Invest in your interview

Although the modern world of work is changing in many ways, the job interview is something that’s going to remain an important part of most recruitment approaches.

Given they’re probably here to stay, there’s some ways of thinking about job interviews that are probably worth investing some time and effort in so you can maximise your chances of performing well in those particular moments that matter.

Making a job interview something you’re going to look forward to is probably the most helpful step you can take when it comes to stacking the odds of success in your favour.

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High Performance Headlines

  • Job interviews typically have a high degree of pressure attached to them, so it’s worth making sure this pressure is going to be helpful
  • Being nervous is very natural and won’t be unexpected by the people interviewing you, so worrying about being nervous isn’t helpful. Accepting you’re nervous and deciding what you want to do about that is a far more helpful approach
  • If you’ve been invited for an interview, you’ve already passed a certain threshold of employability, so you’re probably being judged on attitude and character, as much as you are on your competence
  • If you go into an interview focused on the result of ‘having to get the job’, then for most people, this is going to raise the pressure beyond a level that is helpful, so defining success in a helpful way makes a big difference

The Full Viewpoint

The challenge

You’ll not be surprised to read that we think an interview is a performance. As such, it’s important to think about how to prepare for the performance as thoroughly as possible (rather than focusing on the result of ‘being offered the job’ throughout the whole process).

Remembering that ‘performance is doing the things you need to do to get the result you want’ then it’s worth breaking the interview down into a couple of helpful chunks. Chunk 1 is about preparing by focusing on the things you can control. Chunk 2 is about making sure you’re being smart about how you are picturing ‘the result you want.

Chunk 1Preparing by focusing on the things you can control is a key building block to success. So, what are the best places to focus your energy and preparation as you get ready to perform?

First, it’s a big help to find out as much as you can about what’s going to happen. Make sure you ask questions about the interview itself; where it is, who will be running it, who will be in the interview and asking the questions and what format it will take. The more you can understand this, the better you will be able to mentally prepare yourself for being in that place, ready to help the interviewers see you at your best.

You’ve probably got some good information already about the business and role through the application process, but decide how much more research you want to do so that you feel as briefed as you need to about your would be employers.

Having found out about the other people in the interview conversation, it’s time to focus on yourself. You’re preparing to present a great account of yourself, so make sure you’re really clear about your strengths and you’re able to communicate those in a way that will be easily understood and valued by the interview team.

To really cement in place sharing what you want to share, your best form of preparation is practice. Organise with friends to go through the kinds of questions you think you’re going to be asked and give yourself the chance to practice your answers and get feedback about how well you’re coming across as you. We’ve got some great content on how to practice, so why not have a look at that after you’re finished here? (you’ll find the button below)

Chunk 2 – Choose your result wisely. This bit of getting ready is ultimately about finding the mindset that works best for you. Here’s some of the choices of ‘result’ to focus on that we know is going to give you the best chances of performing to your potential on the day.

Success version 1 – I want to put myself in a position to be offered the job so I can decide whether it’s the right next step for me by staying relaxed and by focusing on my strengths.

Success version 2 – I want to enjoy answering the questions as much as I can so that I get to show my knowledge and character and make the most of the opportunity to test out my knowledge

Success version 3 – I want to show the people interviewing me that I understand myself, their role, their business and to see if we have similar views and values

Success version 4 – I want the interviewers to think that I’m the best person they interview at demonstrating the values that I know are important to how they run their company

The language of each of the success versions above shows that there are different ways of assessing success than simply being offered the job. The definitions of success focus on the process of being interviewed, as well as the outcome of the interview in different ways.

Whether you’re offered the job or not, in each of the versions above, you can seek feedback afterwards about how well you achieved your success on the day. The different versions of success also allow you to think about practicing in a particular way to ensure you feel ready to stay in the moment throughout the interview, rather than being obsessed with just the outcome of it.

Do what you know

And when it comes to the actual interview, there’s some simple stuff you can do:

Go and see how much you can enjoy the ‘performance’.

Can your interviews be something you can truly look forward to in the future?

practice kitbag