Career Advice

4 P’s for Greater Productivity

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One of our biggest enemies as creative entrepreneurs is procrastination. Procrastination is a powerful trap that many of us fall into. Most people procrastinate to some extent at one time or another. But as regular habit it can be demotivating and lead to feeling of guilt and shame. Moreover, it can keep us from achieving our goals.

Procrastination is a habit. And like any bad habit, there are tools, tricks, and other habits that can replace it.

As an entrepreneur, it can feel particularly difficult to overcome procrastination.  There’s often minimal external deadlines and limitations. Plus, building a business is a long game.

There’s a human tendency to overestimate a reward based on its proximity. This video from AsapSCIENCE has an animated video demonstrating this further:

The sooner in time you get the reward, the more valuable it seems. Also known as temporal discounting. Plus, “human motivation is  influenced by how imminent the reward is perceived to be. The further away the reward is, the more you discount its value. This is often referred to as Present bias, or hyperbolic discounting.”


Pomodoro Sprints

Pomodoro sprints are a powerful procrastination overcoming tool.

Created by Francesco Cirillo while a university student. He was struggling to study for his exams. He had a lot of distractions and  and minimal mental focus and concentration. He decided to focus without interruption, distractions, or mind wandering for 10 minutes. He used a kitchen timer shaped like a tomato (pomodoro in Italian).

Even  the 10 minutes of uninterrupted focus made a difference.

Pomodoro sprints were born.

It’s a fancy way of saying 2 hour blocks of time with 25 minute work segments and 5 minute breaks.

A full Pomodoro sprint would be:

25 minutes work
5 minutes break
25 minutes work
5 minute break
25 minutes work
5 minute break
25 minutes work
25 minute break

See? Simple.

Nonetheless, this simple technique works well.

All you have to decide is how many sprints you’ll accomplish in a day. If your goal is to get eight hours of work done, then you would plan to complete a series of four pomodoro sprints.

The idea is that when we chunk our days like that, we can work for longer periods of uninterrupted time. This allows us to enter a flow state and operate at our peak performance level.

During each Pomodoro sprint, you’re only working on one project. You’re taking on that project without any distractions or interruptions. You’re creating an ideal environment for you to get a lot done, even in a short block of time.

This is ideal especially for moms and side-hustlers. With focused chunks of time, you’re able to get more done than doing many hours of distracted work.

This is because if you’re focusing on too many things at once, you lose time due to context switching.

When we’re working and we switch to think about something else. Whether its a different task we’re going to work on or checking our phone or email. It takes time for our brain to “recover.” To get back into the flow of what we were previously doing.

Each time we do this, we lose our precious time.

The more we do this in any given period, the more our productive time has diminished.

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Related: 8 Small Shifts to Reach Your Goals Faster

Pomodoro sprints end the time suck of context switching. They force us to give our undivided attention to the task at hand for these short chunks of time.

A few tips for using Pomodoro sprints:

  • If you’re like most millennials, your phone is a hard distraction to ignore. When doing Pomodoro sprints, better if your phone is out of sight and on silent.

  • If there is anyone who needs to reach you or who would disturb you, let them know in advance that all is well. But you can’t be disturbed in the next two hours.

  • Decide what you’re going to do before you start the timer for that first sprint. Don’t let planning seep into the time that you’re meant to be taking action.

  • If your phone is not too distracting, there’s an app called Focus available in the Apple store. It has the timers pre-set for Pomodoro sprints. If it’ll be too tempting to check your phone if you use an app (be honest!) then use a regular timer.

  • Check yourself. At the end of your sprint did you do what you wanted to do? Did you do a good job staying on track? Where could you use improvement?

  • Keep your breaks phone free. I’ve found that the only time I can’t get back in the flow after one of my 5 minute breaks is when I used it for scrolling social media. Now I do my best to stay off my phone even during the 5 minute breaks.


