Preparing for Interviews – tips from a performance coach

This week we spoke to Jason Cooper, performance coach, on how to prepare for interview

– ‘kay. Good Afternoon. Justin from Talentforce Recruitment. We are all about flexible working, help people find family-friendly and flexible jobs. This morning we are very fortunate to be in the company of Jason Cooper. Jason is a coach and performance coach, works with individuals and business leaders. Jason, today we’re gonna talk about interviews.

– Yep, absolutely.

– We speak to a lot of candidates. A lot of candidates actually after interviews say to us, “I’m not used to being on that side of the table.” They have 20 years interviewing more junior people. They’re coming to an interview. They’ve done the technical preparation. The confidence word I think is an over-used word. What two tips would you have for somebody who’s going in to an interview and how to mentally prepare themselves.

– Some things that I would prepare, because people tend to forget, as much as you breathe every single day, it’s to really breathe properly. That will really calm you down ’cause you get oxygenated through the brain and that will really calm you down. What I would suggest is have a look online. There’s lots of tools and techniques about breathing. I would suggest to breathe in for eight, hold for four, and then breathe out for eight, and then repeat this. Let me switch my phone off because this could actually really interview.

– Turn your phone off.

– Turn your phone off.

– So number one is turn your phone off. Number two, the breathing, the posture. Okay, I can see that.

– Alright. Shall we start again?

– No. I think that was brilliant. Keep going. Fantastic. I could fast forward through that bit. Okay, so breathing. Yeah.

– Fundamentally, you want to get your neurology correct. Breathing is a part of it. You breathe in for eight, you hold for four, and then you breathe out and you repeat this up to eight times. The reason why you do that is because you wanna get oxygen into your brain. The more you can get oxygen into the brain, the more the brain is stimulated. The more the brain is stimulated, the more calmer that you feel. If you start to shallow breathe, which you tend to do when you’re a little bit nervous, your brain starts to overthink. The problem is, and the solution is, is you start to overthink things a lot. The more you overthink things, you think about what’s going wrong as opposed to what’s going right. Start to really focus on what is going to be going really well for you, how well that’s going to be. Have a look at really good well-formed outcome. What I like to do, if I’m up against it or I’m doing a presentation, all this, that and the other, what I like to do is close my eyes for five minutes and mentally rehearse things going really well because what you tend to do and what you will be doing is, like a computer, you open up a computer, and you type things in and it appears on the screen. Your brain is very intuitive if you put the right thoughts and the right patterns in your brain, your brain will find the answer and your brain will find the right answer for you. If you pattern stuff in like the fear and whatever it might be, that you’re doubting yourself, your brain will search for the answers and the bad answers that you don’t want. You have to prepare for the stuff that’s going well for you. Obviously the interview, you have to be mentally prepared and mentally prepared for the answers —

– Technically prepared, yes.

– They’re technically prepared but you have to be mentally prepared and mentally prepared for things going really well and the more that you’re prepared for things going well, have a really good well-formed outcome that the whole half an hour, hour is going to be excellent.

– Interesting.

– These are the sort of things I can teach you if you want to approach me any time in the future.

– Come in to an interview, do your technical preparation, that’s all a given. We’re all professionals. Turn your phone off, of course. Sounds obvious. Number two, the breathing, posture, thinking, slowing down. I think that’s fantastic. The second one is taking a few minutes to think about the outcome that you’re trying to achieve and imagining it going well.

– Okay, fantastic. Jason, thank you so much. I really appreciate it.

– You’re welcome.

– Justin from Talentforce. We’re all about flexible working, returning to work after a career break. Have a look at our jobs on or give us a call 019081514. Jason, thank you. Take care, bye.

– Thank you.

Interview Preparations

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