After working through the letters of our alphabet, we have now reached the final three; and I have put them together because they have a theme – see if you can pick it.
Firstly the Letter X – now, try as I might I cannot find a way to link xylophone to your next interview, because the likely hood of it being for the first xylophone player in the building industry’s orchestra is not high.  And even if you are seeking a medical position the word xyster may not immediately crop up in the conversation.
Hence, I am forced into a somewhat tawdry compromise, and so [begging your pardon] I am discussing your attitude to eXcitement!
We have previously explained how to handle the pre-interview nerves, and the value of converting your nervous energy into excited anticipation.  But it is such an important thing that I intend to discuss it again. 
We know by now that our attitude is the key to our ability to present ourselves as a successful candidate for this position.  The only thing that we have control over is our attitude, and that will dictate how others respond to us. If we have an aggressive attitude, then others will respond aggressively, if we are happy then others will catch that happiness.
So if we attend an interview with the small voice of doom and gloom in charge it will create a negative attitude and the interviewers will catch that negativity and judge us accordingly.  They may not be aware that they have subconsciously absorbed our negativity, but it will affect them. 
If you are not convinced, think back to the last time you were in conversation with someone; were they happy, were they angry or were they feeling victimised?  Remember how you felt as the conversation progressed?  I bet you left the happy person with a smile on your face and a spring in your step.  What about the angry one?  Chances are you felt ruffled, maybe a little agitated and if the anger was about something which may affect you, you could have absorbed that anger and carried it with you.
Victims often do not want to change their sense of aggrievement, and any attempt to give them a different point of view will fall on stony ground; so you could walk away from this person feeling annoyed or even frustrated.
Since attitude is so important, we need to ensure that our interviewers see us in a positive light, and that means adopted a positive attitude; and if we consciously adopt that positive attitude, even though it masks our nervousness, a strange thing happens.  We become the person we are imitating.
So, what is the best attitude to leave our interviewers with?  It is excitement.  Excitement is a positive energy which is catching and convincing.  If you can manage to convey the message that you are excited about this job, and excited about the chance to work for this company, then your name will certainly stand out when they are reviewing the candidates.  And, when there are a number of people of similar qualifications and experience in line for the position, the person who left the most positive impression will be the stand out candidate.  
So, with a deliberate change of attitude embrace that nervous tension as a symptom of your eXcitement – and go forth and conquer!!
Which leads us neatly to the Letter Y.
Y is for YOU!
We have coached a number of people in interview techniques and have been amazed at the energy and enthusiasm that some people display.  Alas, we have also been disappointed at the attitude of others.  There are some that seem to think that they should not have to do anything personally.  Recruiting agencies should find them the positions; we should wave our magic wand and give them the skills to excel, and companies … well, companies should just give them the job.
The idea of personal effort and involvement seems quite foreign to them; and we have to work hard to convince them that success only comes with their hard work.  If they want a job then they must engage in the process personally. 
I am sure that you have heard the old saying “If it is to be, then it’s up to me!” – well it is true.  We can help with our advice and knowledge  but in the end it is all up to YOU.
You must undertake the prior preparation and planning.  You must absorb the information on how to conduct yourself at the interview and practice until it is natural, and YOU must not forget to conduct the performance review to improve your future chances. 

No matter how much I protest I am totally responsible for everything that happens to me in my life. Brian Adams

So take centre stage, because this is all about YOU!
Which isn’t exactly a smooth segue into the Letter Z, but it will have to do!
I want to leave you with the message contained in the word Zeal.
            Zeal (n.) – OED definition – hearty and persistent endeavour
… which sums up the whole activity.  Job Seeking needs persistent endeavour, as it is unlikely you will succeed the very first time. But each interview is a learning opportunity, and if we conduct our Performance Review zealously, then each interview will bring us more confidence in what is working for us, and awareness of where we need to improve.  Then we can heartily endorse efforts to change.
Attending job interviews where we don’t quite make it can leave us downhearted – so we need to be zealous; maintaining our heartfelt belief that we will succeed, and persist in bringing to each interview the same attitude of excitement and zeal.
Given that knowledge, qualifications and experience will be similar at interviews; it is the attitude and personal determination; the eXcitement and Zeal that you bring which will create an outstanding candidate.  And that, my friends is up YOU.
Michele @ Trischel
Interview Skills Workshop
14 April 2011 

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