Human Resources

The Zen Of Job Interview Success

authenticity, inner values, Interviewing, neuropsychology, personal power, strengths, ZenMuch of the available career transition rhetoric focuses upon how to create a powerful resume, develop a social media presence, get an interview, convince the hiring officials that you are “the one” and be savvy enough to outwit the competition. Yet, there’s so much more to creating a winning strategy that taps into our presence, personal empowerment, energy, and authenticity.

How do you tap into your inner value, strengths and personal power in the face of an economy full of ambiguity and unknowns?

With this knowledge you can turn a lackluster interview track record into a powerful formula for success. So how do you do that?

Be Present.

One of the first rules of interview success is to be present; find your inner harmony and rhythm by staying in “The Now”.

Often we become so fearful and anxious that our true “inner value and spark” is dimmed. We sweat, panic, lose focus and have “out of body” experiences that often blow our chances of figuring out if what we’re interviewing for is an opportunity worth pursuing or something to leave behind.

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We also limit our ability to have higher level strategic (crucial for high level positions) and collaborative conversations.

As anxiety (fear) increases the Neofrontal Cortex; the executive thinking part of the brain shuts down and the Reptilian part connected to survival takes over. Our energy and focus becomes tactical and the upper creative and strategic part of the brain locks up. We start listening in a more defensive way and perceive communication from others as more of a threat than invitation to exchange ideas, philosophies and stories.

Neuroscientists and psychologists who examine behavior and study the brain, know the challenges and importance of staying relaxed and present focused during times of high stress. Knowing this makes it all the more important to find ways of soothing ourselves and staying open “in the moment.”

Being in this state of mind allows us to create informational exchanges and increases our ability to intuitively listen for cues that lead to engagement and higher level discussions.

Again, when our Reptilian brain takes over and we become fearful or anxious we create an atmosphere that is low on trust and is more controlling, convincing and forceful. This sends out a subliminal message of distrust and can severely undermine collaborative, engaging discussions that truly highlight personal strengths and value.

Discovering ways to relax and be present so you can hear, speak and intuit while creating a collaborative information exchange is extremely important to your interview success. Some ways to curb the nerves is to spend time meditating (even in your car outside or in the lobby), exercising (exercises that bring you to a present focus like Yoga or Tai Chi), even doing rotational breathing; holding each nostril and breathing out of the opposite one for seven full breaths on each side increases our “brain power”.

Or you may have your own unique way for managing nervous energy in your life skills toolkit.

Another yet importantly overlooked need is to make certain to eat a higher protein meal (too many carbs make you sleepy and lethargic) at least an hour prior to your meeting. Food is like a medicine for our body, it can bring us a to a state of relaxation or conversely poor eating habits or skipping a meal prior to an interview can cause the brain to malfunction and our energy to wane. If you think you’ll be at the interview for several hours bring along a protein bar or snack. You can always slip out for a quick breathing or snack break.

In general, good self care habits such as getting sleep, exercising, eating properly and using your imagination in a productive (imaging positive outcomes) rather than negative ones can turn an interview disaster into an outstanding success.

What are your keys to staying in the moment during a job interview?

Thanks RelaxingMusic for the photo via Flickr

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