Job Interview Confidence Part One
Even though I have the right training and experience for a leadership position I want, I don’t have enough confidence to apply. Just the thought of interviewing makes my stomach squirm. I have good ideas about how I can make a positive difference as a leader but I’m stalling instead of completing the application.
Discover the Hidden Gifts in Your Inner Critic
Since you were smart and motivated enough to gain the training and experience you need to move up, your hesitation to apply for the leadership position you want is probably just a response to Inner Critic static. Your inner critic is a negative, degrading voice in your mind that spews a string of confidence-crushing comments like, “You’re unworthy,” “You’ll fail” and “You can’t have what you want!”
It’s time to transform this misguided part of you. Your inner critic’s true intention is positive. Even though it is currently leading you astray, your inner critic is designed to protect you. If you want to understand where your inner critic came from and begin transforming it into a cherished resource, watch this video.
Please understand why I don’t advocate trying to get rid of your inner critic. That is a fear-based strategy used by people who think their inner critic can control them and block their success. Flailing at a powerful part of yourself that sincerely wants to help you will sap your energy, keep you in struggle and sabotage your success.
The approach backfires because the two parts of you described below have competing agendas:
- “Take a risk so you can grow. Challenge yourself. Change will be good. You can earn more money and have more control over your life.”
- “Stay put! Avoid risk! Risk isn’t safe. Don’t change. You don’t know who you might become if you change. You might fail!”
Both messages command your attention. Force creates counter force as the two opposing voices fight harder and harder for dominance. The negative voice continues to clamor for your attention because it wants to keep you safe. It grows ever louder and more powerful, like a concerned citizen yelling at kids who don’t understand the danger of a train racing toward them while they play on a railroad track.
The part of you that yearns for homeostasis (“Don’t change! It’s dangerous”) craves peace of mind, which seems impossible because you’re overwhelmed with self-doubt and confusion. As the process continues, you become increasingly annoyed and distracted from your goal.
How can you break free of hesitancy and mental chaos? Use coaching to elevate your clarity and confidence. We’ll work with both parts of you as I teach you how to use your inner critic in productive ways. Before we talk, reflect on what a powerhouse of energy your inner critic is. This misguided part of you has been working 24/7 most of your life, struggling to protect you. Instead of trying to banish it, let’s discover how to give it anew job description.
A New Reason to Apply for the Leadership Position
What’s the worst that can happen if you apply for the leadership position you want? The most common responses to this question include:
- “I’ll mess up during the interview and embarrass myself. People now think I’m competent, but if I fail to get the job, these people will never believe in me again.”
- “If I don’t get the job, I’ll feel rejected or inadequate. No matter how well I do during the interview, my confidence will take a dive.”
When our inner critic is unsupervised, our minds can torment us with scary thoughts and images. We might imagine slinking away from an interview, wishing we could disappear because we’re mortified that we stammered when we tried to answer a simple question. If our creative right brain highjacks our rational left brain, it will force us to endure a miserable imaginary field trip exploring a dire “What if?” landscape.
No matter what your personal “worst possible outcome” scenario is, it’s essential that we unpack your fears and address them, one by one. Why? It’s a proven way to create the confidence and peace of mind you’re craving. Both are essential for your success and happiness.
This is why one of the interview confidence exercises I use helps you delete your fears by preparing for “the worst”. During your coaching session, we go toe-to-toe with all of your fears. By the time the session is finished, you’re laughing because you’ve released unnecessary stress and tossed your old distorted mental stories into a recycling bin.
I also help you practice answering difficult potential interview questions. Some of these questions will surprise you. All are based on a thorough review of what you’re likely to be asked during your interview. Throughout the process, you elevate your confidence because you discover that your worst nightmare is highly unlikely to manifest. If needed, we’ll also discuss what would be inappropriate interview questions and how you would handle them.
Your confidence will escalate because you’ll develop trust that you can deal with whatever happens. Your new level of confidence will then travel with you into all areas of your life.
Permanent Confidence Anchors
During your coaching sessions, we’ll create new support structures, including handy Confidence Anchors that you’ll remember to use during the interview process and in other areas of your life. We’ll also counter-balance negative thoughts with an exercise that reminds your brain how powerful and capable you truly are. All of us sometimes need to rewire our brain’s automatic negative thinking patterns.
My work is based on sound science (neuroscience) so I’ll share multi-sensory exercises that you’ll use to consciously rewire your brain. The process will be quite enjoyable because the exercises will re-energize circuitry in your brain that you’ve unconsciously allowed to lie dormant.
Your confidence will increase with every successful experience in your life. Even a simple exercise in which you reflect on a past accomplishment, no matter how small or unrelated, can assist in rewiring your brain, as long as you know how to use related feelings in a positive, multi-sensory manner. (I often simulate real-life experiences with my clients because confidence emerges when we take focused action.)
As you can see, even if you decide you don’t want the job related to the interview process you’ve been dreading, you’ll graduate from your coaching sessions with two new valuable tools:
- enhanced confidence that will peacefully ripple into other areas of your professional life, and
- proven support structures that will make all of your future life transitions easier.
Click here to read the second article in this article series, “More Job Interview Confidence Tips.”
Women’s Leadership Coaching
Sign up for coaching so I can help you become crystal clear about how to use the application and interview process in ways that empower you and prepare you for other life challenges, while you gain the leadership position you want. Just complete the short application form here so I can contact you for a complimentary 20-minute consultation. If we decide we’re a good fit as client and coach, we’ll discuss a coaching agreement. I look forward to being of assistance so you can gain the compensation and job title you deserve.