There's no doubt about it, as mind mechanic, Dr Steve Peters, pointed out so eloquently in his book, The Chimp Paradox (see below), we all have Chimp Brains. Sometime our inner chimp, responsible for our basic survival instincts, serves us well, and sometimes...
Well, let's be frank, it can decide to play up a bit and as a result, totally derail our efforts.
Interviews are just one of those settings when the stress of the occasion can get the little chap or chapess running amok, but there are some tried and tested ways to get the better of him or her.
"By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail."
As Benjamin Franklin, the former US president is quoted as saying, you need to prepare thoroughly.
(Just to clarify, Churchill also came out with something similar. Given their successes, they have no doubt based these wise words on hard earned experience.)
So, make sure you prepare thoroughly too. You need to understand what the recruiter is looking for. Get familiar with the role, the organisation and the sector. If you can't do this bit, you can't then work out what you need to tell him or her about yourself so that you come across as the best applicant on the day.
Imagine you are the recruiter for a moment. What questions would you want to ask?
Preparation gets into your DNA and with some careful management of your emotions, the increased levels of concentration, enhanced by adrenalin at interview time will helpfully pop relevant material into your mind.
Talking of which, a little bit of mental preparation before you go in, will work wonders too as Henry Ford pointed out:
"Whether you think you can, or whether you think you can't, you're right."
As Henry Ford knew, life has a funny way of giving us what we believe we deserve.
Doubt communicates itself in silence with all the subtlety of a fog horn at full blast. Spending some time beforehand, deciding that we can do a good job at interview is at least half the job done.
And if your inner chimp does threaten to get the better of you, a dose of mindfulness and focus on your breathing should get things back under control.
Try this little saver exercise.
Take a deep breath in and as you breathe out, let the tension go.
Now breathe in deeply again, to the count of three and breathe out to the count of five, focussing on how your feet feel as they connect with the floor. Rinse and repeat twice more and notice how much better you feel right now.
If you have found this article useful, I am running a free webinar on "How to be confident and shine at your next interview." By the end of it your Chimp Brain will be totally appeased and sleeping like a baby next time you go for interview!
For more details and to register, click on the image below:
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Designed for professionals, the Career Alchemy blog mixes news, career trends and philosophy with "how to" advice to help you achieve happiness and success in your working life, no matter how much the world of work is changing.