Employing a Creative, Holistic Approach to Interview Preparation
By Lori Jazvac.
Sometimes, attending an interview can seem like being put under a microscope. For many jobseekers, the experience can produce sweaty palms, shortness of breath, and even feelings of anxiety and fear. It may be helpful for clients to remember that they are also interviewing the employer to determine if there is a mutual fit, but this thought alone may not be enough to calm nerves. Successful interviewing requires being focused and presenting one’s unique value clearly and concisely. It’s also about managing one’s own emotional intelligence (EI) and social intelligence. Pre-interview coaching and practice are essential activities, but some clients take a two-pronged approach to their interview preparations. Some are open to adding an additional line of support; one that enhances self-awareness, empowerment, and self-management. These clients get creative by employing a holistic approach to their job interview preparation.
Here are four creative interview preparation exercises to share with your clients:
Exercise 1: Deep Breathing with Meditation and Colour Therapy Visualization
Deep breathing is a highly effective, easy-to-do exercise for calming pre-interview nerves. Ask your client to breathe in for four counts, hold in for two seconds, then release. This may seem fairly simple, but it is amazing how often we forget to breathe properly, especially under stress! Have your client repeat this exercise a few times. Playing soft meditation music will help promote relaxation and a feeling of serenity.
Next, ask your client to focus on a keyword (or phrase) that resonates with him or her such as “calm” or “empower,” or “I am strong”. One of my clients uses the affirmation word “CAR” (for Challenge-Action-Result!). Any affirmation keyword or phrase that’s personally meaningful to the client can be mentally recited throughout the interview.
Guide your client through visualizing a series of different colours such as red, blue, green, orange, and yellow. If your client has a “power colour” that they relate to, he or she can either visualize this colour, wear the colour, or incorporate into their accessories. Every colour symbolizes certain properties that align with our energy centres or chakras.
By the time your client attends the interview, he or she will be feeling more self-assured, balanced, and in control of both their physical and mental states.
Exercise 2: Yogic Poses
Yoga is a form of natural exercise designed to realign all of the body’s energy centres, reduce stress, and provide a sense groundedness during life’s challenging moments. Your client can build physical strength with progressively challenging yoga poses. Yoga also increases inner strength, promoting feelings of increased self-esteem and well-being to support effective handling of challenging interview questions.
Combine deep breathing with a few yogic poses one at a time:
- Downward-Facing Dog
- Sun Salutation (an energizer!)
- Plank Pose
- Warrior Pose (a great confidence builder)
- Half-Moon Pose
- Chair Pose
- Boat Pose
- Palm Tree Pose
- Child’s Pose (peace)
Exercise 3: Healing Crystals
Another tactic for holistic interview preparation involves holding a raw crystal or wearing one on a chain. Some people just keep the crystal in a pocket or purse. The healing properties of crystals can promote physical and mental stamina, improve communication, trust, and confidence in stressful situations, especially interviews. Crystals can be found in holistic healing shops, natural health stores, at health fairs, and online.
Powerful healing crystals include: Citrine, Amethyst, Lemon Aura Quartz, Celestine, and Blue Lace Agate. Other crystals specifically helpful for interview and career success include Malachite, Green Aventurine, Orgonite, and Ruby.
Help your client find a raw, genuine crystal that aligns with their needs and goals. Encourage your client to say a positive affirmation while holding the crystal. For example, they may choose to repeat, “All is well in my world” or “I am on the path to positive change in my career.”
Exercise 4: Power Animal
Does your client have a “power animal” that serves as a symbol of strength and comfort through challenging life transitions?
Identifying with a power animal may raise your client’s awareness, clarity, and confidence in the interviewing process. Often, power animals can appear in dreams, offering important intuitive messages about a person’s career, personal, or social life. They may even reveal aspects of one’s personality.
When I attended interviews in my earlier career, I would envision a tiger sitting beside me as it symbolizes strength, courage, and power. This always made me feel calm and reassured while I answered challenging questions in front of an entire panel. Every power animal has a unique meaning.
What is your power animal and what does it symbolize for you?
Feel free to share some creative, non-traditional interview preparation strategies you’ve used with your clients!