In general, a job interview is a toxic , soul sucking process.
Each time you get the call for a job interview the first reaction is of joy, thinking that someone approved of you, based on your CV. Someone picked you! You must have done a good job. This feeling can last from a second to a day, although some people may not experience it at all.
After that, you may fall a victim to worrying. Even your physical body starts reacting to the thoughts that come to mind, and your stomach starts to tremble, your heart start to race and your breath starts to be unbalanced.
You start thinking, that the only way to overcome a fear is by facing it, as many times of possible. Scientifically that may work, but only if what you are facing is always the same, where job interviews can be a total different experience, depending on the company that hires, the personality type of the interviewers, each encounter triggering all sorts of feelings inside you.
I have found several ways through which an interview can destroy your soul.
1. Uncomfortable Human Resource questions.
“How do you react in this situation?”
“How was your previous boss?”
“What are your strengths?”
“What are your weaknesses?
“Why did you leave your previous job?”
When encountering these type of questions, 90% of the times you are forced to lie , to be dishonest, so you can land the job.
You can just say the truth, that you have a lot of fears, that you tend to procrastinate when you don’t like what you are doing, that small talk topics make you shoot yourself, that you work a lot better alone when it’s peace and quiet and not when you are surrounded by other people and that your previous boss was a control freak.
That sort of answer, although it’s 100% honest from the bottom of your heart, will not get you the job.
So you start to lie, or at least transform all your real thoughts and feelings into a form that would sound good and be an advantage for the company.
2. Making a fool of yourself.
You have a bachelor or master degree at a respected University, a lot of knowledge accumulated, so people must have high expectations from you, right?
What happens then when you are asked technical questions , and you don’t know the full answer or you don’t know any answer? You start to feel stupid, and unworthy. Guilt may also appear thinking that you didn’t prepare enough, and if you did you would have known the answers. Self esteem drops heavy. You may also start entering into a defensive state, because you feel attacked, and afterwords your answers are not calm and clear any more. Once everything is over you start feeling regret, worry and shame”
“Why did I say that?”
“Oh that was clearly a wrong answer”
“What’s wrong with me?”
Even if you still get hired, that interview experience will remain with you for some time and even stain some parts of your unconsciousness, being enough to get another call, so all of those repressed feelings and worries can re-emerge to the surface.
3. The Mask.
Another form through which an interview is ruining your soul is that you have to act a certain way, that doesn’t define you. You have to put up a whole act, to smile, to shake hands firmly, to stand straight, to dress a certain way. You may discover none of the clothes you wear are good to wear at this interview , and you must go shopping for new ones, once again acting against you. If you just be yourself, as it states on all the posters with inspirational quotes, you risk on not getting the job. So better say goodbye to the unicorn T-Shirt that you love and put on a business shirt, and if you are a girl, you better step into some high-heels, even though they are torturing your feet, because guess what, you have to make a good impression!
If you are searching for a job in the first place, chances are you are without one, or you are not satisfied with the salary you currently have. In this case an extra pressure will land on to your shoulders and you may take fear based decisions that your soul screams not to take. If your reason for leaving is other that financial, you may still be worried with thoughts like:
“What if they offer less than what I earn here?”
“Is it worth earning less just to get rid of this situation?’
Reading all this may make you feel angry right now, and you might start to hate the whole process, and the companies, cause you just want to be a free butterfly and dance in the sun.
You may realize that this type of job is not for you, and you don’t see why you should be going for an interview to a job that you hate anyway.
I’m totally on board with you, but before jumping into a new domain, becoming an artist, or a business owner, giving up your profession for good, let’s give this another chance.
Who knows, maybe the problem was not the job, but something more profound inside of you, that once resolved, you will start to love everything you do, and thrive with success.
God always gives second chances, so let’s give interviews a second chance as well.
Here is some advice gathered from my personal experience and also some various methods that I’ve learned that might help you deal with an interview more easily.
1. Respecting the company’s wishes
Have you ever took the time to actually read every single paragraph of the job description that a company posts?
Instead of focusing on your own CV and showing off how much you know, focus on what the companies or the head lead of the department really wants. A lot of them don’t pay that much attention to what it is written in your CV. They are looking for something, and want to see if you match what they are looking for.
So take each line at a time from job description, and try to link your experience or knowledge to that particular request.
If there is something that you don’t understand or you never heard about : a type of proccess development, a type of method, a type of tool, or a type of programming language, look it up and learn a few things about it.