Parkinson’s Law

Another related productivity is Parkinson’s law. Parkinson’s law says that work will expand to fill the time available for its completion.

Why does this matter?

Well, my friend. The more you can estimate how long a project will take, the better you’ll be at planning out your days, weeks, and months. You’ll get more done.

If you allow a week for a two hour task, then the task will become more complex, difficult, and daunting. It will take up the whole week. Even if you’re not doing  actual work that whole time, stress, worry, and tension about doing it will fill space. When we can assess the time a task will takes, we get our time back. The task will maintain its natural state. There won't unnecessary complexity, difficulty, stress, tensions, worry, and complexity.

Overestimating or underestimating how long these take you to do lowers your productivity. Most people lack awareness of how long tasks take until they’re willing to apply this principle.

There’s a pervasive and limiting belief that if something takes longer, its better. It’s higher quality. Most people adopt the idea that it’s better to “work harder, not smarter,” even when they work for themselves.

It’s important to check yourself as you use Pomodoro sprints. You’ll start to become more and more aware of how long various tasks take you.

For example, I know that I can write a 2,000 word blog in about one hour IF it’s not a research based blog. Then it takes me another 60-90 minutes to do any research and edit.  But, if I give myself a four hour block to write a 2,000 word blog, I’ll use that entire period of time. Instead, I give myself one Pomodoro sprint to complete my writing. Then that’s all it takes.

Tips for applying Parkinson’s Law

  • Keep track of how long certain activities take you. Especially the ones you do repeatedly in our businesses. Most people overestimate or underestimate how long something should take.

  • Make it a game for yourself. When you’re assigning time estimates for tasks, trying cutting the time in half. Then treat it as a hard and fast deadline that you have to beat. Don’t do this at the expense of quality work, but try infusing some urgency into your work and see what happens.

  • Time your time-filling activities that don’t have an impact. Things like email and feed reading that “takes a few minutes.” Limit those times to 2-5 minutes. Don't get sucked into those activities.


Pareto Principle

The Pareto Principle was first established by Italian economist Vilfredo Pareto. He  used it as a math formula to describe the unequal wealth distribution in his country. He observed that 20% of the population owned 80% of the country’s wealth.

In 1937 Joseph Duran added a human dimension. He conceptualized the Pareto principle. He used the 80/20 rule to help managers to separate the vital few from the useful many in their activities.

This is also referred to as the 80/20 rule.

So how can we use it to be more productive?

By narrowing our focus. 80% of our results are going to come from 20% of our actions, so we can cut some of those actions that are less meaningful. The ones that aren’t going to translate into results.

Far too many creative entrepreneurs stay busy. But busy isn't always activities that are going to have an impact in their business.

Tips for applying the Pareto Principle

  • Instead of doing more and diffusing your impact. Do fewer activities and devote your time and energy there. On doing the things that matter most and do them well.

  • Where do 80% of your leads come from? Nurture those sources. Where is 80% of your revenue generated? Boost your efforts there? Do 20% of your clients create the majority of cash flow in your biz? Nurture and cherish them.


Going Pro

Last, but not least, to be more productive, be a professional.

Too many people treat their businesses like amateurs. Like an expensive hobby instead of a business.

This is from Steven Pressfield’s book, The War of Art.

He describes going pro as the way of overcoming resistance. Creators and entrepreneurs will experience resistance at one point or another. The way of moving past is to be a professional, rather than giving into it.

The characteristics of a professional are:

  1. W show up every day.

  2. We show up no  matter what.

  3. We stay on the job all day.

  4. We are committed over the long haul.

  5. The stakes for us are high and real.

  6. We accept remuneration for our labor.

  7. We do not over identify with our jobs.

  8. We master the technique of our jobs.

  9. We have a sense of humor about our jobs.

  10. We receive praise or blame in the real world.

Tips for going pro:

  • Set regular hours for yourself even if you work for yourself. On the days that I’m working I’m at my desk at 9am and ready to work. Same as if I had to show up at an office. Showing up this way allows me to take way more time off when I want. For example, I never work Fridays. I travel almost once a month and for the most part I treat my traveling as vacation and do little, if any work.

