How to get into a positive mindset before an interview

Job interviews can be super stressful.

Its the fear of the unknown, worry that you may not be what they are looking for or that your nerves get the better of you & you don’t come across the way you would of liked to. In a job interview ultimately you are being judged and regardless of how confident you are, this can be an unsettling feeling.

Here’s some tips to get you through your next interview, but not your usual tips like ”arrive early” or ”dress smartly” we are talking about preparing your mind!

1. Reframe the way you think. If you have a tendency to drown yourself in self-limiting thoughts, such as by telling yourself that another candidate will be better suited to the job, or that you won’t come across as well on the phone/on a video call, the chances are that your brain will believe this and you might not even consciously realise that you carry these self-limiting beliefs, until you check your language for phrases like “that’s impossible” or “I can’t”.

Instead, reframe the way you think and try to appreciate how far you’ve come in your career, taking confidence and reassurance from that. You’ve already been accepted for and invited to an interview, which is something to be proud of in itself. So, rather than telling yourself that you won’t come across as well via video, for example, think about this as being just the same as having a conversation with someone in person – the means by which you’re having that conversation are just slightly different. Remember, no one else in the interview process will have the option to meet the hiring manager in person either, so there’s no need to let the fact you’re not as experienced in telephone or video interviews put you in a negative headspace.

2. Don’t let imposter syndrome get the better of you. Instead of thinking “everyone will be better than me”, remind yourself of your uniqueness and of your worth – and take that self-belief into your job interview.

Many people suffer from something called imposter syndrome, even the people who seem to be ”highly successful” what this means is “an internal experience of believing that you are not as competent as others perceive you to be”.

It’s quite likely that imposter syndrome is what’s making you feel like you’re perhaps not good enough for this interview, or that your success so far has just been a fluke. In fact, due to the current climate, lots of people may well be suffering from self-doubt. It’s so important you turn this limiting mindset on its head by telling yourself that your success is ultimately down to your own competence and effort, not luck. And even if your current responsibilities look a little different right now, all those skills and experiences you’ve built up still exist and are still part of your capabilities.

3. Don’t overthink it. A job interview is, of course, a very important moment in your life. It could open countless doors for you, should you be offered the job.

But thinking too much about the significance of the interview itself could result in putting an unnecessary amount of pressure on yourself, therefore negatively impacting your frame of mind during your preparation. Especially during this difficult time, when you’re likely to already be feeling more unsettled that usual. This, in turn, could lead to unhelpful thoughts that might affect your self-esteem and confidence. So, take a step back and think about this for what it truly is: a conversation with someone about a job you’re interested in, to get a chance for you both to get to know each other. That’s really the basics of it, so try not to get ahead of yourself and overthink its significance – just keep things in perspective.

4. Do your preparation. You know that old saying, “if you fail to prepare, prepare to fail”? It has more than a semblance of truth to it. But thorough preparation isn’t only good for improving your chances of landing the job in the first place; it’s also great for your mindset, helping you to relax in the knowledge that you have done all you can and whatever happens next is inevitable. If you feel prepared, you feel confident, and your frame of mind is therefore more likely to be positive, than negative.

5. Psyche yourself up. Do you have a morning mantra that you tell yourself? Is there one particular song that makes you feel happy? Do you have a certain ritual that makes you feel good?  You could also remind yourself of all of the amazing feats you’ve achieved in your career to date, or ask a friend to give you a last-minute ‘pep talk’, telling you that you have all of the qualifications and experience needed to pass this interview with flying colours.


How can a recruiter help?

Having a good relationship with your recruiter is really helpful, given that they are the experts in this field, and will have an existing relationship with the interviewer. Perhaps you could organise a video call with them? This would be a good chance to test out your technology. Also, if you have any lingering doubts or uncertainties in your head about the role or interview process, a friendly conversation with your recruiter can help to dispel them, thereby improving your state of mind ahead of the big day.

You might ask your recruiter questions like: “Is this a newly created position?”, “What will the structure of the interview be?” and “Do you have any tips for a telephone/video interview?” This will help you to feel as prepared and informed as possible, so that you can enter the interview with positivity, confidence and poise, able to eloquently answer whatever questions the interviewer might throw at you.


The power of a positive mindset really could make all the difference during this interview. You’ll feel confidence in the fact that you deserve to be there, with the knowledge that you stand just as much chance as anyone else of being offered the job.

With this positive mindset in place, you will also be able to enjoy your interview more and portray your authentic self from start to finish – a person who is confident, articulate and fully deserving of this wonderful opportunity. Ultimately, that’s who you are, so don’t doubt for a moment that you are anything else.


Adapted from information by Marc Burrage.