Mental Health and Interviews

Over the course of the last 2 years, we’ve all seen a rise in the cases of mental health issues but also an increasing attention to the topic, helping millions overcome troubling periods. Mental health affects all of us some time or another in our lives and knowing how to self-care and strengthen our resilience is an important skill we can all learn.

For many, a job interview can be one of the most nerve-racking and anxious events we face, the uncertainty of outcome, the fear of judgement and the doubt of being prepared enough. But by having a mentor or coach working alongside you can help enormously, taking much of the load off your shoulders and guiding you towards your goals.

This article will give you 5 useful tips to strengthen your resilience and help you fortify your mental health especially around interview time.

Build a support network around you

Building your support network is crucial as we are all social creatures, regardless of whether you are an introvert or extrovert, we all need people around us to feel included and part of something bigger than ourselves.

Scientifically, our brain releases Oxytocin whenever we have an intimate or social encounter with one another, Oxytocin is a hormone which reduces the cortisol levels in the brain and lowers blood pressure. This helps you feel more at ease with the task at hand and opens you up to a “superbrain” of alternative ideas from those within your network.

You can do this with a partner, sibling, friend or colleague, explain to them what you are aiming for and how you would like them to support you whether that be listening to you practicing your answers or giving you a different perspective or ideas on what you should include in your answers.

Get prepared

Leaving things to the last minute is hands-down the worst thing you can do. Get started, now! No matter how little you achieve today, it is the beginning of getting ready and now the ball is rolling. Thinking about the possible answers the interviewer could ask, is a great start. Use models like HCCARR or STAR to structure your answers. Read them aloud and look at the places where you need to add details and clarity or delete the wafting. By getting ready early, you will increase your Serotonin and Dopamine levels.

Exercise

Seriously, I know you’re thinking how is a run in the park or a playing a game of tennis (my secret passion) going to help me improve my chances at getting hired. Well, there’s some logic to this madness. Exercise is one of the best forms of selfcare out there, it increases your heart rate which allows for better circulation in the body and brain, increases Endorphins which is a chemical release in the brain, a kind of painkiller for the physical exertion you have spent which makes you feel euphoric and content. It is also an excellent and constructive form of distraction from the stress and anxiety of the interview. During this time, your brain will meditate in the “zone” and allow your subconscious to run free at problem-solving and creating new ideas for those questions.

Drink water

It may seem ridiculous that we need to be told to drink water, duhhh obviously we drink water, but really? Think about it! How much water do you actually drink per day? Not coffee, tea, Coca-Cola etc. but a good old glass of tap water? I reckon not enough. Our brains are 80% water, therefore they need a constant supply of nice, fresh, clean water to keep them running optimally. A consequence of not getting enough water can lead to a host of problems but notably headaches, fatigue and slow metabolism which can severely affect your emotional state.

Experiencing these, irritability and lack of motivation can creep in. So, get into a habit of filling up a water bottle and keep it on your desk, give yourself a task of finishing it that day and you will see the impact in less that a week on your energy levels, mood and productivity.

Sleep

Lastly, we have sleep. It is so important to get a good night’s sleep, it helps your body reset, recover and build on from the day before. Having good nighttime habits can increase your chances of having a deep and restful sleep. Use soft lighting after 8pm to allow your body to recognize that the night is here and its time to winddown, have a hot bath or use some essential oils such as lavender to trigger the body’s clock and get you yawning. Staying up all night, the evening before an interview reading your answers is not advisable. Instead, get a good night’s sleep, set the alarm an hour or two earlier the next day and use that time instead to get a head start. This will give you a sense of achievement and advantage rather working off a back foot.

If you’d like to read further into fortifying your resilience in all areas of your life, I recommend Resilience by Liggy Webb an award-winning and bestselling author, presenter and international consultant specialising in life skills.

Interview Coaching has helped hundreds of people experiencing nerves and anxiety during their preparation and throughout their course, they have built confidence through controlled practice and rehearsal, getting immediate and critical feedback on their answers and an opportunity to strengthen and improve their responses. If you’d like to have a chat today and see if we’d be a good fit for you, click here to schedule a discovery call.  

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