I am sure we all share the same unpleasant feeling when a job interview begins, nerves take over and it goes from bad to worse. Once it's over we review it over and over again until the letter arrives, and if it's bad news, it still gets replayed more times than the scenes in Groundhog Day.
Part of succeding in this process is to trust yourself, but this goes hand-in-hand with being assertive. So, what does this mean? When you are assertive you are clear in what you say; you do not avoid any significant issue; you display confidence in the situation; you respect the other individual as well as your own wishes. The outcome is clear communication; goals are reached and you don't feel you have been put down or feel frustrated by the situation.
You may find the setting of the interview room becomes a stumbling block for your assertiveness. One reason this happens is you could be honing in on the desire to be offered the job or given the promotion. I know this sounds hard to do, but try not to obsess on this as focussing on an offer will naturally make you less assertive. Other reasons for a stumbling block are:-
Lack of awareness: if you are not aware of precise details regarding the company/ the job/ the promoted position then you will not be able to respond in an assertive manner. A way to resolve this is to do your research. If it's a new job go on Google and get familiar with the company; check-out their Twitter feed [if they have one] and try to consider questions that they may ask you and suitable responses. Although, this will not guarantee you won't get some unexpected questions you will be more prepared and in turn be assertive.
Also, try to think of some questions to ask the interviewer about the job or business. It will demonstrate you are assertive as well as your interest.
Anxiety: there are plenty of reasons for feeling anxious. It's natural under the circumstances. One main concern for you is expressing an answer particularly to someone you don't know and not knowing what to say. From the outset try to forget you don't know the person. Try to imagine them as a colleague you would be assertive with. At the end of the interview thank the person for their time.
Negative self-talk: if you tell yourself it will be an unpleasant experience, it will be!
Therefore, don't internalise negative thoughts. Have positive affirmations to remember in your head such as "I will provide clear answers"; "This interview isn't everthing, if I stumble it's not the end of the world"; "If I'm honest in the way I express myself , I'm honest and direct, then I'm being assertive"; "I can do this."
Confused answers occur when you can't verbalise the the right response which leads you to become self conscious and hesitate. Ease yourself in with an assertive response such as "Thank you for giving me an interview."
Avoid negative assertions such as "I want to leave my old job/ position as I was not satisfied there." To avoid becoming shsmbolic in your responses and to display strong assertiveness avoid general responses such as "I think the position is perfect for me." Use specific statements such as "I was interested in your company because your in-house training scheme means I can develop ..."
Behavioural confusion occurs when non - verbal messages convey negativity, e.g. accidentally slouching or giving the impression you don't want to be there. Ensure your body positioning is of a straight posture and give strong eye contact.
Do you feel life-coaching could be useful for you to seek direction? All consultations are online via Skype, Zoom or FaceTime. Life-coaching can help with a variety of problems or to help you get set on a challenge. Contact me on firstname.lastname@example.org or on 07544 899 681.
Next month Direct Action will launch its Change Now: Anxiety course.