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Glenford Smith | Freezes up in job interview

Published:Thursday | March 29, 2018 | 12:00 AM


CAREERS: Thank you for your question. It seems, like you're having episodes of being blocked, where you freeze up in your job search and just can't carry on. This unfortunate situation happens to quite a few job candidates during their job search. I am sorry you had an episode in the middle of an interview.

Hopefully, this answer will serve to help you get unblocked and less nervous both before and during the interview.

Research has shown that "one-third of all job-hunters abandon their job hunt, at least for a while, because they become blocked up and give up." And when you get down to it, it turns out that what is happening has to do with your brain. It is the brain you need to understand a bit more to get what is happening to you.

According to Tony Buzan, author of The Mindmap Book, there are two sides of the brain, which divide into hemispheres, namely the left and right. He notes that although each hemisphere is dominant in certain activities, they are both skilled in all areas.

Facing forward, the left hemisphere of the brain performs tasks that have to do with language, logic, numbers, sequence, linearity, analysis, and lists. Your right hemisphere is dominant in a range of mental skills, including rhythm, spatial awareness, imagination, daydreaming, colour, and dimensions. When you are preparing, you are approaching it like you do in college or university predominantly left-brain dominant.

A lot of attention is paid to the range of skills in the left hemisphere, but what you will notice from the quick comparison above is that it is not the same for the right-brain.

What is needed are the right brain dominant aspects of your brain. It calls on more of the creative parts of the brain with the result that you will be more imaginative and use more of your visualisation and daydreaming abilities. You will remember more, too. In this way, you are not preparing as if you are studying for a test at school.

Form pictures in your preparation. Include smiley faces, imagine yourself in the interview room and breathe. This response only touches what is a vast subject, so I would highly recommend you get the aforementioned book. You can put in "How to Mind Map with Tony Buzan" and watch the five-minute YouTube video as well.

You will need to do visualisation of your interviewers smiling and go early enough to give yourself enough time to be relaxed. You must also know your subject you and the company and be supremely confident, though not cocky. All this will add to your preparedness, and you may find that you actually enjoy the interview.

I suggest this procedure because I imagine you would have heard and probably tried all the usual things. This way, you get straight to the problem. All the best to you.

n Glenford Smith is a motivational speaker and success strategist. He is the author of 'From Problems to Power' and co-author of 'Profile of Excellence'.