When you are going to an interview that you really want and that is a bit of a reach from where you currently are, it is easy to feel the anxiety and stress of the “what-ifs.”
What if they don’t like me?
What if I say something wrong?
What if I can’t convince them of my worth?
These questions seem so real and practical to us that they can almost paralyze us before we even get there. The focus is usually, whether we are aware of it or not, on the question of our own right to be the spokesperson for our value. We quickly can feel like we are in some sort of test that we can fail if we don’t bring our best game. My suggestion is that this thinking is not only misleading but also incorrect.
Think of it this way, if we owned a bar of gold and wanted to sell it, would we worry about our own self-worth and authority to sell this gold? Most likely not.
Most likely we would just trust that the intrinsic value of gold will speak for itself.
The relevant question is, Why don’t we do this with our own value?
If we bring value to the table, either in knowledge, talent, experience or work-ethic, then why wouldn’t we show that off as though it were a bar of gold? Why would we agonize over the “right” way to explain it, if we trusted the value to begin with.
Coming back to the image of the gold, imagine if I put a bar of gold on the table and said, “I think that this bar is valuable because it looks a lot like gold, and I hear that people really value that.”
I imagine that you would begin to doubt whether I actually owned a real bar of gold.
But we do this to our own value all the time. We diminish and hide from our value or we oversell.
“This bar of gold is more special than the gold that is being sold on the market and is worth twice as much.”
Most people would just politely nod and back away.
The goal in the interview is to let the gold speak for itself. Let your value speak for itself. Work with a coach or a trusted mentor to identify and understand what your gold is and then let it shine in the interview. You may not get the job, but it won’t be because they didn’t understand what you had to offer. They might just already have enough gold.
Regardless, trust yourself and your value and let go of the “what-ifs” for ever.