Interview Readiness

Becoming an interview ninja!

Interviews are a great opportunity to use some of the other content we’ve got elsewhere in The Performance Room. Anything about the Challenge Mindset and dealing with pressure is worth a read, but this tool is designed to help you have that knowledge focused specifically on maximising performance on the day of the interview.

Reading time: 5 minutes

What will it do?

This tool will help you create a killer plan of action for your interview.

Three steps to take

Get focused on the things that will make the most impact for you.

1. It’s all about you and your performance.

Start with creating a control plan for the whole day that will help you stay fully focused on the things that you’re in control of, every step of the way. This part of the tool is going to get you focused in on the choices you’re going to be making, meaning that you’re controlling the interview, it’s not controlling you.

So, have a conversation with a trusted person and fill in your performance choices for each phase of the interview.

The night before:

  • What am I going to choose to do on the evening before the interview, so I feel I’m doing what I need to do in the way that’s right for me?
    (think about what you do and don’t want to do, how much you want to focus/switch-off and what you want to do in terms of preparing things so the morning is as easy as possible when you wake up)
  • What’s my attitude going to be towards sleep and how am I going to make sure I get the best quality sleep I can, for me? (Being realistic and full of self-compassion is important here!)

The morning of the interview:

  • What time do I choose to get out of bed?
  • What breakfast will I choose that will set me up for the day?
  • What I am choosing to wear to make me feel good about myself?
  • What time will I choose to leave and what am I choosing to take with me?

Travelling to the interview:

  • What time am I going to choose to arrive at the interview venue?
  • How am I going to choose to travel to the interview so that there’s minimum travel hassle?
  • Do I want to choose to think about anything or focus on anything about the interview while I’m travelling there?

Getting ready at the interview venue:

  • When I’m waiting at the venue, what will I choose to do that will help to get or keep me in the right frame of mind?
  • What kind of emotions do I want to choose to create?
  • What kind of body language will I find useful to choose to have?
  • How am I going to choose to introduce myself when I meet people?

In the interview:

  • What self-talk am I going to choose to remind myself about what’s important to me?
  • What am I going to choose to do that will help me listen to questions really well?
  • What body language am I going to choose to present during the interview?
  • What information am I going to choose to find out about that will help me learn about the role and the business?
  • What am I going to choose to share about myself so that my interviewers get to see the real me?
  • What am I going to choose to do that will help me stay in the moment and feel in control throughout the interview?
  • How do I want to choose to finish the interview so I leave the desired impression?

After the interview:

  • What am I going to choose to focus on so that I can assess my performance in the interview once I’ve left the venue?

2. Next step…

Once you’ve got your answers to these questions, your job is to be confident that you will have an outlook that’s going to help you; GET IN CONTROL, STAY IN CONTROL and REGAIN CONTROL (if you need to).

With the emphasis on you CHOOSING all of the ingredients of your plan, you are reinforcing to yourself that you’ve chosen to apply for the post, you’ve chosen to accept the invitation to the interview and you’ve chosen to come and test yourself to see what you can find out about yourself and the opportunity.

Knowing and reinforcing CHOICE is essential in building a challenge mindset. So as you write your answers, use this as an opportunity to do some WHAT IF? planning.

For every answer think about something that might happen where you’d think things weren’t going so well, or were going way better than expected. For each situation, use your plan to provide you with an IF THAT, THEN answer.

So, ‘WHAT IF someone asks me a question I don’t understand?’ – IF THAT happens THEN, I’ll choose to ask them to repeat it another way to make sure I’ve understood it correctly.

And ‘WHAT IF I arrive much earlier than I’d expected to, so I’ve got more time before my interview?’ – IF THAT happens THEN, I will choose to go back over my personal strengths stories in a relaxed way and I’ll take the extra time to relax with some mindfulness.

Work with someone to come up with different WHAT IF?s and practice using your predetermined choices to show that you’re going to be in CONTROL and you’ll be able to manage any great or not so great situations.

3. After the What If?s

Having written out the plan and practised some WHAT IF? planning, your final job is to simply be curious. Be curious about how well you’re going to be able to bring your plan to life and be curious about what impact your plan is going to have on how you think and feel before, during and after the interview.

This final step of having an open mind towards your plan is a powerful final step and will provide another key ingredient for helping you stay in the moment throughout the build up to and completion of your interview.

We highly recommend this article which contains some really great questions that you can ask at the end of your interview.

Your plan

Get a plan Stan.

The basics you need to have in your plan are set out below. As well as these we’d encourage you to:

  • Think about the people who need to know that you’re using this tool and tell them what you’re doing. That way they can support you and won’t think you’re just being weird.
  • Think about the impact you want from using this tool. Depending on your starting point, how hard you work and how ambitious you are, you might not get that impact straight away. So valuing progress rather than perfection will help build your confidence and keep you going.

Plan basics

  1. What are you going to do? (This bit is easy – it’s probably the 3 things listed above.)

    My actions:

  2. When are you going to do these things? (You don’t have to be great to get going, but you better get going if you want to be great)

    My start date:

  3. How often will you be doing them? (Getting great has a lot to do with making things a habit)

    Check-in frequency and dates:

Get serious

The difference between having a plan and making it work is about action. So get this in your diary now. Tell the people who need to know so that they can support you and won’t just think you’re being weird. Do it now.

Remember, it’s progress not perfection. You’re looking for gradual improvement, not for Rome to be built in a day.