6 Ways to Loosen Up and Land the Job

By Shannon Houde

You did it! Your killer CV, brilliant phone interview, and smart bio have gotten you to the final interview. You know the company, you know the job, you can do the job and even love it. Now you have one more chance to “wow.” Stay calm, cool, and collected to land your dream job with these 6 prep tips: 

Breathe 

I am a meditator who finds grounding in daily (well, almost daily) spiritual practice. You too have probably heard about the benefits of meditation and mindfulness. The good news is, it doesn’t have to be a big production with floor pillows and incense. You can do it anytime! Just try a quick and simple breathing exercise or check out the Calm app to help relax. Do this for 5 minutes just before the interview. Take that time!

Exercise  

I am a skier, cyclist, swimmer, a yogi of 20 years – trying to keep my endorphins up and my life in balance. So I can attest to the advantages of exercise before an interview, presentation, or just any average day! Try waking up and hitting the gym, taking a yoga class or going on a walk around the neighborhood to get a burst of energy and clear your head.   Getting that blood pumping and fresh air in your lungs will greatly affect your performance. 

Smile like you mean it  

Smile more! It is proven to be good for your brain and wellbeing. Don’t believe me? Check this list of 15 health benefits of smiling. Smiling is one of those small things you can do for yourself and others to give back and to improve your life, for free, any moment of any day. But don’t fake it. People can tell.  Make sure it is genuine and that you don’t look over-eager.  

Practice  

The more you practice answering interview questions aloud, the more confident you’ll be when it’s real. Start with these questions and practice in front of a mirror (or with me!). You can record them on your phone and play it back to yourself.  Scary, yes I know!  But worth it as you will see those little ticks you need to iron out before the big day.  

Be curious 

Ask thoughtful questions. And listen well. This will help you discover common ground with our interviewer and leave a lasting impression.  But make sure you don’t ask questions that sound like you are interviewing THEM.  This is your chance to sell yourself not do your due diligence on them.  Once you are in the final round and have an offer you can ask some of the (less contentious) culture questions.  Or better yet, ask a few ex-employees the real story of what it was like working there. 

Map your career journey 

Interviews are an opportunity to show off your interpersonal communication skills, so a key part of your preparation should be a coherent and descriptive response to that classic interview question: “Walk me through your CV.” Take a creative approach and bring in a colorful, one-page Powerpoint slide that shows in simple bullet points how each step (4-5 steps) you’ve taken in your career led you to the next, and ultimately brought you to the job you’re interviewing for. Call it “My Career Journey.” Doing this will force you to build a strong career narrative and help you side step around the less relevant areas that lose your audience. Plus give you an extra confidence boost! 

Let me know how these tips work for you and get more bespoke advice about mapping your career journey and landing you dream job with my course.

Break a leg!

Shannon Houde is an ICF certified executive and career coach who founded Walk of Life Consulting, the first international professional development advisory business focused solely on the social impact, environmental and sustainable business fields.

Image Credit: Bethany Legg via Unsplash

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