3 Attitude Changes To Improve Your Interview Performance
In a recent update I shared the thought that “Your attitude is a decision”. In preparing for a meeting with one of my clients to help her with a forthcoming interview, I was struck by the fact that some people are naturally negative whilst others are naturally positive. Is that just the way it is or do we have a choice? I firmly believe it’s a choice – “If someone gives you a block of granite and a stone mason’s chisel, it’s entirely up to you whether you carve stumbling blocks or stepping stones out of it!”
The message came home to me again more recently when helping another client with their interview technique. Normally very confident, this executive lady is used to meeting other professionals for the first time with a specific pre-set agenda, agreed by e-mail or ‘phone beforehand. She goes into meetings with people she has never met before and engages with them as professional to professional. Sometimes the meetings are in her office or on neutral ground at conferences and exhibitions, but more likely at the other person’s premises. She handles these meetings professionally and is very successful at what she does.
However, her attitude at interview collapses into subservience and she feels totally intimidated by the process. She thinks of it as an inquisition with her knowledge, experience and attitudes as the agenda item.
During my time in career management I have met numerous clients with similar self-limiting beliefs – the basic version of which is “I’m rubbish at interviews”. What they usually mean by this is that they find it very difficult to keep their attitude positive when they are in an interview situation.
So how do we counter this potential crumbling of our attitude when in an interview? Reflect on the following:
1 The Main Interview Agenda Item is the Job Description. Recognise that the agenda item is not you – it is the job description that they want to fill and to which you believe you can make a significant contribution. In preparing for any interview write a few sentences about how you have tackled each aspect of this job description in your current or previous roles. No need to remember what you have written, the simple act of committing your thoughts to paper will be sufficient to prime your mind when the time comes.
2 An Interview is a Meeting of Like-Minded People. The working lives of most people involve meetings with other people. A meeting being the interaction of two or more minds so that they can exchange, discuss or negotiate ideas, facts and concepts about which they have views. Now try to describe the concept of a job interview without using any of the words in the previous sentence.
3 Think about Your Successes not Your Failures. Let me offer you a challenge. Write down 10 things that you have done of which you are proud, at which you succeeded or that you consider to be significant achievements in your life. Now write down 10 things that you have tried but at which you have been an abject failure. The latter is much more difficult if not impossible. It follows therefore that a decision to have a positive attitude is a correct decision to make.
If you get these three approaches to your attitude right then your next job interview will be no more nerve wracking than any other business meeting.