  • Get dressed. Or at least shower. I find that I show up in a different way when I shower and get dressed. Like I actually have to interact with other humans in person. It makes it feel more like an actual work day even though going to the office is going down the hall.

4 Small Tips to Become a Great Coach

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I received an email from a lovely woman in my community who had invested in a coach training program and was’t feeling confident in her skills as a coach. She asked a question that I’m sure many others have also wondered — how did you become a great coach.

I felt like she was expecting a deep complicated answer, but I told her what I really think it boiled down to:


1 | I hired a coach 1-on-1

If you ask 5 different people about this you’ll likely get 5 different responses, but here’s my thought on it: hiring a coach to work with 1-on-1 will accelerate your growth unlike any other thing you’ll do. Especially when you’re new in business.

Is it necessary for everyone?

Of course not.

But that doesn’t mean there isn’t massive value for the people who do make the decision to invest in a coach to work with.

Nothing can beat the 1-on-1 interaction and feedback. Plus, it’s a different thing to learn about coaching and study coaching, than it is to be powerfully coached.

When I started my business I invested in a year long coach training program and 4 months with a private coach. They were roughly the same investment. I received 10x more value from working with someone 1-on-1.

There was nothing wrong with the training I went through, but I outgrew it way before the year was up. Working with a coach 1-on-1 however, was transformative for me.

Many people become coaches without ever having hired or worked with a coach before. Of course it’s going to feel confusing and overwhelming to start your business. It’s hard to get a clear idea of what powerful coaching looks like without experiencing it first hand.

Plus, if you truly believe in the value of coaching — which, if you’re a coach, I hope you do.

It’s just common sense that you would want to experience it for yourself.

Does this lead to some stereotypes that it’s all just a pyramid scheme? Coaches coaching coaches coaching coaches?

Yeah, maybe.

But, seriously. Who cares?

Therapists have therapists. Doctors have doctors. Teachers have teachers. And even if they didn’t. It doesn’t matter.

Do your beautiful work . Transform people’s lives.


2 | I started

I started coaching people before I felt ready.

Not to say I started charging people willy nilly and helping them without being at all qualified. I worked with A LOT of people without charging at all.

I simply practiced the skills that I’d been learning.

I had 100+ coaching conversations in 3 months just so I could gain that confidence.

Yes, your time and work are valuable and you should be compensated.

But not when you don’t have experience. When you don’t know how to best serve people. When you’re not confident in the transformation provide.

At that point. Anyone willing to be your guinea pig is helping you as much as you’re helping them.

Don’t let your ego keep you from becoming great at what you do.

Because once you are, your earning potential is only limited by the limits you place on it.


3| I continuously invested in my education

I am a learner.

And if you’re going to be a powerful coach, you’ll want to be one too.

Books, courses, retreats, seminars, etc. If you can’t afford to learn, your success will be limited. This doesn’t mean you have to drop thousands on courses and retreats. You can invest in lower end courses, free learning, and books.

Now. This has got to be counterbalanced with creation and productivity and turning within.

There are times for intensive learning. Coaching. Mentoring from others.

And there’s a time to just get out there and do the work. Share the message that’s true for you.

Don’t let learning become a crutch. Or a tool for procrastination or perfectionism.

Be willing to learn. Be willing to implement.


4 | I implemented what I learned

You have to get out there and do the work.

If you think you’re going to learn every single thing about any particular subject before you get started you’re going to get stuck.

As a recovering perfectionist, I’m well aware of this trap.

It can be challenging to subdue those thoughts telling me that I must do it perfectly.

Because if you don’t actually implement what you learn nothing will happen.

I was naturally inclined towards coaching. It's a profession that uses all of the skills and qualities that come most naturally to me. But I wasn’t nearly as powerful or confident a coach when I started as I am today.

