Taking the stress out of job interviews

Bringing a spiritual perspective to daily life

Scores of books are available on the mechanics of interviewing. I've found some of them very helpful. But the most helpful thing I've found is to step back and look thoroughly at the bigger picture of what's happening during a job interview.

For starters, most people will probably admit that they don't necessarily know whether the job they're interviewing for is the right one for them. And while the desire for a paycheck will make them hope that an interview results in employment, what they really want to find is a good match.

To me, a good match involves something spiritual. A sense of purpose is central to our lives. It's connected to our soul, to who we are deep inside. This is true for people on both sides of the interview table. There's something going on that's bigger than two people sizing each other up.

On a more universal scale, there is a divine power or Principle looking to unite the right people in order to produce a greater good for everyone. And to bring about the best outcome from an interview, the interviewee needs to focus on this grander concept.

With that focus, you can turn an interview into something more than a performance. You can discover what the divine Principle, or God, is doing through all of us and discover what He wants to happen and is making happen.

That focus has become more and more important to me in interviews. In some instances when I used this approach, I did land the job. Other times not. But in every case, I walked away with a feeling that my career of good purpose and activity was on track - that something bigger than I was watching over me.

In her book "Unity of Good," Mary Baker Eddy portrayed God as caring for every aspect of our lives. She wrote: "He has mercy upon us, and guides every event of our careers. He is near to them who adore Him" (pages 3-4).

Adoring God or focusing on His universal activity during the interview is comforting, reassuring, and practical. With this in mind, you don't have to feel that your future and well-being are tied to one short conversation between two people.

The following points have provided me with a basis for establishing a good mental framework before, during, and after an interview:

• The interview involves something much bigger than one person judging another. God is working to align the ways that He expresses Himself through each of us.

• You are a contributor, or giver, in the process. You are at the interview not necessarily to get a job but to further explore how you can help produce a greater good.

• The interviewer has needs. Interviewers often feel under pressure, too, and it helps them to see that your interest lies not just in gainful employment but in producing that greater good.

• Your attitude, or mental posture, enables you to say what needs to be said.

• Honesty serves you best. Success comes from acknowledging that the divine order is in play and that the right job can't be taken from you.

This approach to interviewing doesn't necessarily make any job available to you. But you lose the stress and find the joy of moving into the right job.

Cause me to hear
thy lovingkindness
in the morning;
for in thee do I trust:
cause me to know the way wherein I should walk;
for I lift up my soul
unto thee.

Psalms 143:8

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