Minding Your Mindset for Interviews

“Uggghhhhh.” That’s what goes through my mind when I think about the interviewing process. How many of you feel the same? The agony of figuring out what to wear. (“Is this suit too shiny on me?”) Not knowing what to call the interviewer. (“It’s nice to meet you, Justi– er, I mean, Mr. Bieber.) The nervousness beforehand, and trying to prepare for any question imaginable, no matter how ridiculous. (“If I could be any vegetable in the world what would I be? That’s easy – an eggplant for its lovely hourglass figure!”) The post-interview period of “not knowing” and the inevitable psychological-meltdown-slash-confidence-suck. (One hour after the interview: “Hey Mom, the interview went great! They loved me! It’s in the bag – let’s celebrate!” Three days later: “Nope, still haven’t heard back. I guess there were a few speed bumps…and I’m sure they have a lot of good candidates….” One week later: “Should I email them…again?” Three weeks later: “Uggghhhhh.”)

If you have ever experienced any of this, you are not alone. Interviewing is often awkward, annoying and a lousy way to spend an hour. But for most great jobs, it must be done, so in order to be successful, it all comes down to attitude.

Attitude management can take work, especially if you are under a lot of stress. I often manage mine with music and media. There was a show in the 80s called The Greatest American Hero and it had arguably the best television theme song of all time. Ever since I graduated from college, I’ve used this song as an attitude adjuster, and it has come in handy, particularly before job interviews. I will play it two or thirty-four times, and as a result I typically bounce into my interviews feeling happy, confident and alive, ready to tackle whatever challenge is thrown my way.

I encourage you to find your own “Greatest American Hero” tool, whether in a song, an outfit, an exercise, a form of meditation or a person you can talk with who helps you enter into the right frame of mind. When it comes to interviewing, attitude really IS everything. Channeling yours will be key to your success in the workplace, and when you do, believe it or not, you’ll be walking on air!

Author: Anne Marie

Anne Marie Gercke is the Associate Director for the College of Arts & Sciences team in Career Services.