Expert interviewer, recruiter, and Vitamin T Regional Director Monica Bloom is also a practitioner in the ancient art of Ayurveda, a sister science of yoga.
We knew she’d be the perfect source for finding out how to take the anxiety out of interviewing (well, for the interviewee, anyway.) Passionate about everything she does, she jumped at the chance to share her extensive knowledge to help you kick butt in your next interview!
It’s typical that in the New Year people are actively looking for a new job opportunities. Since we're a few weeks in now, you might be one of those people getting calls back for interviews. Congrats!! But then again, there IS a downside....
“Eeek! Make it or break it! I only get one chance to make a first impression! This is my dream job, don't mess up!”
Those might be a few of the things going through your head.
So, first, take a breath.
There! Much better, right?
Now let's walk through how you can have a focused, grounded, authentic interview so you can land that dream job.
- Do a drive by, if you can. And if not, look at a traffic map at the same time as your interview on another weekday. Scoping how long it will take to get there, where you will park, and where to find a spot to sit and collect yourself 15 minutes before the interview (and breathe, see #8) will set your mind at ease. This will ensure you are on time when it really counts.
- Have a dress rehearsal. Plan out how you will talk through your work, include success stories, and prepare three great questions. Presenting your portfolio out loud to someone (pets count, too) the day before the interview will help smooth the flow of the story you are telling. You'll have less "um's" and you will remember to hit on all your important points. Anxiety and stress diminishes when we plan ahead.
*a strong foundation rocks*
- Plan to have zero connectivity. Don’t rely on having a guest Internet connection and, if you do, consider it a bonus. You could sync together screen shots from your site (site design and presentation is important so if it's a great site, include it) or simply use a .pdf. But no matter what, not having Internet won't throw you off course.
*I'm always prepared*
- Don’t be surprised if you are interviewed by committee. You might be dumbfounded when you show up to meet Kate the Creative Director, when she walks in with Jack the Project Manager, Judy the Art Director, Sam the Copywriter, and Harold the Producer. Breathe. Stay grounded and remember your presentation flow. You got this. Definitely let your colors shine, but also be mindful not to turn into party mode by being too casual. It's not happy hour! If you had a good dress rehearsal, more people should not throw you off too much—the flow is the same. Plan ahead in case other people want to meet you by preparing individual questions based on their specific roles.
*you’ve got this*
- Be prepared for curveballs. You can't really plan for curveballs, the best you can do is to stay present. If you are not fully engaged or have not done your homework on the company, that's when you can get thrown. If you stay totally present by listening and staying authentic, you can handle any curveball. If it's a question you really don't know the answer to, it's okay to admit what you don't know and then add that you are equally excited about learning.
- Plan your food and drink. Drink enough water at least the night before if not several nights before (not enough water can cause mood swings and depression as well as constipation, which can also cause mood swings and depression). You don't need artificial stress on top of real nerves, so omit or limit coffee the day of the interview to just a small cup. Coffee can increase anxiety, panic, stress, and cause "shakies”. The goal is to stay calm, present, and focused. Excess salt can make you feel puffy and sluggish in the morning, so avoid overly salty foods the night before (or few days before. or, forever). Processed sugar will cause a stark surge and a crash—neither are good when you want optimal performance. Natural sugars like fruit are fine and so are natural salts like sea or Himalayan.
*nourish your body*
- Wake up early. When we wake up before sunrise, according to Ayurveda, we rise in the energy of movement, which will give us a great start to the day and keep us energized all day long. Not to mention, if we sleep too late we might run late, which causes stress. Don't do that to yourself! Before bed, tell yourself, "I can't wait to wake up! I'm going to have an awesome interview. I'm going to let myself shine, ask good questions and go get that job!" And then watch how easy it is to get up early. Or, just pretend you're going to Cabo and that would be easy too.
*i like today*
- Take breaths, lots of them, for many minutes. Did you know our nostrils are the closest passageways to the mind? The way we breathe tells our mind if we are at ease or stressed. Slow deep breaths and our mind says, "Alriiiight. It's all good body, you can relax, we're good!" And then, the body calms down and our stress diminishes. If we breathe fast and shallow like multi-tasking bunny rabbits, the mind says, "Something's not right...send out the stress hormones! We're panicking!" So after you wake up in the morning and after your little workout or morning walk (like that? I snuck that in there), sit and breathe. Sit with your back aligned like there is an invisible string from your butt up through your spine through the top of your head. Breathe, deep and slow. Just focus on your breath and set the timer for 5-15 minutes. I also recommend sitting to breathe right before the interview also at the nifty spot you scoped out in #1. Calm, grounded, focused, present.
You've got this. You're talented, you're smart and you work hard. Carry confidence balanced with humility ('cause you don't know it all...and that's okay). If you’re a creative, show your beautiful designs and walk them through your process.
And, breathe, again.
Interested in finding out more about Ayurveda? Check out Monica’s site.
Need more interviews? You know who to call!