We’ve all been there – a bad job interview, that is. You’ve gone in thinking you knew your stuff, but then sweaty palms, a light head and the overwhelming sense of self-doubt managed to somehow scramble your brain.
It’s happened to the best of us, but banish those dodgy job interviews for good with one incredibly simple step that will ensure you answer all the questions perfectly and bag yourself that dream job.
It’s all about something called ‘best-self activation’, and it was discussed in a recent paper from Harvard Business School. This involves simply having someone prompt you to remember yourself at your best. Researchers carried out a study where they offered participants positive reflections on themselves written by family, friends and colleagues. This gave them the warm fuzzies so that when it came to crunch time, they had the confidence boost they needed to perform brilliantly in the interview.
The study showed not only that the participants who received these notes performed well, but that they performed better than participants who had written their own notes of encouragement. Hearing it from someone close to them gave them just the ego-boost they needed, rather than relying on their own positive thoughts. Personal reflections can’t always overcome nerves because they’re coming from the same place, whereas an external message from one’s own social network can provide positive endorsement that will give you a little push.
There are health benefits too, as the study revealed that hearing these small affirmations regularly, particularly during moments of heightened pressure, relieved stress on a long and short-term basis.
So next time you’ve got a big interview coming up, or even an important meeting, exam or any situation where you feel under pressure, get a family member to write you a small note of encouragement to remind you that you are, in fact, pretty special.