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Interview Preparation

The dreaded job interview is the Number 1 source of email enquiries to Confidence Club. The following email is typical:

"I have an interview coming up and I'm terrified! I have to do a presentation in front of a panel of judges, and I just know I'm going to make a fool of myself"

Interviews generate immense levels of anxiety. Anxiety impairs performance, so that interview candidates often leave the room knowing that they didn't give their best. Probably 98% of us have had the experience of 'going blank' in a pressure situation, losing the thread of our argument, or simply not 'getting' what the other person is asking.

Why does this happen?

Fear of public exposure is a natural anxiety which we all share, to a greater or lesser extent. The most common fears - spiders, heights, open spaces - are inherited. We all have the capacity to develop these fears, because these were known dangers for our ancestors.

It may seem odd to consider an interview in this way - of course it isn't a dangerous situation - but public exposure in general causes most of us some anxiety. In many ways an interview is a an extreme form of public speaking - not only are you 'performing' in front of strangers, but the outcome of the interview will have an impact on the rest of your life. High stakes indeed.

The result of this anxiety can be devastating. Some people experience a strong adrenaline response in interviews, with wobbly knees, dry mouth, tremulous voice, and cognitive impairment. Most people experience much milder symptoms but any level of anxiety impairs performance, particularly our mental sharpness.

Lose the Anxiety

A relaxed interview candidate is at an immediate advantage. Quite apart from the improvements in interpersonal skills which come with relaxation, a relaxed person has a much more controlled mind, and this is a critical advantage.

Confidence Club has developed a suite of hypnotherapy resources which provide two benefits:

• Immediate and lasting improvements in relaxation and calmness

• Enhanced self confidence

If you have an interview coming up, we would recommend completing the Confidence Club questionnaire -

This will highlight your strengths as well as any weaknesses, providing valuable self-awareness and helping you to view your personality in a constructive manner.

The questionnaire will also reveal which aspects of confidence you should work on. The most popular Confidence Club resource for interview candidates is our Stage Presence CD, which will help you to become relaxed when making presentations or projecting your personality in a group setting.

The beauty of hypnotherapy is its immediacy - clients enjoy benefits after a single, 30 minute, session. Continued use will result in greater gains in relaxation, calmness and self-confidence. If at all possible, start your hypnotherapy treatment a good week before the interview, and use the CD 2 or 3 times in that week. The result will be a refreshed, calm, relaxed approach to the interview and a welcome sense of calmness and self-control.

Jim Sullivan is a hypnotherapist specialising in confidence, self esteem and stress management. He may be contacted via the Confidence Club website :

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