Set Your Mindset for Success

by Freya Scammells

Best Practices to Nail your
Next Job Interview


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20 MAY, 2021
Have you ever felt stressed during a job interview?

Even if you've studied every possible interview question and you've been awaiting and preparing for this moment for what feels like years, you are not the only one who considers interviewing for a job an overwhelmingly stressful experience. 

We all know that your interview performance is mostly based on how you prepare (check out our 7 Essential Machine Learning and Data Analysis Interview Questions & Answers here) but we often underestimate the importance of our mental state. Your nerves can easily overrule you in an interview and highly affect your overall performance even if you have practiced and prepared to the best of your ability.  

So how can you make sure that you aren’t losing out a big opportunity just because you are too nervous ?


Firstly,

don’t overlook the importance of feeling relaxed and ensuring that you are entering the interview with the correct mindset.
There are a number of things you can do on the day of the interview to make sure that you are feeling as comfortable and confident as you should be.
This doesn't have to take up much of your time!
Anything as simple as a 5 minute guided meditation to keep your mind at ease and help you feel relaxed before the interview can do the trick - check out this
2 Minute Meditation To Prepare For A Job Interview.

In case you are looking for a longer energy boosting exercise in the morning of the interview, we recommend Tony Robbins’ 15 minutes priming exercise. Alternatively, you can use this time to sit in silence and clear your mind. It can be easy to forget the importance of taking some time to clear your head, especially on the day of an interview!

Take some time to remove any negative thoughts about the interview and replace them with positive affirmations. It is much better to believe how great you can be at this interview and be optimistic as opposed to feeling anxious about the interview and being hard on yourself. Reaching the interview stage means that you have been selected amongst many and so you should feel positive about the fact that you will be a great fit.


Secondly,


mindset and relaxation can help you perform to the best of your abilities but you will also need to do your preparation! It is always a good idea to go into the interview with a solid understanding of the company and what they have to offer. 
The interviewer will want to know how invested you are in working for the company and demonstrating your understanding of the company is a great way to do this. Do your research and come up with a short summary to remember for the interview that includes  what the business does and what key products or services the organisation has to offer so that you can integrate this into your responses to the interviewer. Understand their company values and remember ones which resonate with you so that you can mention them in the interview when talking about why you want to work there.  

Once you’ve done your research, you will want to pick up on key points that demonstrate why you will be a good fit for the role. Think about what skills and qualities you possess that highlight to the interviewer how you will be a good fit for what they are looking for. Ensure that you have read the job description and note down the  experiences which demonstrate that you have the required skills for the job and have talking points for each of these examples.  A good way to stand out is to prepare some questions to ask the interviewer to show that you are highly interested in the company and the role. 

For example, unique questions could include:
What opportunities will I have to learn and grow?
Which part of the position has the steepest learning curve and what can I do in order to get up to speed quickly?

Pick up on questions that not only highlight your interest but make you stand out from the crowd. Equally you should consider researching some common questions that the interviewer could ask you and it would be helpful if you know who exactly will be interviewing you : will it be the hiring manager, an internal or external recruiter?

This way you can research what the interviewer cares about based on what their individual motivations are and make sure that you are hitting all the points that they want to hear!
If you are on a call, it can be helpful to have the person’s LinkedIn Page in front of you, you will resonate more over audio if you can visualise them.

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Thirdly,

if you are heading to a technical interview you will need to make sure you have practiced enough to wow the interviewer! Some things can only improve with practice and to enhance your technical skills for an interview you will need to make sure you have done the relevant preparation. 

Remember, the interview process is designed to understand 2 main things about you:
Do you have the technical ability to add value to this team?
Will the team enjoy working with you, will you add value to team collaboration and the working environment?
But also remember to prepare these three key technical areas to ensure technical interview success: Theory knowledge, Machine Learning, Software tools & Technical Tools.
Read all about the Ultimate Tech Q&A here.

There are brilliant websites you can use for free that will help you with your interview practice: such as https://www.confetti.ai, which provides a large bank of questions covering core ideas in statistics, data science and full-stack machine learning! Utilise these to practice and ensure that you are fully prepared for the technical side of interviews so that you can show off your technical skills and impress the interviewer. 

So what's the equation for successful interview preparation?

Positive Mindset & Relaxation
+ Research preparation
+Practice =
Interview Success!

Want to know more about how to propel your tech Career?
Watch our Free Webinar | How To Accelerate Your Tech Career here


About the Author

Freya supports the tech talent toolbox arm of Reflection X where she is coaching technologists to achieve their full potential. With over 10 years of experience within the Tech and AI recruitment space, she has been from working closely with thousands individuals and leaders during hiring processes while partnering with very early stage start-ups all the way to some of the top AI Labs in the world.

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