There’s only so far that the studying of your art can get you. Eventually you have to get out there and apply it.

I had to coach other people.

I wasn’t sure about it when I started.

I felt nervous and scared and very afraid of messing up.

I had to learn how to create boundaries.

When a potential client was needed a referral for therapy rather coaching.

But I wouldn’t have been able become a great coach if I hadn’t started.

Of course I messed up. Of course I had clients that didn’t experience as much transformation as they wanted. Of course I wasn’t perfect.

But I did it and now I’m a powerful coach. I help clients shift in 15 minutes and after a few months together their whole lives have transformed.

If you’re working on growing your own coaching business, hit reply and let me know! I’d love to hear what you’re working on. If you’re not sure which activities you should be focusing on, be sure to take the Focus Formula quiz so you can get some clear direction.

I’ll be over here cheering for you!

Xx,
Crystal

Why you should always be networking

Are you making a HUGE mistake at your current job by not networking consistently?  Everyone knows how important it is to network when you're looking for a job, but many just stop once they move into a new role.

The best time to network and the time when its most often overlooked is while you're still on the job.

If you want to put yourself in a position where you're going to be the first person up for a promotion or become an integral part of the team when you're at a new job, you've got to network with the people that you work with and not just the people at your level.

How to advance in your current career by networking

 How to advance in your current career by networking

Networking on the job is one of the most powerful ways of influencing your career. Here are some practical steps that you can take right now.

Step 1: Identify some of the people that would be great for you to connect with.

The length of the list is going to vary depending on the size your your employer. If you work for a small company than you're going to want most of the people you work with to be at least some what familiar with you and your work. If you work at a huge company than a list of 10 people you want to develop relationships with is a great idea.

Step 2: decide who you want to start connecting with first.

Perhaps you'll choose someone who you've felt a natural affinity with or someone who has already made it clear they'd be happy to grab coffee or lunch with you.

Step 3: reach out to them and arrange some time where you can get to know each other better.

If you're reaching out to someone ho is significantly higher up in your company than you are then you'll want to take a more formal approach and let them know about specific topic you'd like to discuss with them. For example, you might email them just saying you're interest in learning a bit more about their career trajectory - more like if you were reaching out to someone outside of your company. If its someone who is just a level or two above you, then it maybe easier to just ask if they'd want to grab lunch or coffee with them.

Step 4: continue to nurture the relationship.

After you've had a chance to connect with them, continuously make an effort to nurture the relationship. Set some sort of quantifiable goal so tat you're making a consistent effort until its like a regular relationship where you don't have to think about it. For example, maybe you'll decide that two times per week you'll some form of contact whether its popping your head into their office in the morning to say hello or shooting them an email bout something they might find interesting and relevant.

These steps are so simple but SO many people overlook them and just focus on their work. Definitely focus on your work and do the best work that you can, but don't forget to nurture those relationships too.

How to practice for a job interview

 How to practice for a job interview

The age old phrase "practice makes perfect" applies to just about everything– even nailing a job interview. To be a star interviewer, you have to practice– just like you would to be a star at anything!

Job seekers often take so many steps in order to land the interview itself -- preparing to answer potential questions without thinking to practice answering them out loud. As a result, nerves take over once the interview begins, and things fall apart.

The importance of practicing for an interview cannot be overemphasized. The benefits you’ll get from being an awesome interviewee will yield more job offers, which means more money and a more fulfilling career path.

So, how do you actually practice?

Here are a few suggestions for exercises you should do before the big day rolls around.

Create a list of questions

If you want to practice your answers, you'll need a list of questions to ask yourself! Come up with a list of questions that you think your interviewer may ask you, and spend some time writing out the jist of what you would want to say in response.

Practice in the car

The best thing about a long commute? Being alone in your car gives you some much-needed alone time to practice saying the things that you might respond with during an interview, and to see how you like the way your responses sound. Writing down your answers to potential interview questions isn't enough -- you need to hear how you sound saying your responses in order to feel confident in them. Keep in mind, you want to sound professional and polished rather than robotic and rehearsed.

