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Employing a Creative, Holistic Approach to Interview Preparation

yoga, sunrise

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 employ a holistic approach to the job interview experience.

Here are four creative interview preparation exercises to share with your clients:

Exercise 1: Deep Breathing with Meditation and Colour Therapy Visualization

Step 1:

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.

Step 2:

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.

Step 3:

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:

Exercise 3: Healing Crystals

Another technique to use 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, 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 interviewing strategies you’ve used with your clients. Here are a few helpful resources I’ve found:

De-stressing Exercises Before an Interview

Crystals for a Job Interview

How to Relax Before an Interview

3 Job Search Stress Reduction Techniques

If you want to strengthen your skill in helping clients land the jobs they want, consider investing in CPC’s Certified Interview Strategist course or Employment Interview Coaching course.

Photo by Eneko Uruñuela on Unsplash

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Christine Cristiano

Many jobseekers facing the interview process are paralyzed by the unknown aka not knowing what is going to be asked of them and not confident in their ability to think on the fly. In addition to 1-1 individual interview preparation coaching sessions, these ideas to calm and empower the inner being are very useful. Thanks for sharing these techniques!

You’re very welcome, Christine. I appreciate your feedback. I agree that the fear of the unknown and having to think on the fly often poses a challenge for many jobseekers. By using a creative approach to make interviewing more engaging, we can help our clients to see it from an empowering perspective. It is a learning experience for both career professionals and jobseekers.

Thank you for this refreshing article. I’ve taught relaxation skills to my clients to help them prepare for interviews and your article adds, an interesting twist to this. I’ve never thought of incorporating other types of ‘guides’ in the process. I’d like to use some of your ideas in a youtube video that I’ll be making and refer them to your article. Please let me know if this is ok. Thanks!

You’re very welcome, Linda. I’m glad that you find these interviewing techniques helpful. Please feel free to incorporate these ideas in your video.

Great! Thank you!