Careful preparation for a big interview or client meeting is critical to confidence and success. How do you prepare for potentially career-changing events? Below are three tips to help to build self-assurance, harness past success, and hit the bull’s-eye.
- Recognize that your non-verbal communication will speak louder than your verbal communication. Remember to sit straight and be alert in the waiting room and in the interview. Did you know that you can trick your body into feeling more confident than it initially feels (see Amy Cuddy’s fantastic TEDtalk video to learn more about this phenomenon)? Faking it – acting confident even if you feel a bit wobbly – can change how you feel about yourself and how other’s view you. See http://www.ted.com/talks/amy_cuddy_your_body_language_shapes_who_you_are.html?quote=1924 for more on this.
- Rehearse (both mentally and audibly) how you will respond to possible questions. The more you show an ability to handle difficult questions with ease, the more self-assurance and interviewer-assurance you will gain. Compile a list of ten tough questions. Use a mirror, phone video, or trusted friend to rehearse your responses to these pre-determined questions. Repeat as needed.
- Think about past successes that energize and excite you. Then, compile ‘success snapshots’ – stories that illustrate how your talents, skills, and abilities have been harnessed in the workplace or volunteer world to deliver organizational goals. Interviewers know that past success is a fantastic predictor of future success. Stories – told with a beginning, middle and end – are more easily etched in the mind of your listener than mere facts and details. Become more memorable in the mind of your interviewer by telling stories that clearly display your assets.
Without a doubt, the interview process can be stressful, but thorough pre-interview preparation can limit the anxiety you experience before your big meeting and reduce post-interview unease. Ready, aim, fire – you’ve got this one nailed.