By Linda Van Valkenburgh, MS, CCMC, CJSS, CSMCS, CELDC
Positivity is contagious. It can uplift the people and the energy surrounding you.
Bringing positivity to an interview demonstrates your can-do and problem-solving attitude. This is an attractive quality in a leader, as they are often responsible for motivating their team to overcome challenges. Everyone has challenges, but an individual that can see the positive in every situation is easy to trust and appears more reliable.
Here’s how you can be proactive about bringing positivity to the interview process.
Prepare For the Interview
Preparation will boost your confidence. Confidence naturally breeds optimism.
When interviewing for an executive position, you may be asked questions that are outside the scope of your education, experience, and qualifications. Recruiters are looking to gain an understanding of your capacity as a leader, as well as how you have managed difficult situations in the past.
There are several things you can do to prepare yourself for the interview:
- Research possible interview questions. You will be better prepared to answer if you have been anticipating certain questions and you have had time to determine your response ahead of time.
- Learn about the company. Do your research and go in-depth. The more you know, the better.
- Search your memory. Consider real-life stories and examples you could share to demonstrate your competence and leadership ability. I ask my clients to prepare 12 to 18 validation stories so they are “at the ready” during an interview to prove you do what you say you do.
- Utilize the Job Description section on the responsibilities the job will cover. Turn these into questions and practice answering them.
- Prepare questions. Be ready to ask questions of your own. Asking questions exhibits definite interest in the position and also shows that you are also searching for the right fit.
- Practice your body language. Remember to smile, look the interviewer in the eye, be attentive, and speak clearly. Work on your body language regularly to project confidence and poise in the interview.
- Dress for success. Ensure your professional wear is in top shape for the interview.
It is easy to get distracted during an interview. Staying in the moment allows you to bring your awareness to the conversation. This will enable you to give more on-point, relevant answers to the questions being asked. You will think of better examples to bring up and demonstrate a clear understanding of the questions with your responses. You will feel sharper.
When you are fully aware, you will feel it become easier to be positive during the interview. Instead of dreading the things you must do later in the day or thinking about what went wrong in the past focus on the positive aspects of the interview process. You can give your attention to what matters most in the moment.
Concentrate on what you are looking to accomplish and you will find that your anxieties and fears will vanish.
Build Your Self-Confidence
If you are looking to add necessary experience or qualifications to your resume be proactive about educating yourself. Take courses, attend seminars, read books, or even listen to podcasts.
If your energy levels are low try exercising, eating well, and meditating more regularly to boost your self-image and feel better in your own body. Try to get seven to eight hours of sleep per night to help you feel rejuvenated each day.
If you have been feeling down or negative change your self-talk. Learn to see the upside in every situation. Tell yourself that you are worthy and capable. Repeat and reinforce positive phrases to yourself.
There are many ways to improve your self-image, but it can take time and persistence. When you feel good about yourself, it will be easy to be positive in interviews.
A positive individual is a rare individual, which is why they always stand out.
Be prepared to ask for the job. Many people leave an interview without finishing their thoughts. You can easily avoid this situation by making it clear that you feel the position would be a good fit for you.
Positivity may take some practice, but it is worth every bit of effort you put into it.
Let’s get to work.
If you have questions about your executive career search, please contact me at 203-323-9977 or [email protected]