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How to achieve the right mindset for an interview

Written by: Charlotte Rogers
Published on: 23 Dec 2019

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You must have a great CV because you’ve been invited to an interview. You may have the skills and the correct knowledge but for some job-seekers, the interview process can be a big challenge. This can be for many reasons, but a common problem is the negative mindset candidates have before they attend an interview. If you have been putting yourself down and questioning your abilities, this can have negative effects on how you perform in an interview environment. However, if you are focusing on thinking positively, it can have the opposite effect and help your performance.

“When you are experiencing positive emotions like joy, contentment, and love, you will see more possibilities in your life. These findings were among the first that suggested positive emotions broaden your sense of possibility and open your mind up to more options.” – Barbara Fredrickson; Psychology researcher at the University of North Carolina.

We have some tips and ideas on how you can improve your mindset before an interview and help you work towards your job goals.  


Being prepared for an interview is always going to help your performance. You want to do your research, plan your route to the interview and maybe even plan what you are going to wear. The point is, you want to take as much pressure off yourself on the day. If everything has been planned, then it is more likely that the day will go a lot smoother.

Researching the company can help you when answering or asking questions in the interview. Taking the time to research can help make you feel more confident in yourself and should hopefully help you stay calm throughout the interview.

If your interview is first thing in the morning, you don’t want to cause yourself any stress by getting stuck in traffic or waking up late. Make sure you have an alarm set, you have a healthy breakfast and make sure that you are leaving with a good amount of time. Being late to an interview can cause candidates a lot of stress and more often than not, it isn’t their fault. Things like train cancellations and rush hour are the culprits, but it’s always a good idea to have a back up route or even leave half an hour early, if you can. Unneeded negativity can really impact the way you feel and act in an interview so try and limit the worry before your interview if you can.

Helpful thinking

Believe it or not, positive thinking can go a long way. If you are focusing on failure before it has even happened, it is not going to help you. However, believing in yourself and your ability can. You know what you are capable of and your abilities do not change because of nerves. You have been invited to an interview for a reason, so believe in yourself and you will hopefully have a more positive interview experience.

Embrace past mistakes

If like many other job seekers, you let past negative interview mistakes keep you from moving forward, you need to start trying to find ways to move past your mistakes and embrace what you can do this time around to improve the outcome. Almost nothing will always go exactly the way you imagined it but allowing yourself to be constantly brought down by negative thoughts isn’t going to make the whole process any easier. You should think about what you have done wrong in past interviews and try and figure out a way to do things differently. Sometimes all it takes is a little bit of time to think about what happened, what you said, what you asked them and see how you can improve it this time around. The more interviews you have, the more you will get used to being in the situation and hopefully learn from it.


Being able to picture yourself in a situation before it happens can really help push away the negative feelings. If you tell yourself that everything is going to go well and you have a positive mindset before, during and after, you may just see some positive results. The idea is to take some time to create mental images of you going to the interview and performing well. Picture what you will wear, how you will answer questions and mentally picture yourself performing the way you want. Visualising this can lead you to believe that it can really happen. It can really help boost your confidence and help reduce stress.

Stay healthy

Sometimes when you are having a successful job search and you have interviews pilling up, you may lose track of other important things in your life. This may include eating well and exercising. However, there is more to staying healthy that just those two things. Finding the right balance can take time but can really help you to keep a positive mindset. If you want to take some time off, or some time to read a book or go for a run, the balance can really help you stay positive. If you are using all of your time for prep and interviews, you are going to become worn down. Staying healthy means both mentally and physically, so try your best to keep on top of things and when your interview comes around, you can keep that positive outlook.

The next time you are invited to an interview, try some of these tips. Trying out some new things can not only help you feel more aware and positive towards an interview, but it can help boost your confidence. Having the right mindset can help you achieve your goals and try to enjoy the process!