Say your answers in front of a mirror

Another great way to practice is in front of a mirror. Sure, it's super uncomfortable initially, but it gives you a chance to see if you make weird expressions while saying certain words, or if you have any ticks that you’re not aware of. Try doing this in the outfit you plan to wear to your interview, so that you feel confident not only in how you look when you're speaking, but how your outfit lays once you're in a seated position.

Do a mock interview with a friend

When you're alone, it's easy to feel calm and collected about the answers you're giving. The real test is being able to say your responses in front of someone without feeling nervous or second guessing yourself. Ask someone to act as the interviewer, and give them your list of questions to ask. Perhaps you have a friend who is going through the interview process as well, and you can each trade off practice interviewing each other. A mentor or advisor is also a great person to practice with, as they could provide you with solid feedback and advice on how to get better.

Overall, you want to come across as prepared, likable and confident during your interview -- which also means being relaxed. Being prepared and having already practiced is going to make it so much easier to do so. Uncontrolled nervousness puts people off, and is inclined to make your interviewer nervous or uncomfortable -- which almost guarantees you won’t land the job. The more you practice the more natural it will feel. The more natural it feels the more fun it will begin to be. Going on an interview is like anything else -- if you’re good at it, you’re more likely to enjoy it!

5 questions to ask in a job interview

 5 questions to ask in a job interview

So, you’ve landed an interview for your dream role, at a company you’d love to work for. Now all you need to do is convince your interviewer that you’re the perfect fit for the position.

When preparing for a promising interview, you're likely to anticipate what questions you'll be asked by your interviewer, crafting thoughtful responses to give when prompted. But many job seekers tend to overlook an important element of the interview that might not seem like a big deal, but could actually make or break you.

I'm talking about the dreaded, "Do you have any questions?" part of the interview. It's a question that gets asked just as you're about to wrap things up -- when you just want the interview to be over already. Most job seekers are already aware that it's inappropriate to bring up the salary, benefits, or vacation days at this time (and if you didn’t, now you do). But what many applicants overlook is the fact that not asking any questions makes you look just as bad.

When an interviewee doesn’t ask any questions, it can lead the hiring manager to think that the applicant is not particularly interested in the company -- that he or she doesn’t know enough about the position or business to ask intelligent questions -- or simply doesn’t care enough to learn more. This is not the impression you want to give, especially for a position that you're really interested in!

Interviewers want to learn three things during an interview: If you can do the job you're interviewing for, if you're a good fit for the company and if you'll accept the job, if offered to you. The questions you're asked during the interview will likely cover numbers one and two. The questions asked by the applicant are where the interviewer is most likely to find the answer to number three. It's an opportunity to show your enthusiasm for the company and the position.

So, what should you ask your interviewer? Here are five must-ask questions.

What are three specific goals that you would set for my first three months on the job?

Hiring managers love this question because it shows that you are enthusiastic and will hit the ground running if hired.

What would you like to be able to say about your new hire a year from now?

This question will make an applicant stand out because it shows a vision for your future with the company beyond just getting the job.

What is your history with the company? What's keeping you here now?

This is a more creative way to ask the person's favorite part of working for the company. It will give you an opportunity to express genuine curiosity about someone you may be working for, as well as create a personal connection, which will make you more memorable to the interviewer.

Can you tell me more about what I would be doing on a daily basis? Are there other things that you would like the person in this role to do that are not considered formal parts of the job?

This question is good for both you and the employer, as it can give you a fuller picture of what is expected of you, and help you determine whether you would actually want to work for the company.

Do you have any reservations about my ability to do this job? Are there any specific areas in which you believe my qualifications are lacking?

All of these questions put you in a position to address any concerns while you’re still there. If the interviewer is left to address your weaknesses on his or her own, you have no opportunity to respond and explain why, despite any perceived shortcomings, you’re still the best fit.

