How to focus on your mental preparation

  • 17-11-22
  • Louise Kelly

We have all seen how crazy the job market is right now and as a candidate, you are probably seeing so many more job adverts than you have seen before and have been approached by recruiters directly. All this activity makes it very tempting to look for a new role. But just because it is a very busy job market, does that mean you should and are mentally prepared to interview?

Job hunting can be stressful and when a market is buoyant like it is currently, the processes can move quickly, and you can find yourself getting swept up in the momentum. You can even receive multiple job offers much quicker than you expected. You’re in demand! But those offers can suddenly make the process of leaving your current role feel very real and maybe you aren‘t sure what is the right decision.

A good way to avoid this predicament is to be sure about your reasons for attending an interview in the first place. Before you go for an interview (or even apply for a new role), ask yourself these questions:

Why do I want to leave my current role?

The reason why you want to leave is important as you need to understand what is driving you to make this change. You also need to consider if this is possible in your current role:

  • I want a higher salary. Have you asked your manager about the possibility of a salary increase or a bonus? You are in finance, you have a good understanding of how the company is performing, is a salary increase possible? If you believe it is, make sure you are clear on why you believe you deserve an increase.

  • I want a promotion/progression. Have you asked if there is a possibility for a promotion coming up? There may be a new team structure coming into place or a chance to backfill someone on leave or get involved in a project. There can be a lot going on that you might not be privy to yet and you could miss out by not asking.

  • I want more flexible working. Have you asked your manager or your HR department about the possibility to work more flexibly? Post-COVID, many companies are looking at their working arrangements and are still to formalise those even now. By speaking up, you might be able to influence the policy as HR and your manager will have clarity on what you (and possibly others) are looking for.

  • I want to develop new skills. Are these skills related to your current role, a step up or more of a career change? If they are related, ask if there are projects coming up that might increase your skillset. Do you have a mentor in the company that could give you additional tasks? If it’s more of a career change – still ask! I have seen many people given the opportunity to move internally to completely different roles within the company as they want to keep that person as part of the wider team.

If you haven’t asked your manager these questions before you start looking for a new role, I urge you to do so. This will leave no doubt in your mind that you can’t get what you want from your current company. And if you do get a new role and your current employer counter-offers you what you asked for, you will know that it was always possible but for some reason, they just chose not to give it to you when you asked for it.

How will I describe what I am looking for in a new role?

Can you articulate what you are looking for in a new role that you aren’t getting in your current one? As part of your interview preparation, make sure that you are clear on your longer-term career goals and how this role and company could facilitate reaching those goals.

Is there anything in particular about this company or role that is attractive to you? Avoid generic answers. To be mentally prepared for an interview, you have to know why you are excited about this particular role.

Can I dedicate time to the interview?

While many interviews are still taking place via Zoom, more and more are starting to take place in person again. Interviews can be time-consuming; how will you manage to go for a job interview whilst you are working? You should make sure you can do this without adding extra stress to your normal day as you want to be relaxed and have enough time to prepare before your interview.

Organise preparation time for yourself but also organise enough time to relax so you are not stressed. Things that you can do to minimise stress are:

  • Get a good night’s sleep

  • Prepare your outfit the night before

  • If it is via video, do a test the day before to ensure that there are no last-minute issues or as a minimum at least 10 minutes before the start of your interview

Can I confidently answer the different types of interview questions?

There are different interview questions that generally fit into the following categories:

  • General

  • Competency-based

  • Situational

You can find more detailed information in our blog called 'Understanding the 3 Key Types of Interview Questions'.

Interviewing can be a stressful process but by asking yourself these questions above, you can ensure you are ready to start your job search and be mentally prepared to interview. Good luck!!!

For more information on the above or assistance with your job search, contact your Richard Lloyd Recruitment Partner or call us on 02 8324 5640.