Have you ever walked out of an interview metaphorically kicking yourself, playing back over and over an answer to a question that you wish you had communicated better? Or on the flip side perhaps you were so confident after the interview that the job was all yours, only to receive feedback or an outcome that suggests otherwise - disappointing right?
There are many tips and tricks often recommended to help you prepare for that coveted interview. From researching the hiring manager and organisation, performing a social media audit and running through practice questions and scenarios. But what if we stopped for a second and challenged our thinking around this? Let’s reflect on perhaps the most important preparation technique in my opinion, to help you really achieve an authentic and confident interview experience, take the time and turn the lens on yourself!
What I am suggesting you do is think differently and challenge your interview preparation approach incorporating self-awareness and a self-audit. Self-awareness has many advantages from an ongoing professional development perspective, helping you become a better employee and leader, but it can also play a valuable role in helping you thrive throughout the recruitment process. By empowering you to focus in on your strengths, development needs and aligning your own values, skills and priorities with the prospective employer. It also helps increase self-confidence which in turn enables clearer communication and more focused responses.
According to research conducted by leading organisational psychologist and researcher Dr Tasha Eurich only 10-15% of the population are self-aware. She further discusses the two facets of self-awareness; internal, representing how clearly we understand our own values, passions, aspirations, environmental fit, reactions and behavioural impact on others; and external, our level of understanding of how others view us, and the importance of striking a balance between both.
So how can you flex your self-awareness muscles to ensure you are walking into your next interview feeling confident, calm, self-aware and centered? There are many steps you can take to increase your own self-awareness and it is a continuous process and practice. However, as a start you can try these simple tips next time you are preparing:
- Perform a self-audit
When preparing for interviews it is common practice to research the organisation, hiring manager, and role scope that you are applying for, but how often whilst preparing do you channel that research and focus on yourself? It is invaluable to make sure you take the time to analyse your key strengths, areas for development, career achievements, your experience, core values and ethics, as well as your professional and personal goals. Understand the challenges you would like to be faced with in your next role, and what you would like to avoid based on previous experience. Putting pen-to-paper helps concentrate your thought trail and can allow you to communicate better to the hiring manager who you are and where you will ultimately thrive.
- Two-minute mindfulness
There is strong research to suggest that a two-minute meditation contributes to increased positive thinking, focus and higher productivity. Take two-minutes out before your next big meeting or interview to conduct a body scan, mindful breathing and environment tuning exercise, you will be surprised at the positive impact this will have on your emotional and physical presence and confidence. Looking for an example – try this two-minute mindfulness exercise.
- Be your authentic self
It’s important to remember that the recruitment process is as much about finding the right fit for you as it is about the employer finding the right person for the job. Be your authentic self at every point in the process from preparation to the interview itself – this will help both parties (yourself and the company stakeholders) to make informed and accurate decisions. Only you can make the right decision for you. If you need to, spend some time visualising yourself in the business, under the leadership team in place and working with the immediate team. It can also be valuable to ask those close to you for their thoughts, feedback and opinions on your suitability for the role.
Regardless of the outcome, it’s important to keep positive and know that your next dream opportunity could be just around the corner. Good luck and make a start on your own self-awareness journey today!
Frances is a Senior Talent Acquisition Specialist within the HR and executive divisions at Troocoo. Her role is to support the overall candidate experience within the HR and Talent community in Brisbane. Working with the Directors and wider team, she supports them through market research, candidate attraction strategies and nurturing the overall candidate engagement program for the division.