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Reframe Your Interview Mindset & Thrive


 

couple celebrating interview success

Reframe Your Interview Mindset & Thrive.

A new beginning, the new year invokes huge feelings of optimism, promise and opportunity. Our traditional resolutions reflect our personal and professional goals, so, if you’re thinking about a career change, you are certainly not alone.


In January 2023, a quarter of people using LinkedIn, updated their profiles with new professional skills and work experience; the business-focused social media platform also saw a 30% increase in job searches. UK recruiters placed over 180,000 new job adverts in the first week of the year alone.


Whether professional growth or personal fulfilment, whatever your motivations, once you have applied for a new role, naturally, your thoughts turn to how to perform well at an interview. Likely to be something you haven’t experienced for a considerable time, it’s fair to say that you are completely out of practice – and it's here where the problem easily starts.


Interview anxiety and self-doubt can creep in little by little or soar almost overnight, curtailing your chances from the get-go. But nerves don’t need to make it harder to find your purpose and get to where you’d like to be. Whilst it’s possible to act, “being confident”, is not something that you can simply decide to be.


However, self-care and adopting a healthy mentality can increase self-belief, crucial if you want to ace your new job interview. Although it’s important, this is not about making sure that you leave plenty of time for your journey, but by reframing your interview mindset, you take greater control, and that new direction in life.

Interview anxiety Martine Cullum Writes

How to overcome interview anxiety.

You’ve been invited for an interview - you’re thrilled, but that stress just dialled up a notch or two. It’s our body's natural instinct to be apprehensive in an unknown situation; almost everyone will experience nervousness beforehand.


Don’t make assumptions.

With a better understanding of the impact of stress on performance, interview techniques have evolved with a shift towards focusing on candidate well-being and providing a positive, inclusive meeting. Preferring to put potential employees at ease in a supportive, empathetic environment, interviews are often more relaxed, aiding the assessment process markedly.


Mindful dressing. 

Whilst you should dress appropriately, there is no point in wearing a stiff shirt with a tickly neck label. Be mindful that when choosing what to wear to an interview, you should be comfortable as well as professional. Wear something that makes you stand tall and feel fabulous. Feeling good inside, makes you shine outside.


Be your authentic, true self

Your application has shown that you have the experience needed, the purpose of the interview is to meet the genuine you. Employers look for attitude; they are seeing whether you could fit seamlessly into the team. However, the same goes for you – is the company culture for you? Do they operate in a way that matches your personal values?


Be prepared, (but not over-prepared).

You’ll need to be knowledgeable about the job, company and wider industry to appear motivated and enthusiastic, but avoid the temptation to cram like you have an exam; your head will be swimming; you’ll feel tense and stifled as you try to recall everything. Focus on a few key facts relevant to the role or an exciting recent company development or marketing campaign that reflects a genuine interest. Being prepared is a form of self-care and will help reduce any feelings of anxiety.


job interview help Martine Cullum Writes

 

Prioritising your own well-being will help you manage pre-interview stress and anxiety, as well as your performance on the day itself.


Exercise.

I’m not suggesting that you jog to the meeting, but even the gentlest exercise, such as a brisk walk, will instantly deliver a hit of the happy hormone, endorphins, lowering stress, boosting energy, improving your body language and building your confidence. Even something as simple as a yoga power pose, such as ‘warrior,’ will project a positive presence.


Visualisation and positive affirmations

Your thoughts and beliefs about yourself can have a powerful impact. Negative self-talk may be one of the fastest ways to self-sabotage your success. If you find yourself doing so, try to swap this weakness for a strength. Simple, positive affirmations lift your self-assurance and calm anxiety; improving performance. “I am prepared and calm,” “I am friendly and confident when speaking;” “I am experienced and good at my job.” Visualise landing your dream job; how does it look? and more importantly, what does it feel like? Take a few deep breaths and imagine being offered the role, or delivering the work.


Controlling severe performance anxiety

If you suffer from anxiety, it never hurts to have a few coping strategies up your sleeve.


Covert Breathing Exercises

Purse your lips slightly, take a deep breath in through your nose, and breathe out slowly through the imaginary straw in your mouth. The effective square breathing technique is ideal for interview spaces. Focus on something square, a window or a laptop screen, perhaps. Breathe in for four as you trace your gaze along the base of the square, then out for four as you move up one side, in for four along the top, and out for 4 as your eyes move down the other side; repeat this pattern until your heart rate slows.

 

Reframe Your Interview Mindset & Thrive Martine Cullum Writes

Reflexology

Helpfully, the LI-4 acupressure point sits between your thumb and forefinger, gently applying pressure here with the other hand can alleviate stress. To anyone else, this looks as if you have just placed your hands together so it’s unnoticeable.


Communication

Studies show that sharing any worries with someone you trust is deeply therapeutic; lowering physical and emotional stress and even increasing immunity. You are bound to receive encouragement and positive responses that bat away often unfounded concerns about your abilities.


Redefining success

As you shake hands and leave the room, it’s all too easy to focus on the slightest negative moment, rather than all the positives.


Reframing interview rejection.

Take a moment for self-reflection. Congratulate yourself but celebrate small accomplishments, too. Unfortunately, during recruitment, you’re likely to experience rejection, but even if you aren’t offered the role, you were shortlisted from the often-substantial number of applicants. When you receive feedback, take the positive comments onboard. It’s unlikely you did anything “wrong,” the successful applicant just had a different experience. Every interview is an opportunity for learning and self-discovery, practice gratitude for this knowledge. By looking for these silver linings, you move forward with resilience and remain positive.


The hidden power of saying no

As mentioned, this process is just as much about you, as the employer. Whilst you can do the role, it doesn’t necessarily mean you should, for a multitude of reasons. More often than not you will experience a gut response. It can be important to listen to this, innately, it is there to guide you and can help you make positive choices. It is perfectly acceptable to respectfully decline a role. Moreover, it is empowering to know your own mind with assurance and composure; saying, “Thank you, but I don’t feel that it is for me at this time.”.


Leaping into 2024 Martine Cullum Writes

 

As an increasing number of employers revise their interview practices, adopting methods that put the applicant's well-being front and centre, we must also prioritise self-care to not only boost our chances of success but also reduce stress and anxiety in the long term.


By reframing your interview mindset, you will approach interviews with greater self-awareness, self-compassion and a growth mindset. Instead of feeling incredibly tense and worried, you will discover an increased sense of uplifting empowerment; motivation and confidence. Regardless of success, you will see the application process in a new light, celebrating the small wins and the power positive feedback brings, you’ll learn from all experiences with energy and powerful optimism.


 I wish you all a more mindful, balanced, self-care approach to your 2024 job search.

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Martine Cullum is an English fiction writer of urban fantasy, mystery and contemporary romance; her cozy crime series has feel-good friendship, warmth and kindness at heart. With a strong connection to the spiritual world and the kind of magical energy that comes from the power of positive thinking, Martine’s fiction writing has one aim, simply to make the world a better place.


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*Business Leader, ^V7 Recruitment, +People Management.

Resources.

Business Leader, V7 Recruitment, Student Space, People First, People Management, Self Pause.

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Feb 05
Rated 5 out of 5 stars.

Thanks so much for this, Martine. I'm already feeling more positive about my job search. 😊

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