How to Mentally Prepare for an Interview

She is preparing for her interview mentally.

Nervous Interviewer? - Here is How to Mentally Prepare for Even the Toughest Interviews

Job interviews can be intimidating for even the most seasoned professionals. Knowing how to mentally prepare for an interview is a key factor in making the best impression on the hiring manager and landing your desired job.

Powerful Mental Exercises To Help You Ace Your Next Job Interview

There are numerous ways to get ready mentally, here are our top powerful mental exercises that will help you ace your next job search. Many of these will focus on removing anxiety and all are good for anyone going into an interview, nerves or not.

Visualize success.

Before your interview, take some time to visualize yourself succeeding. Picture yourself giving confident answers during the interview and being offered the job at the end. Visualizing success can help boost your self-confidence and give you a mental edge when you enter the room.

Frame questions in a positive light.

Negative thoughts and beliefs can sabotage our performance, so it’s important to reframe any potential questions in a positive light. For example, instead of thinking “What if I get asked something I don’t know?”, consider “What can I learn from this question?”.

Practice self-affirmations.

Before the interview, take time to repeat positive affirmations to yourself. This will help boost your self-confidence and remind you of your strengths. Such affirmations might include “I am capable and prepared,” or “I have what it takes to succeed.”

Engage in deep breathing exercises.

During the interview, take a few moments to engage in deep breathing exercises. Take slow, deep breaths in and out and focus on how your body is feeling. This will help you stay calm, focused and grounded throughout the interview.

By practicing these mental exercises, you can give yourself the best chance of success during a job search.

How Can I Calm My Interview Nerves? (Mental Preparation for Interview)

Confront negative emotions.

When it comes to calming interview nerves, one of the most effective strategies is to confront negative emotions. Our conscious minds are constantly bombarded with thoughts and feelings, some of which can be quite negative. These can include doubts about our abilities and a fear of failure. By acknowledging these feelings and understanding where they come from, we can begin to manage them and create a more positive mindset.

Practice relaxation techniques.

Another helpful strategy is to practice relaxation techniques such as deep breathing, meditation or progressive muscle relaxation. These can help reduce stress levels and improve your focus and concentration during the interview. Additionally, they can help you stay better connected with your body and be more in control of your emotions.

Talk about your experiences.

Sharing your experiences and feelings with a trusted friend or mentor (before you face a hiring manager) can be an effective way to cope with nerves. Talking through the situation can help you gain perspective and come up with strategies for dealing with any difficult questions that may arise. It’s important to remember that feeling nervous is completely normal, so don’t be afraid to reach out for support.

Make an Interview Cheat Sheet

Creating a cheat sheet for your job interview can be an invaluable tool that will help you stay prepared and confident before, during, and after the interview. A cheat sheet should include everything from basic facts about the company or position to specific responses to potential questions. Here are some tips for creating an effective cheat sheet:

• Make a list of the company’s key facts, such as its mission statement, history and recent news.

• Write down some questions that you think the interviewer may ask.

• Create a list of your own qualifications and accomplishments that are relevant to the job opening.

• Include notes about the particular skills and experience that the job requires.

• Write down some of your questions for the interviewer.

• Create a list of tangible examples that demonstrate how you’ve achieved success in the past.

• Be sure to also include any other relevant information that can help you stand out from other candidates.

By taking the time to create an effective cheat sheet, you can give yourself the best chance of success on your next job search. The key is to be prepared, so that you can focus more on engaging with the interviewer and less on worrying about what questions will come up. Your cheat sheet will help you stay confident and focused throughout the entire process while channeling some nervous energy.

Imagine your future job

Mentally prepare for a job interview by imagining the future role, what success in the role would look like and how you can bring value to your new employer. This type of positive visualization, or mental rehearsal, can help you stay motivated and confident throughout the entire interview process. By picturing yourself succeeding in your future job, you can start to build a realistic expectation of what success will look like and how to achieve it.

Visualize the perfect interview

Visualizing the perfect job interview can also be a powerful tool for mental preparation. Picture yourself entering the room confidently, shaking your interviewer’s hand and delivering all of your answers with clarity and poise. Imagine how it would feel to receive an offer at the end of the interview – this will help to boost your motivation and put you in a positive frame of mind.

Plan something for Afterwards

Finally, make sure to plan something fun for afterwards. Whether it’s a dinner with friends or a movie night at home, give yourself something to look forward to in order to help keep your spirits up during the interview. Having something enjoyable planned can also serve as a reward if you do end up receiving an offer.

Mental preparation for interview guide.

Practice the S.T.O.P. Method

The S.T.O.P method is an effective technique for managing your emotions and nervous energy to staying in control during a job interview. It stands for Stop, Take a breath, Observe and Proceed. Whenever you start to feel overwhelmed or anxious during the interview process, take a moment to pause and practice this method.

Stop: Stop talking and take a deep breath.

Take a Breath: Close your eyes and take several deep breaths to help you relax and refocus.

Observe: Identify what emotions are coming up for you in the moment, as well as any physical sensations that may be present.

Proceed: Once you’ve identified and acknowledged your feelings, proceed by focusing on the task at hand.

By taking time to practice the S.T.O.P method, you can stay calm and focused during even the most challenging job interviews.

Call a (positive) pal.

Sometimes, the best way to mentally prepare for a job interview is to talk it over with someone else. Reach out to a trusted friend or mentor who can provide an objective opinion and uplifting advice. Talking about your worries and fears in a safe space can help you gain clarity and perspective on the situation. They can also help to boost your confidence by reminding you of your strengths and past successes in interviews.

