It’s been a zany year with COVID-19. Despite the challenges, jobs are still on the market and interviews are still being held to fill those positions.

If you’re applying for work, or have lined up an interview, you might be nervous knowing it’s a competitive environment out there. You might even find yourself tied up in negative self-talk instead of positive self-talk.

How you talk to yourself can make a dramatic impact on how you perform in an interview so converting negative talk to positive talk is essential. The good news is it gets easier the more we practice.

As our Managing Director, Kate Prior, writes in her book for jobseekers, humans are renowned for putting themselves down with negative self-talk. Kate writes in “Resume Success Secrets” that as individuals “we do a better job of running ourselves down than anyone else on the planet, so let’s replace negative thoughts with positive thoughts.”

Here are some of Kate’s top techniques for switching negative to positive.

Understand negative thinking

Scholars have studied negative thinking for decades. It’s a ‘real thing’ and can surface when we’re stressed, including when applying for jobs or being interviewed.

Kate says think about how you would talk to a friend or family member who is to be interviewed. Wouldn’t you help them by highlighting their strengths and the value of their experience? Well boost your confidence and be positive by doing the same to yourself.

Be aware of your negative thoughts

Think of the words you use. Do you regularly use words and phrases like ‘hopeless’, ‘impossible’, ‘failure’, and ‘not good enough’? If so, you’re dragging yourself down.

Kate says to write down the negative words you use to raise your consciousness. Being aware of negative words is the first step to pitching yourself in a more positive light.

Practice converting negative to positive self-talk

Practice converting negative to positive self-talk. Kate has compiled these examples for inspiration.

NEGATIVE POSITIVE
I’m never going to find another job. There’s a job out there for me. I just have to find it.
I’m so hopeless at interviews. I fall to pieces and go blank. I’m prepared and have practiced. I’ve done my research, know my stuff and am confident I can perform well.
My nerves get the better of me during interview and I lose control. I’ve practiced breathing techniques and will remain calm. I’ve also read expert articles on how to perform like a star at interview.
I’m not right for this role. What was I thinking when I applied? My resume is strong enough that I’ve been invited for an interview. Employers are busy. They wouldn’t waste time on me if I wasn’t worth talking to.
What if during the interview I’m asked about things I’m not strong on? If they bring up my weaknesses, I’ll be able to address them because I’ve thought through answers in advance. I’m super prepared and will ace this.
Here I go again—another interview. I know I’ll fail and make a fool of myself. Why do I keep putting myself through this? This is a great opportunity, even if I don’t land the position. The more interviews I go to, the more practice I get and the better chance I have of landing my dream job.

Be prepared for interviews

The more prepared you are the more confident you’ll be and the less likely you will be to start negative talk. You’ll have thought through possible questions and answers. You’ll have researched the company. If you’re working with face2face Recruitment, we’ll have helped you refine your resume and coached you on interview techniques.

Kate says being prepared for interviews can involve reading expert articles:

Strengthen your interview skills today

Video interviews: stand out from the crowd

Qs to ask (and not ask) at your interview

Be a star with star techniques

Visualise and breath

It’s no surprise that most of us get the jitters before and during interview. This can lead to negative self-talk, sweaty palms, shallow breathing and make us feel we’re losing control.

Kate says these expert articles outline techniques and strategies for visualising and breathing which will help calm things down and help you sail through your interviews.

How to minimise interview nerves

The panel interview: how to ace it