Mastering Mindset, Managing Emotions, and Communicating with Confidence

I recently delivered my popular one-day workshop Acing the Interview to a room full of people, some with no interview experience and others with a lot of interview experience. They were all keen to learn how to prepare for their next job interview so they could perform at their best on the day. In this article, I’ve summarized some of the information, and tools, I share in the workshop.


Are you preparing for an upcoming job interview?

Whether you’re a recent graduate entering the workforce for the first time or an experienced professional looking for a new opportunity, interviews can be a nerve-wracking experience. The good news is that with the right mindset, emotional management techniques, and effective communication strategies, you can perform at your best and ace your next job interview.

In this article, we’ll explore the importance of mindset, emotions, and communication in interview success. I’ll share with you some practical evidence-based tools and techniques that you can use to ensure you perform at your best when in your next interview.

Job interview

Are you ready mentally, emotionally and physically for your next job interview?

Section 1: Mastering Your Mindset

The Power of Thoughts in Interview Performance

When it comes to job interviews, our thoughts play a crucial role in determining the quality of our performance. The way we think about ourselves, our abilities, and the interview itself can greatly affect our confidence and overall performance. So, it’s important to manage our thoughts under pressure and control our critical voice.

Quieting Your Critical Voice

One technique to manage your thoughts under pressure is to quiet your critical voice. The critical voice is that inner voice that often doubts our abilities and tells us we’re not good enough. By recognizing when this voice emerges, you can consciously stop your tongue from moving. When you do, the internal voice falls silent.

One way to do this is to relax your tongue. Relaxing the tongue is such an effective practice that, in her book Awakening the Mind: A Guide to Harnessing the Power of Your Brainwaves, Anna Wise, says “If you take nothing else away with you from reading this book, you will have gained enormously from this one practice. Anna offers the following exercise:

  1. Close your eyes.
  2. Briefly press your tongue against the roof of your mouth to make it tense, then stop doing that and allow your tongue to relax.
  3. It’s OK to let your mouth hang open slightly.
  4. Just simply let your tongue go, especially the back of your tongue.
  5. As you exhale, feel it let go even more.
  6. Exaggerate the relaxation.
  7. If you need to swallow, that’s okay.
  8. If your tongue gets tense again, don’t get annoyed. Just give it permission to relax again.
  9. Exaggerate the relaxation again.
  10. By now you can almost feel your tongue floating in the cavity of your mouth.
  11. You may feel it shorten some – or thicken.
  12. Exaggerate the relaxation even more.
  13. Focus on only relaxing your tongue – nothing else.

Empowering Questions

Another powerful tool to manage your mindset is asking yourself empowering questions. Empowering questions challenge negative assumptions and prime your mind for success. They focus on possibilities, solutions, and success.

By asking yourself questions like “How well am I going to perform in my interview?” or “Which of my strengths do I bring to this role?”, you shift your focus from self-doubt to self-belief.

Mental Rehearsal

Mental rehearsal is a technique that involves visualizing yourself performing well in the interview. By mentally rehearsing the interview, you create a clear, detailed mental movie of yourself confidently answering questions and demonstrating your skills. This practice helps wire and prime your brain and body to handle the actual interview, boosting your confidence and performance.

Section 2: Managing Your Emotions

Recognizing and Managing Interview Anxiety

Interview anxiety is a common experience that can damage our performance in an interview. It’s important to recognize our emotional reactions to an upcoming interview and develop strategies to manage those feelings (emotions and physical sensations) effectively.

Understanding the Impact of Stress and Anxiety

Stress and anxiety can derail us in an interview by activating our survival response. When our survival response is activated, access to our logical thinking brain is limited, because our emotional brain is in the driving seat, and its focus is on ensuring we survive the perceived threat. This limits our access to the logical thinking brain, the part we need to access our memory and to answer the interview questions.

Tools for Managing Interview Anxiety

One effective tool for managing interview anxiety is deep breathing. There are many of these techniques. My favorite is 7/11 breathing, in which you inhale for a count of 7 and exhale for a count of 11. This activates the parasympathetic nervous system, switches off the survival response, and restores a sense of calm and control.

Another breathing technique I recommend is box breathing, a technique used by Navy SEALs when in high pressure/high-risk situations.

A simple yet effective way to reduce, and calm, feelings of stress and anxiety is self-havening. Self-havening involves applying gentle touch to specific parts of your body while simultaneously visualizing a calming scenario.

Section 3: Communicating with Confidence

The Importance of Nonverbal Communication

Communication in job interviews extends beyond verbal responses. Nonverbal cues, such as body language, tone of voice, and facial expressions, play a significant role in how we are perceived by interviewers.

Making a Positive First Impression

First impressions are crucial in job interviews. Research shows that within the first ninety seconds of an encounter, initial perceptions are formed based on nonverbal cues, such as appearance, body posture, and facial expressions. To make a positive first impression, maintain good eye contact, offer a firm handshake, and project confidence through your body language.

Enhancing Your Verbal Communication

Your voice plays a vital role in effective communication during interviews. Pay attention to your volume, speed, tone, and pitch. Speaking clearly and concisely, varying your tone and pitch, and practicing pauses for clarity and thoughtfulness can enhance your verbal communication.

Using Active Listening

Active listening is a crucial skill that shows your interest in and engagement in the conversation. Practice active listening by maintaining eye contact, nodding, and paraphrasing what the interviewer has said. This shows that you are attentive and understanding, enhancing your overall communication effectiveness.


Mastering your mindset, managing your emotions, and communicating with confidence are essential components of acing your next job interview. By adopting an empowering mindset, practicing emotional management techniques, and using effective communication strategies, you can perform at your best and leave a lasting impression on interviewers.

Would you like help in enhancing your interview skills?

To find out more about how you can focus on your thoughts, emotions, and nonverbal cues, to ensure your future interview success, simply contact me by email or call me 021 056 8389. When we talk, we can explore how I can help you achieve the interview success you desire. Remember, with the right preparation and mindset, you can confidently navigate any interview and secure your dream job.