Remember: Not only are the questions you ask an opportunity for the employer to learn more about you, but they also help you determine whether the company and position is actually the right fit for you.

It doesn't benefit you to have the interviewer think you're a perfect candidate, while you're unsure whether or not you will enjoy the work you're expected to do.

A super short interview is rarely a good sign, so if rapport with your interviewer was lacking during the bulk of the interview, you may be able to turn that around by asking thoughtful questions! Be prepared with these five questions and plan on asking around three, depending on the length of the interview and how much time is filled before you reach this part. Doing so will make you stand out among the rest of the candidates, and increase your chances of landing the role.

How to write your elevator pitch

 How to write your elevator pitch

Your elevator pitch is important because when you meet someone as you're pursuing a job, it allows you to describe yourself and what you're looking for in a clear and compelling way. That allows the people you meet to know how they can help you. Far too many job seekers miss out on fantastic networking opportunities because they don't know how to talk about themselves.

Here's a super easy formula.

Step 1: First I ____. 

This is just a little background information about you and your career. Only go as far back as the first step on your current career path. For example, if you're in marketing currently, but you pursued acting for a few years first, start with your transition from marketing to acting. 

Step 2: After that I _______. 

This is basically a bit about what you're currently doing. 

Step 3: Here's what's great about me or my past experiences. 

Speak about yourself and your current/past experiences in a positive way with an emphasis on the skills you have that will be most important to the employer you WANT to work for. You may have been the number one seller three years in a row for your past position, but if the position you want is mostly about social media, that won't be the fact most important to them.

Step 4: Now I want to _____.

This is you goal. You want to explain how your personal goals intersect with what they have to offer.

Here's an example that I used when I was still a practicing attorney:

[Step 1] I began my legal career at Firm.

[Step 2] I started out as a law clerk while in school and continued working there once I passed the bar.

[Step 3] What was fantastic about that experience was that from the beginning they threw me into the fire and forced me to learn as I went along. I became excellent at making quick decisions, learning on the job, and thinking of my feet. The longer I was there the more responsibility I was given. Now I'm familiar with all aspect of preparing a case for trial.

[Step 4] Now, I'm looking to work for a firm that has a reputation for truly grooming its young attorneys to be outstanding litigators through mentorship and honing their legal writing skills. Based on my experience, my willingness to learn, and my desire for mentorship I believe I would be an excellent fit here.

The qualities that I have that I needed to emphasize were that I was good at making decisions and could think on my feet because the employer was seeking someone who was more experienced than I was.

I wanted to show that I could make up for my lack of experience because I was so good at learning on the job and I'd successfully been able to do that in my previous role. 

I suggest that you create bullets for your elevator pitch rather than writing out a script word for word. Its something that you're going to be saying so its important that its flows naturally.

Telling a story with your resume

 Telling a story with your resume

Most of my career coaching clients hate working on their resumes. However, resume writing doesn't have to be dry! This came up recently with one of my private clients.

“What story are you telling with this resume?” I asked my client Alyssa.

We were reviewing her resume together – which in reality was just a bulleted regurgitation of her job description.

“Story?” she asked. “I’m just telling the employer what I’ve done,” she told me. “My real concern is the formatting – I don’t know how to get the formatting right.”

As a career coach, I’ve heard this sentiment expressed many times before. Still, listening to how much concern people have for the formatting of their resume rather than what it actually says just blows my mind.

The most well formatted resume is meaningless if it doesn’t captivate your reader. Any candidate can state facts about past roles and compile previous job duties. To make your resume stand out from the pile, you need to create a cohesive narrative about yourself. After all, stories are what draws people in and makes us connect.

