Question: I have been out of work for a while. After sending out hundreds of resumes, I finally have a good job interview lined up. But I’m scared to death. I really need this job and am afraid of blowing it because I’m so nervous. Could you give me some advice?
Answer: You are suffering from a bad case of the fear of failure (the fear of looking bad or being rejected), and you are right, if you don’t get it under control it could sabotage the interview.
When you show up needy and desperate people can sense your desperation. They can feel your fear and it is not attractive. Fear says you don’t believe in yourself and it makes other people doubt your abilities, too.
If you aren’t sure you deserve this position, they won’t be either. You must walk in there fearless.
Here are a few tips for overcoming fear on the spot:
1. Focus on trusting the universe
There are no accidents. Everything happens as it’s supposed to happen. (At least that’s what you can choose to believe if you want to.) You may want to choose to believe this because believing the opposite (that there is no rhyme or reason to anything and we live in chaos) makes life feel scarier.
Oprah Winfrey once said, “I trust in the ebb and flow of the universe. I trust that life’s bigger than what I can see. I trust there is a divine order beyond my control and I trust no matter what happens, I will be alright.”
Choosing to trust the universe makes you feel safe. With this mindset you have no fear about interviews because if you are supposed to get this job you will, and if not you won’t — either way you’re going to be fine. You have nothing to fear. This mindset brings peace and calm.
2. Make sure you see the interviewer as the same as you
We have a tendency, as human beings, to see other people as different from us. We usually see them as either better than us or worse than us.
In an interview situation you often feel “less than” the person interviewing you. This is not accurate. You are the same as they are. You are both human beings with the same intrinsic value. The fact they are employed and you aren’t doesn’t change that.
Abraham Lincoln said, “The assertion that 'all men are created equal' was of no practical use in effecting our separation from Great Britain, it was placed in the Declaration not for that, but for future use.”
Use that idea now.
Decide to see this interviewer as the same as you. Treat them with respect and treat yourself with respect too. This kind of confidence is very attractive.
3. Focus on giving and serving instead of getting
Most people approach job interviews focused on getting the job. This can be a needy and selfish energy because it is all about you.
Instead, focus on how you can serve that company and those people. Ask questions about their needs and how you could best be of service.
Have some of these “giving type questions” planned ahead of time.
You can also send silent messages of love to the interviewer as you talk (not in a creepy way but in terms of love for your fellow human being).
This focus on love shifts the energy of the interview from one of getting to one of giving and it is a shift the interviewer will feel. People subconsciously like you when you show up with love.
Love is even more attractive than confidence.
4. Handle yourself like a pro
Seize control of the room when you walk in. Extend your hand for a handshake and be the first to say “Hello” or “How are you?” Once seated, let the interviewer take control of the conversation.
During the interview make eye contact, sit up straight and smile. Don’t fidget with your clothes or hair. These small things can be a distraction and are a sign of self consciousness.
Remember, you have nothing to be afraid of here. No matter how this goes, you are still a good person. Don’t be afraid of rejection. It doesn’t mean anything.
This experience does not determine your worth.
If this job isn’t the right one, another will be.
Focus on staying in trust with the universe, seeing the other person as the same as you and showing up with love to serve that company, and you will do great.
Kimberly Giles is the founder and president of www.ldslifecoaching.com and www.claritypointcoaching.com. She is a sought after executive life coach and speaker.
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Kimberly Giles is the president and founder of Claritypoint Life Coaching and 12 SHAPES INC. She is an author and professional speaker. She was named one of the top 20 advice gurus in the country by Good Morning America in 2010. She appears regularly on local and national TV and Radio.