10 Minutes before the Interview

by Sarah Roark Schott, former Head Editor, INALJ Arizona
previously published 7/22/13 & 8/18/14

10 Minutes before the Interview

SarahRoarkSchottINALJI recently had the best interview. Seriously, the best interview! I’m not just saying that because during my last interview there was a crying baby. No, this time I felt super comfortable with myself and the people I met. I had such a great time that I knew I wanted to share with you guys how I prepared for it.

The week before I knew I had the interview I did the usual: I researched the facility and interviewing panel participants, I brainstormed interview questions and responses with my partner, I prepared my portfolio, and I picked out an interview outfit. The night before the interview I got a good night’s rest after reading through all of my notes one last time, and brain drained in front of an episode of International House Hunters. That night I put everything in my portfolio determined to leave it in there until the interview began.

The next morning I woke up 3 hours before the interview. I took my time getting ready, and then I drove to the interview location giving myself plenty of time. I got to the place without a hitch, but this is always the most nervous time for me. You know, that time when you are about 15-20 minutes early, but you know there will not be an ideal area for you to wait for the interview, so you have to do your waiting in the car until 6-10 minutes before the interview starts.  Usually I spend that time looking over my notes one last time. NOT THIS TIME. This time I kept everything in the portfolio, turned up the Justin Timberlake a little bit louder, and put my arms up over my head and lightly pumped my fists for about two minutes. This is called a “power pose”! Have any of you watched the Ted Talk with Amy Cuddy titled ‘Your body language shapes who you are’? If you haven’t seen it yet, watch it! I got some great tips from that episode, but the one that influenced me the most was the idea of raising your arms to feel more powerful and confident.

Here is the link: http://www.ted.com/talks/amy_cuddy_your_body_language_shapes_who_you_are.html

This is what I looked like in the car:

After sitting in the car with my arms raised for a couple of minutes my “I need to pee” sensation was gone, and I was ready to meet my interviewers. (Oh yeah, Justin Timberlake probably also helped.) I’m not sure if this pose will help trick everyone’s mind into exuding confidence, but it worked for me. My interview turned into a friendly conversation, not a scary grill-fest. I felt ready for every question I was asked, and I did not have the usual brain freezes I usually experience in tests and interviews. Who knows if I will get the job, but I am definitely going to continue power posing in the car before future interviews!

What do you guys usually do in the few minutes before your interviews? Sing? Pray? Jog in place?

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