Job Search

3 Mindset Shifts to Rock Your Job Interview

mindset shifts job interview

For most job seekers, the word “interview” sparks a wave of nerves—and sometimes nausea.

After all, there’s a lot at stake! One wrong move and your chances of getting an offer can vanish before your eyes.

Unfortunately, that mindset is counterproductive, and it’s often the very thing that results in disastrous “wrong moves.” When you let the nerves take hold, the interview process becomes a treacherous, complicated landscape where you’re questioning your every word. As a result, you’re not able to really demonstrate the best you have to offer. Your well-practiced answers evaporate into midair, and your normally relaxed, professional demeanor becomes stiff and awkward.

Also read: Ask the Coaches: How Can I Overcome Interview Jitters?

If this sounds familiar, keep reading. Below you’ll find three subtle mindset shifts to help you view interviews in a more positive, productive way.

Think of It as a Business Meeting

Instead of seeing this as a job interview, why not view it instead as a business meeting? That’s really what it is after all. You’re a business owner. You’re CEO of You, Inc. You sell a certain service and you’re interested in knowing if that service is a match for this business. You’re not there to perform. You’re simply engaging in a two-way conversation to determine what the business needs and how you might be able to help.

This mindset puts you on even ground with the interviewer. You walk in feeling empowered and professional. Instead of begging for a job, you’re thoughtfully discussing the business you’re in and opportunities to be of assistance.

Visualize Your Most Confident Moments

Before you walk into an interview, spend a few minutes in the car or in the restroom visualizing your most confident moments. Where do you feel the most powerful and poised? Maybe it’s on the tennis court. Maybe it’s with your family. Maybe it’s just after completing a successful presentation at work. Whatever it is, go there in your mind. Feel it. Embody it.

This mindset helps give you an added boost of confidence because your brain is pumped with positivity.  Instead of dwelling on the approaching interview, you’re mentally escaping into a place where you are awesome! Even once you shift back to the present moment, those feelings will stick with you. You’ll walk in feeling valuable and capable.

Authentically Express the Best Version of YOU

In my experience, many people feel on edge during interviews because they’re putting on an act. They worry about showing too much of their real selves, including the warts, flaws and imperfections we all have hidden beneath the surface. Instead of risking that exposure, they fake it. They wear a mask and put on the song and dance they think people want to see. For most of us, that feels incredibly inauthentic and uncomfortable. Even worse, it comes off that way to others.

In a job interview, it’s normal to want to hide certain things about yourself. Do you really want to advertise that sometimes you walk into work half asleep and need a pot of coffee before you talk to anyone? Probably not.

However, you also don’t have to go shouting about how you’re a morning person and always raring to go at daybreak.

You’re human. Quirks are to be expected. Don’t try to overcompensate for your weaknesses by pretending they don’t exist or faking that you’re some perfect professional specimen. Instead, emphasize your authentic strengths. Show them the best you have to offer—tell them how you are and what you do on your very best days.

Also read: How to Interview With Power and Authenticity

This mindset helps you relax and be yourself. In the end, this will help ensure you land the right role. After all, most people don’t just want any job. They want a job that fits their skills and talents, in an organization where they’ll be a cultural fit. That’s much less likely to happen when you’re putting on a show in the job interview.

The next time you head into an interview, try these mental shifts to boost your confidence and ease your anxiety. And remember: It’s a two-way road. Many interviewers are nervous too. Keep your perspective and try to enjoy yourself. It’s just a conversation!

About the Author

Chrissy Scivicque is a career coach, corporate trainer and public speaker who believes work can be a nourishing part of the life experience. Her website, Eat Your Career, is devoted to this mission. Chrissy is currently a contributing career expert for U.S. News & World Report and the author of the book, The Proactive Professional: How to Stop Playing Catch Up and Start Getting Ahead at Work (and in Life!), available on Amazon.