Interviews can be so nerve-wracking and the uncertainty of what’s about to unfold can send your brain into overdrive. What if you mess up? What if they laugh you out of the room? What if, what if, what if?
Today, I want to share with you the best way to prepare for an interview. I’m going to share with you what I personally do to prepare for interviews (because I do have a day job too!) and what I advise my clients to do as well.
Now, before I get to that, let’s run through what you should be doing as standard for any interview you have coming up.
What you should already be doing for interviews
Firstly, you should definitely have a copy of the job description, or at the very least notes from a recruiter to start with. It’s so important to read through that multiple times and pick out sections that relate to your expertise or experience.
For example, if social media marketing is mentioned on there, you should be making notes on the relevant social media experience you have.
And use the STAR approach for every experience you mention – what was the situation? What was the task? What was your action? What were the results? If you have stats to back you up, all the better.
You also should have an appropriate outfit to wear, even if the interview is just on zoom.
I’ve always dressed smartly for an interview, even if I can see from the website that their dress code is quite casual.
And I did that because I knew this was my chance to make a good first impression. I also find it helps my confidence – if I dress a bit smarter, I feel like I can walk in confidently to the room. Clothes have a massive impact on how we feel.
Researching the company beforehand is also a huge thing.
Don’t quickly skim their website and hope for the best – I actually did this for one of my jobs and the first question they asked me in the interview was what I knew about the company – as you can imagine, I scored really low for that question!
Luckily, I managed to turn it around but since then, I’ve always done as much research as I can about the company. Type the name of the company into Google and click on ‘News’ to see if anything comes up there. Look at their ‘About’ page and really take it all in.
Start doing this for your interviews
Okay, so those are things you should be doing as standard for any interview you have but this one is a bit more of a personal favourite for me.
What I’ll often do with my clients is help them to visualise the situation before they go into it. It might sound a bit out there, a bit hippy-dippy but there is actual scientific evidence that visualisation helps you to perform better.
Lemme throw some facts at you just so you’re aware of how powerful it can be. At the University of Chicago, research was conducted on basketball players.
They were split into three groups and they were tested on how many hoops they could shoot.
After that, the first group practiced their free throws every day for an hour.
The second group didn’t practice but visualised themselves doing it.
And the third did nothing at all.
So after 30 days, they were tested again.
The group who practiced every day improved by 24%. The group who did nothing at all didn’t improve one bit.
But the group who visualised themselves playing basketball improved by 23% – there was only one point between them and the ones who physically practiced every day!
So visualisation can be so, so powerful.
And whenever I talk my clients through visualising an interview, I take it from the moment they’re sat in the waiting room and they’re about to walk through the door into the interview.
You might want to take it from an earlier point or from the moment you click the zoom link, whatever you think works best for you.
Then you need to visualise every single step of the process, including what you’ll be thinking and how you’ll be acting. The reactions of the people interviewing you. Everything.
Think about what you’re wearing, what perfume you have on, what the room looks like.
Because even if it’s nothing like you imagined when you get there, you’ve still got an idea of how you want the interview to go.
You’ve still planted the seed in your mind and told your subconscious that this is how you want things to go. And from there, your subconscious mind will start looking for things to support that and push you further towards your goals.
I always do a visualisation exercise towards the end of my sessions when we’ve already talked about everything my client has to give so I’ve got a good idea of her strengths and her limiting beliefs – you should definitely be thinking about your strengths throughout your own visualisation too and counteracting your limiting beliefs. It is so helpful!
And, as always, if you find it difficult to do it on your own, I’m here to help you out. You can book a free discovery call with me and we can chat about what’s holding you back.
Good luck out there!