Relax.... and win your next big role

You're about to go for that final interview for the role you want. It's your next best step in your career. Wanna know my secret? How to add a little something they can't put their finger on but find undeniably attractive, that little je ne sais quoi?

The most successful I've been in interviews has been when I've been more relaxed. And I've observed it working for other women.

Sure you'll dress the part, first obstacle down, greet with warmth, create rapport, impress with knowledge, demonstrate ethic, all of the usual things so boxes can be ticked. If you can find a way to walk into your interview relaxed, and stay that way except when intensity is called for, you will appear more confident, more capable and win over your interviewers.

I'll tell you how I discovered this. For one role I'd had in my sights for a few years, including over the ten years I had on parenting break, I got to last interview. I was called in to convince the one up of the guy who would hire me. It wasn't going to be easy.

A few days before the interview I became unwell as a result of an activity I did at the gym. It was unusual, at the time undiagnosed, and physically and psychologically challenging. While I was capable of getting myself into the city and attending the interview it was going to be an effort. I considered backing out. But it was the job I had in mind for all of those years, so I pushed through.

Allowing plenty of time I struggled to walk from the carpark to the interview. By the time I'd made it I was really struggling physically. Again I thought about withdrawing which would have been closing the door on this opportunity. But I was there and a trip to the bathroom allowed me to compose myself enough to press on.

As I was in the room with these two senior men I found myself going through the motions. Familiar stuff thanks to plenty of experience. But what was interesting was I had a care factor of about 2 out of 10. In that 15 minutes I could not have cared whether or not the job was offered to me. In fact I figured I had underperformed despite giving the event all that I had - which wasn't much.

Next day I got the offer. No-one was more surprised than I. Still feeling totally crappy in myself I was pleased but not as thrilled as I may have been if feeling fully fit. I accepted.

Sometime later I reflected on why I succeeded under those circumstances. I concluded it was that je ne sais quoi which the men had felt, didn't quite understand, but imagined was a good thing for the role. My gym injury had diluted my enthusiasm for the interview. I believe I appeared arrogant, stand-offish, maybe superior. And they liked it!

You know that enthusiasm is an advance type of tactic which pushes towards people, by it's nature it can also push people away. Well showing disinterest is a retreat tactic which can draw the other person in.

Here's my conclusion on the assumption you have the image, skills and capabilities for the role - and I bet you have all of that - add some light and shade, advance and retreat to your presence in the room. It is the most beguiling strategy which provides that irresistible je ne sais quoi.

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