27 Apr Ready for your next interview?
My new Interview Programme is nearly ready for launch. As I have been researching this area, it has become more and more apparent just how many people suffer from anxiety, not just about interviews, but about their overall performance in the workplace. The ‘Imposter Syndrome’ rears its head again! Of course an interview brings this into sharp relief, because we have to show ourselves off at our very best – and if WE doubt our abilities, it’s hard to present ourselves well to others.
As we prepare for an interview, with the ever increasing range of tests and tasks that may be involved, it’s important that we have a clear and positive view of ourselves. Habitual patterns of negative thinking can be extremely unhelpful. These might perhaps involve going over times in the past when things haven’t worked out, or listing in our minds all the things we find difficult. Research shows that the majority of women, when looking at a job specification will count themselves out as soon as they see one item on the list that they don’t know about, or have no experience of. Men may do this too, but actually it is more common for them to focus on the bits they can do, and be prepared to ‘wing it’ for the rest. But when candidates tell themselves they couldn’t possibly get the job because they don’t have all these skills, the employer is deprived of hundreds of potential applicants who may actually be perfect for the job. How many people do you think are the perfect fit for these things? Most employers set out their perfect candidate, never expecting that they’ll find someone who fulfills all the criteria – they’re just looking for the closest match – someone good enough, who can then be trained further and grow to fit the role.
That being the case, what are the best qualities with which to fill the gap? Surely versatility and ability to think on your feet are key to moving forward in any role. Allowing yourself to recognise the qualities you do have, and draw on them, whether it be during an interview, or in the workplace itself, is vital. If your mind is so busy with thoughts of ‘I’ve never done this before’, or ‘This is slightly different from what I expected’ or ‘What if they see that I don’t know what I’m doing’, how can you hope to access those inner resources that we all have available in any moment? When your mind is quiet, and your negative thinking subsides, your skill at making it up as you go along, based on real time information, is actually the best thing you have going for you.