How can you shine during your interview? Meaning how to be the confident professional, who knows what they talk about, convinces your future boss of your value and asks interesting questions?
For sure, preparing your powerful professional story and knowing the interview questions are important. But equally important to knowing WHAT to answer is HOW you answer.
Read on to learn how you can develop mental toughness for your next interview by using the Alter Ego technique. A technique by Tod Herman who coached dozens Olympic Gold medalists, business executives and even billionaires.
Why you play Small In Your Interview
Interviews can be intimidating and sometimes simply overwhelming. Maybe you prepared all the important questions (See the 7 most important interview questions), did thorough research about the position and even talked to people within for insider information.
Then on the BIG day you listen to your favorite song, envision all the money you can earn and do last minute CV checks.
But when it’s time to shine - when you actually need to convince your future boss why they should hire you and have to answer the tricky questions - you struggle.
You can't find the right words, feel you were too nice and wish you talked about your achievements with pride.
This is completely normal.
The problem is that when we try to perform, we often show up with our ordinary self. This 'lower-self', however, brings all the mental chatter, negative stories and limiting beliefs when we have show up. And it drags us down.
For example, when you try to do something great, you'll find that your inner voice will say things like "who are you to think that" or "this wont work for you".
We therefore need to create space. In short, realize we have the freedom to play different roles in our life and can choose the role that helps us play big.
That is where the Alter Ego Technique comes in.
How to Step Up By Creating Your Best Professional Self With 3 Steps
The solution is to create a Secret Identity (Alter Ego) and use it when you need to switch from normal everyday life to a high-performance situation. Your Secret identity has clear guidelines of what you do so your most evolved/ professional version shows up during your interview.
This is not some guru BS or faking it until you make it. But it builds on the behaviors you value right now.
And by acting the way you want to, you become the person you look up to. Simply but: Your Intentions don’t count but your actions.
Here Are 3 Ways How You Can Create Your Alter Ego To Shine In Your Next Interview
Step 1 - Create Your Alter Ego
Select one person you look up. It can be a mentor, role-model, friend but also someone you don’t know, such as a famous bz. Person, star or even a movie character.
Take a piece a paper and simply write down:
Step 2 - Know your Moments of Truth
These are the moments that count in your playing field - when you don’t want to your small self but your most evolved self to play
PRO TIP: NAME Your Enemy
Often our small-self, worry self or lazy-self with all its negative stories is powerful because it stays in the dark. The solution is to give yourself an enemy you can talk to. Give it a name or character that corresponds to your small self.
For example, I used “Baby Worry Nico”. This has two effects 1) It makes it less scary as you realize its just worry - nothing life threatening, 2) It creates a distinction between you and your fears.
You are not the “Worry Me”, this is just small part of you.
When you then need to perform you can direct your energy to your enemy. Something like “Ah Baby Worry Nico bring it on, here I am”. It will immediately put you away from worry small play to action mode.
(This technique of naming your worry is also used in clinical settings as with OCB to deal with Thought Obsessions by externalizing them to the core self).
Step 3 - Use an activating Token during your interview
Select a small token (object) you can wear or bring to the interview. The important thing is that you should ritualize activating/ putting on your token.
For example putting on a watch, straightening your favorite tie, turning around your ring
“At the end of your life, you won’t remember the thoughts or intentions you had. You’ll remember the actions you took. You’ll judge yourself by how you showed up, by what you did, what you said, how you acted and whether you performed the way you know you could in any of the stages of life.”
TOD HERMANN‧ AUTHOR, COACH AND MENTOR ELITE PRO ATHLETES, LEADERS, AND PUBLIC FIGURE
Conclusion: Rock Your Interview By Playing Your Best Professional Role
It works so well because you are not trying to change your life or you. You are just trying to change HOW you play a role for a short while. Everyone can do that.
And the beauty is that when you step into your other role, you can act differently and thus break the negative beliefs.
You can adapt it to any situation you need to perform. It will also help you to create some space in key moments of overwhelm. You check your token and remember the traits that are important to you. You breath. And then you act.
CAREFUL: DON'T SELF- Optimize BUT PLAY
Make sure you don’t overdo it. This is not another hard self-optimizing exercise. It is a proven way in psychology how to best perform with a PLAYFUL attitude. In this case, the interview is your play.
So why not try something new? In your next interview, try one small way you would like to behave differently. You'll be amazed at how it actually works!