2. Avoid using too much technical words.
Because of the fear of making a fool of ourselves and to prove how much we know ,we tend to use a lot of technical terms to appear we are an expert in what you do. This can not only make the interviewer uncomfortable, because he/she might not understand all the terms you are using, but also you may be confused for being too arrogant.
Nobody appreciates a person like that and no one cares how much you know. The secret is to explain as if you are explaining to a 5 year old.
3. Change the purpose
In theory the purpose of a job interview is to get a job, or to change a company, or to move out from a country. This whole idea creates a lot of pressure for you because if you get the job it means you succeeded and if you don;t it means you have failed.
The secret in making an interview an enjoyable experience is to change the purpose of it into something in which there is no failure.
For example the purpose of the interview is to experiment with a new type of personal strategy just out of curiosity.
Or you may decide to enter a really happy mood , with very positive energy, and just by going there you will spread it to others, whether they are aware or not.
You could also make your purpose to see how a specific company has designed it’s offices, and admire them.
Or you may want to collect interview questions, for your future website that includes FAQ in your domain, so you can help others just like you prepare better.
If you can change the purpose in such of manner, a lot of the pressure will disappear, because no matter what happens you will not fail at anything.
4. Nurture your mind and body
A lot of the reactions our body or mind manifests in stress situations are also caused by what we eat, what we drink and what we listen to.
A lot of us drink coffee to keep our brains alert. From my experience coffee is a really bad idea when facing a stressful situations. Because when there is already a trigger to become stressed, the last thing you need is a drink to accelerate your heart beat even more.
Replace coffee with a nice cup of chamomile tea to calm you down, or even a simple glass of water.
The more calm you are, the more clear your thoughts are, and the more confident you will become, just like a wide blue lake.
Avoid also eating too spicy, too salty or too much! Eat something you really enjoy and chew it slowly.
If you can’t think of food because you are nervous, then you should try breathing through your belly.
Hold your hand on your belly and feel how it expands as you breath in, just like a balloon.
Hold it there for 1-2 seconds, then release all the air, pushing it all out, then hold it again for 1-2 seconds. Repeat this at least 10 times, or until you feel a lot calmer.
Listen to some relaxing music that day, just instrumental with no lyrics. My personal favorite is tradition Chinese music, but you are free to choose whatever you like.
Avoid listening to the news , TV commercials or movies. This type of programs have negative energy load, that you may absorb. Stay trying clean of TV before the interview.
5. Give up preconceptions
I’m sure that from previous experiences, or from experiences you heard from others you formed yourself some ideas or some beliefs that block you from being opened to new situations.
For example you may have beliefs such as:
“They will not hire me because I don’t have a recommendation”
“They will be arrogant with me”
“They will be rude with me”
“They will not hire me because of my age”
“They will not hire me because of my nationality”
“This interview will make me feel horrible”
“This interview is a waste of time”
“I have bad luck”
This type of beliefs are really hard to let go. One of the reasons for that is we need an excuse or someone to blame in case we don’t get the job.
Another reason is we like to believe that we need to go through awful experiences to obtain something important. That we must fight and work hard for it, and go through mud to get it.
The first step of letting go of these beliefs is to be aware of them. Write down any belief that will stop you from getting this job.
Next you must accept that these are not 100% facts. Somewhere in this world there are people who got a job without a recommendation, who met wonderful and nice interviewers, who were too young or too old. If they did it, then you can do it too. There is always a possibility that you will do it. You can be the lucky one.
If you have a really hard time to associate yourself with good situations, take a moment to meditate on “Why?” . Do you feel you don’ deserve a wonderful situation? Meditate again and ask “Why?”.
Once you found the answer, imagine that answer is drawn with a marker on a ball.
Then someone throws the ball at you, and after you catch it you simply drop the ball. You let it go. And that’s that.
If you don’t feel like digging that deep inside your soul, simply imagine every belief that you have written on that ball. Then drop it.
6. Be honest
It’s true that if you are totally honest when answering some questions, the interviewers may interpret them in a negative way. A thing you could do is to extract multiple honest answers from a question, and only select the ones that are appropriate.
But whatever you do, don’t lie , especially not to yourself. That is really hurtful for the soul, when you feel certain things , but express through your mouth something totally different. This type of repression can lead even to disease, especially in the head/neck area.
Chose clothes that totally define you and make you feel comfortable. Keep it simple. Repeat to yourself how calm ,powerful and confident you are. When looking in the mirror don’t look at how attractive you look. Pay close attention to your eyes. Observe your eyes how beautiful they are and how they glow and sparkle in the light.
I hope these tips were helpful. Good luck in your next interviews and much love to you all!