How to Prepare for a Job Interview Like an Olympian

In just a few days, the opening ceremonies for the 2016 summer Olympic Games will begin. The international spotlight will focus on Rio. We'll have a chance to witness the highest level of athletic talent in the world. Right now, final preparations are underway. a Olympians are about to find out where their years of training will take them.

While a handful of elite gymnasts, runners, equestrians, swimmers, etc.  are getting ready to reap the rewards of their dedication, you'll watch them perform on TV with your own mission in mind: finding a job. Let their achievements inspire you, and use their example to drive your search forward. Keep these five tips in mind for your next job interview.

Visualize what you want

Olympic athletes visualize themselves performing perfectly, or standing on the podium receiving a medal. Use the same technique and paint a picture in your mind of your future self. Maybe you see an image of yourself a few months down the road with an amazing new job. Or maybe you see a picture of yourself in 10 years, living a life that your next job will help you achieve. Emphasize the details. Make the picture as clear as possible. Visualize everything right down to your clothes, workplace tools, your posture of confidence, and anything else that feels important. The better you see it, the closer you'll get.

Be calm

Find a place beyond this moment and goal.  Go to that place when you choose to do so. Recognize that everything will be just fine, even if you don't get the job. Let that recognition take you beyond this job search and this brief chapter of your life. Meditation or prayer can help you do this. Centering, focus, and a sense of inner calm can help you project a positive image at your job interview. No question can faze you. No one will intimidate you.

Be okay with failure

Olympic athletes do plenty of things, but here's one thing they don't do: refuse to accept anything less than perfection. They don't take this brittle attitude to the practice field, only to stumble and quit immediately. That kind of rigidity doesn't create Olympians; rather, it creates fragile egos and might-have-beens who bailed out the first time they had a rough day. Great athletes fail over and over and over again, and they keep failing because they keep trying. Embrace failure head-on. Don't avoid it by staying in your safe nest. If you bomb an interview, use your failure as an opportunity to learn new lessons. Before you know it, you'll have a great job.   

Bring your best self to each job interview

Even though they don't fear failure, Olympic athletes take each game seriously. They bring their best selves out there every single time. Keep this in mind during your interviews. Enjoy the process with your entire heart. Don't plaster on a fake smile. Take a genuine interest in your interviewer, instead of fielding questions as if you're under interrogation. Ask questions to determine if the job is right for you. Share your background willingly and proudly. Bring your best self, and your real self, to every job interview you attend, regardless of the outcome.

Practice, practice, practice

If you practice beforehand, you'll have an easier time when your big moment arrives. You don't have to train in front of your bathroom mirror until you drop from exhaustion, but a few rounds before each scheduled interview session can help you iron out the kinks and take the edge of off your nerves. Practice with your friends. Ask them to be tough on you — tougher than an actual interviewer would be. If you can, record your practice interview. Watch it later. Learn from your mistakes and practice again.

Keep working, keep getting back out there, and keep getting back up when you take a spill, and you'll eventually get where you need to be. For help and inspiration, turn to the resources at MyPerfectResume.

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MyPerfectResume Staff Writer

MyPerfectResume Staff Writer

At MyPerfectResume, we are passionate about two things: sharing our knowledge about the workforce and providing exceptional tools to help jobseekers get ahead. Thanks to our well-rounded assemblage of experts, we offer industry-specific resume and cover letter writing tips and career advice for almost every job. MyPerfectResume culls detailed advice…

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