeed so bad that you end up putting unwanted pressure on yourself. I remember one of my clients who had an interview for an assistant producer at a huge media company. It was her dream job and one she’d always wanted. Normally she came across fantastically at interviews but on this occasion she froze and this hindered her interview performance.
So how do you stop putting the job on a pedestal so that it doesn’t impact your performance? You have to remind yourself of these two important things.
Know that your world isn’t going to fall apart if you don’t get the job. There are going to be other opportunities - this was just one of them.
That you are an amazing candidate whatever the outcome. If you’re not successful it’s their loss.
This mindset will allow you to reduce the amount of pressure that you put on yourself so that it doesn’t hinder your performance.
Give yourself a mock interview
The interview is a performance and by physically going through the motions and mimicking how it would be like, you will ensure that when you do enter the interview room your body and are mind are acclimatised to what is to come. We do it in other facets in our lives, such as mock driving tests and mock papers before a big exam. Jonny Wilkinson, the English rugby legend, would practise for hours, mimicking real match situations, so that when the moment came his body and mind were able to deal with the pressure.
For you it’s simple, sit in a chair, in front of the mirror, and start giving yourself an interview. Ask yourself interview questions such as: "Tell me about yourself" or "why do you want to work for us?". Answer the questions out loud as if you’re in the interview. You’ll find that on the day of the interview you’re able to deal with the pressure and deliver your answers with far more confidence and fluidity.
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