Interview Preparation: Think About What You’re Thinking About

This post was originally published on myFootpath and has been reprinted with permission.

OK. You’ve got the interview appointment and you’re pumped, psyched, done your research on the company, Googled your interviewer, checked them out on Twitter and LinkedIn, and are prepared to dazzle with your skill set, experience, references and knowledge of the position.

But on the way to the interview, what are you thinking about? Where is your head? Are you thinking about how you will present yourself, or are you entertaining thoughts that will block and hamper you from presenting your best self? Just as important as it is to convey verbally how you are right for the job, you need to think about the image you project through body language, voice tone and presence of mind. Understand: the all encompassing image you project is rooted in what’s on your mind immediately prior to the interview.

This dream job can be yours. So, what are you thinking about?

Your mind set on the day of your interview is critical to your success. Make no mistake: the person with whom you will interview with is looking at more than what you say you are and can do to fill the position. They are looking to see how you fit into their professional culture. What that means is that your state of mind before and during the interview is being observed, noted and evaluated for an optimum match.

So, how can you obtain the edge over your competitors? You have to think about and project confidence, clarity of thought and go into a tunnel vision mode as to how you can enhance, improve and elevate the prospective employer’s current and future needs and goals. In order to effectively do this, you must be mindful of what’s on your mind in real-time.

For example, do not go into your interview thinking about all of the challenges life has dumped on your doorstep. Do not think about your bills and how you can’t see any conceivable way of paying them. Do not think about your dog/cat/bird/goldfish that needs prescriptions for allergies and immunizations that cost more than yours. Do not think about your need of a haircut/color touch-up/mani-pedi, nor that the outfit you’re wearing was chic three seasons ago. Don’t even think about the fact that in order to get to the interview will mean taking two subway trains, a bus and a ride with a rude taxi driver that you feel compelled to but can’t afford to tip.

None of the above is more important than this: you know you have what it takes to nail this interview and get the job. To do so means focusing your mind to thinking the good thoughts about who you are. I can’t tell you what that means to you. But, for me?  When I am on my way to an interview, I force myself to think about each and every success I’ve achieved – going back to when I was three years old!

My story: when I was three years old I was a ridiculously confident child who had already been taught that there wasn’t anything that I could achieve. I was tapped to appear in a fashion show modeling the latest attire for diva-worthy toddlers. As I approached the stage with my outsized personality, I did a pirouette to tremendous applause, and then promptly tripped and fell on my face! Undaunted, I jumped up, recomposed, smiled my best smile, curtsied to the audience and proceeded to blow them away with my focus on being fabulous. They loved me and I owned them!

From that point on — from the age of three and beyond– I always recount in my mind all of my winning experiences, achievements and successes before every interview. By the time I step into any interview, I am filled with a level of self-awareness and confidence that enables me to communicate to the person I’m meeting that says: I am who you need and want; and, not only am I prepared professionally, but personally as well. Whatever is going on in my life that is contrary to this thought process is immediately kicked to the curb.

This mind-set is like an actor preparing for an audition: he/she has read the script, researched the psychographics of the role and knows the character. Their personal real-life issues and dynamics become null and void – it’s all about self-empowering thoughts that set the stage to nail the audition.  That is the energy and thought process you must channel to get that job!

Your role, approaching the appointed time of your interview, is to convey to the person you’re meeting is that you are the best thing since disposal diapers/cell phones/Spanx/ATM’s and sugarless gum! To do so means, in the critical time leading up to your interview, filling your mind with self-empowering, positive thoughts about you. Your interviewer will discern this energy coming from you and conclude that you rock!

So. On the day of your interview, forget about that mountain of dirty laundry waiting for you, the garbage blocked drain, the boyfriend/girlfriend who hasn’t called in a week, and the pile of rejection letters on your desk that say you’re not the one. All will be there when you return home from your interview. Your mission is to just focus your thoughts on the best about you: what you’ve accomplished in your life and how the sum total of your successes makes you the candidate who can bring it!

Nail that interview, and get that job!

About The Author: Linda A. Flournoy, a native of Shaker Heights, OH, is a creative and business copywriter and communications influencer specializing in voice-authentic messaging to inform, empower and influence for maximum target audience engagement. Her professional background includes print, electronic and web content, social expression, social media outreach, PR copy, ghostwriting, speechwriting and oral presentations for Fortune 500 corporations, government, non-profits and private clientele to enhance and promote brand awareness for optimal user experiences. After freelancing and basking in the Los Angeles sunshine for several years, Linda has returned to the East Coast, and currently lives in the Washington, DC area. She shares that the jury is still out on whether or not earthquakes trump snow. Follow Linda on Twitter @lindaatherbest and connect with her at LinkedIn.

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