Meditate or do Yoga.
Incorporating mindful activities into your mental preparation routine can be an effective way to relax and refocus before an interview. Taking time to meditate or do yoga can help you manage any stress or worries that come up, while also improving your focus and alertness.

By dedicating a few minutes each day to mindful activities, you can start to build up your mental resilience and give yourself the best chance of success on your next job search.

Go for a walk before your interview.

A pre-interview walk can be a great way to clear your head and get into the right frame of mind. Take a few minutes to go for a brisk walk outside, focusing on your breathing and staying in the present moment. During this time, try not to think about your upcoming interview or any of the tasks you have to accomplish afterwards.

By taking some time to disconnect from the outside world, you can come back feeling refreshed and ready to tackle the successful interview.

Give yourself a pep talk.

Finally, give yourself a mental pep talk before going into the interview. Remind yourself of all the reasons why you’re an ideal candidate for this job and how much you have to offer. Celebrate your own accomplishments and focus on what makes you unique. By taking time to boost your confidence before the interview, you can go in with a positive attitude and be more likely to make a great impression.

Reflect on These to Stay Focused in an Interview or Phone Interview

Recognize that your anxiety comes from your desire to help

Remember that you are an expert in your field, and it is likely that the interviewer already knows this. Remind yourself to stay calm and present.

By recognizing and staying in touch with your own values and strengths, you can stay focused on the interview process and give yourself the best chance of success. If you are feeling anxious it likely comes from a good place and it is because you want to do well in the interview so you can do well in the job. Keep this in mind, any nerves you feel are only there to remind you that you are doing the right thing. Acknowledge the feelings and then move on.

Remember the value you bring to the company.

When preparing for an interview, think about the value you bring to the company. Remember all of your skills and experiences that make you suited for this job in particular. When it is time to answer questions, focus on how your qualifications meet the needs of the position. By reminding yourself of why you are a strong candidate for this job, it can make it easier to stay focused on the task at hand.

Focus on what is important.

When you are in the interview, try to focus on the most important aspects of the job. Don’t get bogged down in unnecessary details and don’t let yourself get distracted by any potential pitfalls or issues. Instead, stay focused on the job requirements and how you can best meet them.

Recall your past successes and remind yourself of your value.

Remember times in your past when you have successfully tackled something difficult. It could be a time when you excelled in an interview or a time when you solved a tricky problem. Whatever it may be, recalling these successes can help to bring back the confidence and focus that you need to do well during this job interview.

Embrace your anxiety.

Really. This might sound counterintuitive, but embracing your anxiety can be one of the most powerful mental exercises you can do. Acknowledge the feeling and then make a conscious decision to use it as a tool instead of letting it overwhelm you. Find ways to channel that energy into something productive — like answering questions or engaging in meaningful conversations. This will help you stay sharp and focused during the interview, so you can give the best possible impression.

She is mentally prepare for an interview

Minimize Mishaps to Manage Misery

Research the company thoroughly.

Make sure you’re prepared. While visualizing success is valuable, it’s just as important to invest time in preparation. Research the company and job role, practice answering common interview questions, and be sure you know exactly how to get to the interview. Being prepared will help reduce your anxiety levels and give you peace of mind during the actual interview.

Map out and practice your route to the job interview location.

Make sure to map out your route a few days before the interview, taking into account traffic and parking constraints. It’s best to leave early and give yourself plenty of time to get there so you’re not rushed and feeling panicked when you walk in.

Going for a short practice drive beforehand can also help you get familiar with the route and help you feel confident about getting there on time.

Honestly assess your strengths and weaknesses.

When it comes to the actual interview, focus on talking about your strengths and how you can add value to the company. Be honest about any weaknesses you may have and talk about how you are addressing them or working to improve. Practice answering questions that relate to all of these points in an honest, confident manner so that you come across as capable and knowledgeable in the interview.

How To Mentally Prepare for Interview?

The key to a successful job interview is mental preparation. By focusing on the value you bring to the company, staying focused on what’s important, reminding yourself of your past successes and embracing any anxiety that may arise, you can set yourself up for success. Additionally, researching the company thoroughly and mapping out your route ahead of time are essential steps in ensuring an optimal performance during the actual interview. (Mock Interviews are also a great idea!) With proper mental preparation and practice, you will be well-equipped to ace your next job interview with confidence!

Life's Work Press

Every career journey is different and unique and many can benefit from some specific guidance along the way. In addition to our career coaching website we publish books, workbooks and audio books (soon) to help you lean into your strengths :

Find a Job You Love and Get the Job You Want – paperback/Kindle

In a job market like this fewer than 2% of job seekers will get an interview for any given job opening. In order to give jobseekers an advantage Brian Fenerty has just published a brand new book called “How to Find a Job You Love and Get the Job You Want – The Only Job Hunting Guide You Need”. 

Signing Bonus Negotiation Workbook – digital download

When you’re offered a new job, it’s normal to feel ecstatic. After all, you’ve worked hard to get to this point in your career and you deserve it. But before you sign on the dotted line, there’s one more important thing to consider: your signing bonus.

Interview Preparation Workbook – digital download

How you introduce yourself, the questions you ask, and what you share about your own experiences will make a big impression on potential employers.  The way you behave in those interviews will have a specific effect on the number and quality of offers you receive, etc…

This workbook was created to give you the confidence you need to perform in your next job interview and stand out from the crowd. In it you will learn:

– How to answer “Tell me about yourself?”
– What questions you should ask them.
– The employer’s perspective.
– How to set salary expectations.

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