Laurie Swanson Blog

The Number 1 Job Interview Success Tip People Forget

I was in the midst of prepping a candidate for an interview.

Something I have done 1000’s of times in my career as a recruiter.

She was telling me that:

  • Her outfit was cleaned and ready to go
  • She had written out her Success Stories and committed them to memory
  • She had practiced her responses to why she left her different positions
  • She had done her company research
  • She had plucked her nose hairs 

Nose hairs and interview success?

Wait. Plucked her nose hairs?

That is when an image floated up in my mind.

Not one of nose hairs, thank goodness!

An image of her.

She had her hands tightly gripping a rope like it was a life line.

Her forehead was furrowed with worry.

I could almost feel the fear oozing out of her.

Hard Stop on the Traditional Interview Prep

That is when I had to stop our conversation.

I said that she seemed to be well-prepared.

Except, she was mission one critical point...

The Tip That GUARANTEES Success

When I saw the image of her hands gripping the rope I also saw her thoughts:

  • “I just have to perform well”
  • “I will never get this job”
  • “I need more time to practice mock interviews”
  • “I know I am missing that one something that will get me this job”
  • “What if they don’t like me?”
  • “What if I blow the most important question?”
  • "Pick me, pick me..."
And so on…

It was time to talk with her about the one tip that would guarantee her success.

Releasing attachment to the outcome.

I had her close her eyes and imagine herself tightly gripping that rope.  I had her feel the tightness in her hands, her face, her stomach. Feel the fear and worry about what might go wrong, what she does not know, what the interviewers may think about her.

Then, I had her breathe in and out as many times as necessary until she felt her stomach unclench, her brow unfurrow, her whole body relax and lighten and her hands release their grip on the rope.

As she relaxed I took her on a guided meditation of sorts. I asked her to:  

  • See the rope morph into a string with a red helium-filled balloon attached.
  • Loosen her grip on the string and release the balloon.
  • Watch the balloon float up into the blue sky.
  • Notice the balloon has a phrase on it.
  • Read the phrase out loud

 “I am at my very best today”

Over and over again.

“I am at my very best today”

“I am at my very best today”

“I am at my very best today”

“I am at my very best today"

  • See the balloon as it is moved lightly by the wind, back and forth. 
  • The balloon is light and free.
  • You are light and free.
  • You are at your very best in this interview.
  • Keep breathing, repeating and noticing.

And then I had her open her eyes.

I asked her to breathe, smile and say the phrase one more time.

“I am at my very best today.”

Simple, yes. 

She had done the work.

She was prepared.

Now's the time to put your shoulders back, lift your chin, breathe in and out, and release attachment to any outcome or result.  Smile and say:  "I am at my best today."

If you need help letting go of your grip on the rope, let's set up a time talk!  Give me a call at 630/260-7821 or email me a

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