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Get Pumped! The 5 Essential Tips for Getting Your Mindset Right for an Interview

inspiration interviewing kelley biskupiak

I love coaching a woman right before she heads off for an interview. There is just something about the vulnerable excitement that fills my office when prepping and pumping a woman up to go rock an interview.

I believe there is a very distinct difference between the prepping and the pumping when it comes to being interview-ready. The prepping is about rehearsing what you can DO on the interview to be memorable and unforgettable. It is so very important to be clear, articulate, and well-rehearsed on the content you will deliver. Susan wrote a great blog about this a few weeks ago; you must check it out! However, the pumping is equally important and places a focus on who you want to BE on the interview. It is about your mindset and getting that mindset right and ready to show those interviewers the amazing powerhouse they would be lucky to land.

There are 5 key components that are foundational in creating an empowered mindset for interviewing, and I have them here to share with you:

Remember who you are. Reconnecting yourself with moments when you were at your peak can be a powerful tool to employ before an interview. You have had many career wins, you have overcome huge obstacles, you have juggled complex family schedules, and navigated countless stages of being a parent or caregiver. Remember who you are, the power you possess, and the value you add. Stand in that power and don’t shrink yourself.

Here is an exercise you can try to get that mindset powered up:

Take a few minutes to reflect on a time when you know you were at your peak. This could be a time during your work-life when you felt all eyes were on you and you hit it out of the park. It could also be a time in work or life when you overcame a big obstacle or pushed passed a challenge. Choose one instance and then find a close friend or someone you consider a cheerleader for your success and tell them the story. At the end of the story ask your cheerleader to answer these two questions, “Who do you see me as? What strengths do I possess?”

Watch how this simple exercise wakes you back up and has you saying, “Yes girl, you’ve got this! They would be lucky to have you!”

Be mindful of how you are talking to yourself. THIS IS KEY. Your words have so much power and negative self-talk is one of the biggest interview derailers out there. What that voice inside your head says is extremely powerful. Think of it this way, if your spouse, child, sister, or close friend were heading out on an interview would you say the following?

“You’re really not ready to do this.”

“They probably are looking for someone more qualified.”

“I think you are a little too rusty.”

“You are not as smart as the other candidates.”

NEVER! You would never say that to someone you love, care about, and want to see succeed so DON’T say it to yourself. I can’t begin to tell you how many clients I have worked with over the years that get stuck in the above recordings in their minds’ and there is a huge cost. They, and you, deserve better than that so, I invite you to create some powerful mantras you can repeat to yourself when those sneaky little saboteur mantras start to play on repeat.

“I am so ready to do this.”

“They have been looking for someone like me.”

“My life experience makes me an asset to any employer.”

“I am not just smart but I have a history of being an amazing problem solver.”

I’ll say it again—your words have power; choose them wisely.

Prioritize Self Care. This is critical. If you are walking into an interview exhausted, depleted, and to say it frankly, a hot mess, then the outcome really should not surprise you. Being clear about what centers and grounds you leading up to an interview is not a luxury - it is essential. At the very core of this is prioritizing your self-care. It may feel very basic, but often I see my clients so focused on everyone else that they neglect their own needs. Leading up to an interview is not a time to be putting YOU on the back burner.

Here are some basic self-care tips you can employ:

Get sleep. Make it clear to your family that you need to get a good night’s sleep and ask for their support in making this happen.

Eat Healthy. Be sure that what you put in your body the day or days before an interview fuels you and doesn’t make you sluggish. Nerves may have you looking to numb out by eating tons of junk, having one more glass of wine, or fueling with too much caffeine. You know how to make good choices but a reminder always helps.

Treat yourself to a service. Whether it is a manicure, hair appointment, clothing stylist consultation, or spa service, do something superficial that will make you feel good and taken care of. It is a way of saying to yourself, “You deserve to look and feel your best when you walk into that room.”

Move your body. Getting your blood flowing and some of that anxiety out of your body is exactly what you need before an interview. This could be a hardcore workout or a walk around your neighborhood. Movement is a way to get clear and centered.

Self-care is the foundation of being interview ready.

Lean on your people. We all have our people and when we are going after any bigger greater goal in our life we have to be very clear about the people in our life who will be the support system that helps us meet with success. You need your tribe all around you leading up to an interview and you need to lean on them.

Here are two ways your tribe can help:

With a pep rally. I am not kidding. You can design how that pep rally looks for you. It could be as simple as a quick call to one of your cheerleaders to remind you that you have “GOT THIS” before you walk in and “wow” your interviewers. It could be having a good laugh just to break you out of serious and stiff mode or it could be a pep rally with your Zen friend that encourages you to breathe and get centered. Whatever the form, it is a way to lean on your tribe so you can be in the mindset to bring your A-game.

With the kids and other obligations. Knowing you have all of the other very important parts of your life running smoothly before you walk into an interview is beyond crucial. More importantly, knowing you have tried and trusted people taking the wheel for you will put you at ease to be your best self in an interview. Making plans in advance, doing a test run if necessary, and leaving organized and clear instructions will make a huge impact on your mindset.

Your tribe is looking for ways to support you and repay you for all you have done for them over the years, reach out!

Lastly, but not the least, by any means:

Embrace the adrenaline. Yes, the power of fight or flight is coded right into every living being’s body for a reason and you should embrace the power that it holds. Your heart pumping, that rapid breathing, and those shaking hands are just your body’s way of getting you ready to MAKE THINGS HAPPEN. Embrace it! Don’t let it scare you, it is there for your protection, and remember you can always get back to your center with a few deep breaths. Harness all of that body revving and channel it into your interview.

So there you have it! The essentials to getting you pumped for your next interview. You have so much to offer. Go make it happen!


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