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Oprah, Lady Gaga, and Your Job Interview

Job interview.

Two very different women. Two very different styles and generations. So what do they have in common?

Oprah’s message has been clear almost since the beginning of her show – 25 years ago: “Accept yourself for who you are and believe that you can do what you want to do -- live your Best Life.”

Lady Gaga’s message may not have always been as clear, but in her latest albums and interviews she seems to be sending a similar message: “Be yourself and don’t let others put you down or discourage you - even if you’re different.”

They may use different words but the message is clear: “Believe in Yourself – and be yourself.”  It seems like common sense: If you don’t believe in yourself – why would anyone else believe in you? But sometimes when it comes to “self” we forget about common sense and listen to our inner voice – the negative one. We doubt our ability, or are ashamed of something that we did or something that happened to us in our past.

Going into an interview with baggage from the past is like dragging a big black garbage bag along behind you and parking it next to your chair during the interview. And it is going to “stink” up the room after a while.

Nobody wants to hear about your problems and baggage. Some people’s lives begin to sound like a Soap Opera there have been so many extenuating circumstances. And, some people feel compelled to share every detail with the interviewer. Big Mistake!

The best advice is to let go of those negative feelings and move on. I know it’s easier said then done. But until you resolve the issues with yourself – through one form of exorcism or another – you will carry around your bag of garbage. A good interviewer can feel hostility the minute it walks in the door.

Here are five rules to encourage Optimism and discourage Negativity:

1. Accept that there will be ups and downs

It’s not unusual to have highs and lows during your job search. Some days you may even feel like you’re on an emotional roller coaster. Everything looks hopeful one moment with a job prospect ahead, and then it changes to dark and dismal in the next moment when you receive a rejection. Accepting the fact that this is a stressful time you are going through and that a great deal of it is out of your control will help you put things into perspective.

2.  Give yourself permission to fail.

It is very disappointing when you feel like you “aced” the interview and then wait for the promised call that never comes. Be realistic - you aren’t going to get a job offer after every interview. And maybe that’s a good thing, at least some of the time. Remember, you are interviewing “them” as much as they are interviewing you.

3. Work on controlling stress

Stress becomes a problem when it begins to affect your lifestyle and health. Are you waking up in the middle of the night or skipping meals because you are feeling really down or upset? You may need to talk to someone who is a professional to get some advice about relaxation techniques.

4. Continue to get “out there”

Study after study published continues to indicate that “networking” is still the number one way to land a job. Take advantage of every opportunity to be with groups of people. No one can predict when an opportunity might come your way.

5. Prepare yourself

Preparing ahead of the interview will give you a definite advantage. What this means is getting focused about what you want the interviewer to know about you. You are presenting a picture of you with words. It is important to identify what makes you unique and what added value you can bring to the position. You want to let the interviewer know that you are the “solution to their problem,” and the best person for the job.

Keeping upbeat is a part of your job right now. When you begin to give into the dark side you will project that to others. You want to stay as upbeat as possible, particularly while interviewing. Bringing confidence and energy to the interview are the two most important ingredients to connecting with the interviewer.

The message of the two famous women, as well as the messages of many other people who teach self-esteem or life lessons, tell us that it is up to us to take charge and heal those old wounds and start accepting and believing in ourselves. Only then can others believe in us. Believing in yourself will boost your self-esteem and in turn you will have higher confidence. And, the key ingredients for a successful job interview are --- you got it --- “self-esteem and confidence.”

What method do you use to stay upbeat in difficult times? What helps you get through life when life turns against you?

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For more insights go to www.interviewcoach.com. The Interview Coach, Carole Martin, is a celebrated author, job coach, and speaker on the subject of interviewing and recruiting. Contributing writer at Monster.com and featured on talk radio. Carole is using her proven methods for coaching job seekers on competitive interviewing skills in technical and non-technical industries. Visit www.interviewcoach.com and follow The Interview Coach on Facebook, Twitter and Linkedin.

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