Here are a few ways to effectively tell your story:

1. Decide how you want to be viewed by potential employers

Before you even start writing your resume, make sure you get crystal clear on this question. This is especially important if you’re fresh out of college, or have past jobs that are unrelated. While your job experiences can’t really be changed, you can refine how you frame and write about them in order to help shape your story. For example, a more thoughtful resume could present the same candidate as the “customer service specialist” or the “friendly computer salesgirl.” This is not at all about changing the past or stretching the truth – it’s simply about using a bit of creativity to construct a cohesive narrative.

2. Determine which skills are most valuable to employers

When telling your story through your resume, there are likely many accomplishments that you’ll want to highlight. But do the accolades you’re showcasing line up with the needs of your potential employer? For example, if you’re applying for a job in design, should you be drawing attention to how many words per minute you can type – even if it’s an admirable number?

If you have an impressive accomplishment in an area that is totally irrelevant to the employer you’re applying to work for, don’t waste valuable resume space calling it out. Instead, focus on showing off the skills you possess that are going to actually be valuable to your next employer.

3. Ask yourself, “Is this word necessary?”

Unless you have over 10 years of work experience under your belt, your resume should be kept to one page. Therefore, you need make sure your resume is tightly worded and has sufficient impact. Go through your resume line by line and make sure that every word matters to the story you’re working to tell. Ask yourself, “Do I need this word in order to convey my story effectively?” A shorter, well-worded resume is likely to be much stronger than a wordy, redundant longer one.

Follow these steps as you make updates to your resume, and you’ll end up with a much clearer, compelling narrative of your work history – allowing you to stand out as the best candidate in the pile!

Do you really need to practice for a job interview?

 Do you really need to practice for a job interview? 

The age old phrase "practice makes perfect" applies to just about everything -- even nailing a job interview. To be a star interviewer, you have to practice -- just like you would to be a star at anything!

Job seekers often take so many steps in order to land the interview itself -- preparing to answer potential questions without thinking to practice answering them out loud. As a result, nerves take over once the interview begins, and things fall apart.

The importance of practicing for an interview cannot be overemphasized. The benefits you’ll get from being an awesome interviewee will yield more job offers, which means more money and a more fulfilling career path.

So, how do you actually practice?

Here are a few suggestions for exercises you should do before the big day rolls around.

Create a list of questions

If you want to practice your answers, you'll need a list of questions to ask yourself! Come up with a list of questions that you think your interviewer may ask you, and spend some time writing out the jist of what you would want to say in response.

Practice in the car

The best thing about a long commute? Being alone in your car gives you some much-needed alone time to practice saying the things that you might respond with during an interview, and to see how you like the way your responses sound. Writing down your answers to potential interview questions isn't enough -- you need to hear how you sound saying your responses in order to feel confident in them. Keep in mind, you want to sound professional and polished rather than robotic and rehearsed.

Say your answers in front of a mirror

Another great way to practice is in front of a mirror. Sure, it's super uncomfortable initially, but it gives you a chance to see if you make weird expressions while saying certain words, or if you have any ticks that you’re not aware of. Try doing this in the outfit you plan to wear to your interview, so that you feel confident not only in how you look when you're speaking, but how your outfit lays once you're in a seated position.

Do a mock interview with a friend

When you're alone, it's easy to feel calm and collected about the answers you're giving. The real test is being able to say your responses in front of someone without feeling nervous or second guessing yourself. Ask someone to act as the interviewer, and give them your list of questions to ask. Perhaps you have a friend who is going through the interview process as well, and you can each trade off practice interviewing each other. A mentor or advisor is also a great person to practice with, as they could provide you with solid feed back and advice on how to get better.

Overall, you want to come across as prepared, likable and confident during your interview–which also means being relaxed. 

Being prepared and having already practiced is going to make it so much easier to do so. Uncontrolled nervousness puts people off, and is inclined to make your interviewer nervous or uncomfortable– which almost guarantees you won’t land the job. The more you practice the more natural it will feel. The more natural it feel s the more fun it will begin to be. Going on an interview is like anything else– if you’re good at it, you’re more likely to enjoy it!