Monday, 30 July 2012

Mental Attitude

I had an interview today.

Reading an article on the BBC site ( made me challenge myself with some interesting questions...

1. Should I approach every job interview with an overwhelmingly single-minded belief that I will get the job, in the expectation that all of that positive mental energy fizzing around will rub off on the interviewer, make me raise my game, and make me an irresistible hire; or would my PMA come across as arrogance, and make me effectively unemployable?

2. Should I approach every job interview with an anticipation of failure in my head, with the risk that this becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy, and I successfully talk myself out of every role; or does that heightened sense of failure make me sharpen my answers, provide me with an element of humility, and make me more likely to succeed?

As with all approached, there are pro's and con's to both sides of the argument, and as can be seen with the sporting experts in the BBC article, there are often widely diametrically opposed (and even entrenched) positions.

My personal view is a shade of grey (no, not one of those 50!). I think that you need to plan for success, taking the time to clearly scope out your strengths, weaknesses, competencies and examples, aligned specifically to the requirement sof the job spec, but that you need to approach every interview with a pragmatic realism.

Everything else being equal, you have a statistical chance of 1 in about 4 (if you make it to final interview). To think that you are so much better than the other 3 or so candidates also being interviewed is bordering on delusion, and it is much better to accept those odds, and work onmaximising your chances throughpractice and excellence, than relying purely on PMA.

The maxim to apply is "the more I practice, the luckier I get".
(variously attributed to Gary Player, Jerry Barber, Lee Trevio, Arnold Palmer and Sam Goldwyn amonst others!)

If you have any views, opposing or supportive, I would be interested to hear them.

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