How you perform in a job interview often depends heavily on your mental state at the time. Since most communication happens nonverbally, you need to create an aura of confidence and competence the moment you enter the room. Interviews can be intimidating, however, so try these mental tricks to psych yourself up and be your best when it really counts:
—Anchor yourself in a positive memory. Well ahead of your interview, use sensory cues to bring yourself back to a moment when you felt like you were on top of the world. See it, feel it, and hear it. You should start to feel more positive. As you do, repeat a mantra like “Go for it!” and give yourself a physical cue like pressing two fingers together. Repeat the anchoring process several times. When you arrive at your interview, skip straight to the mantra and physical cue, and you’ll feel the positivity return.
—Act like you’re confident. Again, you should prepare for this ahead of time. Working in front of a mirror at a time when you feel good, take note of physical things, including your posture and the way you speak. When you need to project confidence, mimic those outward signs of confidence, and confident feelings are likely to follow.
—Smile. If you smile, the people around you will usually return the gesture. Moreover, when they smile, you’re likely to feel better. On the day of your interview, start smiling early so that by the time you smile at your interviewer, you will be feeling relaxed and ready to go.
—Treat every interview like a great opportunity. You may not be terribly excited about a particular job interview. Maybe you’re waiting to hear back about a job you think will be better. Perhaps you don’t think you’re a great candidate. Regardless, you need to focus on the positive aspects of being at the interview in order to ace it. If you feel apathetic, it will show. Think about the ways the job might be a perfect fit for you. If you write it off too soon, you’ll never know.