What if you could change your experience of the job interview simply by changing your energy?
Once again it is 7 Level Sunday!! I looked for the first news article to catch my eye, and it was about job interview myths unveiled. It includes things like:
Myth #1: Be prepared with a list of questions to ask at the close of the interview.
Myth #2: Do not show weakness in an interview.
Though I do not promote it, you can read the article here: http://hotjobs.yahoo.com
Anyway, the job search is obviously a hot topic these days, and everyone has an opinion about how you “should” approach the search, the interview, and even the types of jobs you seek. So I thought I’d take a look at the job interview from the seven levels of energy. (Be sure to check my prior blog posts about the 7 Levels of Energy to get grounded in the approach!)
The Energetic Job Interview:
Coming from Level 1: When facing a job interview, at Level 1 (Victim/Apathy) you would feel as if you were a participant in the situation, and the interviewer was in charge. You would not be feeling very powerful as you prepared for the day. You would likely be trying to figure out what the interviewer was going to ask you, and what you thought they wanted to hear. You would not be thinking at all about what you want, because you would be assuming that what you want doesn’t matter. You would also feel an overwhelming sense of helplessness going into the situation, because you would likely be assuming there was no way you could know what was going to happen, and that something would probably go wrong (can’t think of an answer to a question, etc.) that would make the whole thing be a big waste of time. When you come from this level, your interviewer is likely going to be “nice” to you, which is a benefit of this level, but may not draw out what you really have to offer. You will leave the interview and worry about what you did wrong.
Coming from Level 2: At Level 2 (Anger/Conflict), you would be looking at the interview as a challenge. You would likely still experience a lot of stress, but you would be motivated by fear and competition to do a good job in the interview. As you were preparing, your attention might be focused on the other people who would also be interviewing, and you’d be thinking about what you have that they don’t have, and trying to highlight that. At level 2 you want to win, and in order for you to win, you believe it is important for someone else to lose, so you focus on beating the competition. Because you are so concerned about coming out on top at this level (note: the job search on the whole is a natural fit for level 2 energy), you are likely quite stressed. You are likley beating ourselves up for any gaps on your resume or bad choices you have made in the past. You might be so focused on trying to hide these gaps, that you will inadvertantly draw attention to them. (Focusing on what you don’t want is just as powerful, energetically, as focusing on what you want.) When coming from Level 2 energy, you would like bring out the level 2 in your interviewer as well, and you might attract “harder” questions that are more confrontational in nature. You will leave the interview and feel stressed about whether you put your best foot forward, and even a little self-righteous about the fact that they clearly didn’t appreciate what you brought to the table.
Coming from Level 3: At the Responsibility level, you are focused on winning. You are not concerned about other people losing, in fact you are not really concerned with other people at all in the job interview. You alone are responsible for yourself and how your life goes, the competition is almost irrelevant. If you are a “Level 3 Person,” in other words, you operate from Level 3 in lots of areas of your life, you probably have a lot of accomplishments to share in an interview. You don’t allow other people and what they choose to do to bring you down, so you have been highly productive in your career to date. You will probably be focusing on this as a strength in your interview. You don’t have a lot of conflict, and you probably feel you are a good team player. You are great at rationalizing, and if you bring this energy to a job interview, you will be probably have answers that show this – you will prove you made the right choices in many different work situations and will likely leave a good impression. Though the interview will likely go quite well, and at a Level 3 you will stand out above most of the candidates, you may be simply telling them what they want to hear, rather than causing the interviewer to think differently as a result of what you offer, as in the higher levels. You will leave the interview and tell yourself that you did your best and what will be will be (but deep down you’ll be worrying about it).
Coming from Level 4: At Level 4 (Concern/Compassion), you will be focused on what you can give. You may be looking forward to the interview because you know you will be speaking with another human being, and you look forward to connecting with the interviewer and maybe even making a difference in their day. Your preparation may be focusing on how to build a relationship with the interviewer, and also thinking through how you see the company/product/service making a difference for the people it serves. You will express your passion for the difference the company makes. You will likely ask a lot of questions about the company culture and the team of people with whom you will be working. You will share examples of ways you’ve impacted your workplace in prior positions, and the leadership style you convey will likely be one of service rather than dictatorship or trying to control (control would be a Level 2 style). You may notice, however, things that are “wrong” in the organization and be thinking about how you can come in and “fix” it. You will see things through a filter of “why they need my help” which gives you confidence and energizes you. Your interviewer will iikely enjoy the time with you, and appreciate your high level of energy (she is used to Level 2 all day), and you will also likely have caused her to think about new possibilities for this position. You will leave the interview happy to have made a new connection and excited about getting started.
Coming from Level 5: At this level (Reconciliation/Acceptance), you are not concerned with judgment of what’s right and wrong, you simply accept who you are, who the company is, and look to see if you are a match. In preparing for the interview, you will be looking for ways to express who you are, what you believe to be true, or how you tend to operate, in a completely authentic way. You are trusting that if this job is a match, that will become clear during the course of the interview, and you are not concerned about trying to appear as something you are not. You would not take a job that wasn’t a fit, because you would trust that there is another great opportunity just around the corner. During the interview you will lead the flow of the conversation, and will likely have lots of ideas for where to take the company, department, business, and be focused on exploring them and trying to understand how your strengths may fit with where the company is already heading. You would not be trying to fix a company’s direction, but rather be looking to work with it’s strengths. As far as leadership style, you will emphasize the importance of empowering the people and teams around you to think creatively and do their best work. The more you learn about the company, the more you will iikely be able to identify opportunities, your strength, and the more your energy will build throughout the interview. You will certainly have the interviewer thinking in new ways and evaluating whether they are poised to take advantage of your strengths. You will leave the interview feeling energized, yet peaceful and calm, knowing it will go as it should.
Coming from Level 6: At level 6 (Sythesis/Joy), you feel connected to everyone and everything, so there is no sense of competition or judgment. You do not get caught up in worrying about the organization or how it works, or even about the details of the job description. You will probably share a little about how you tend to operate to see if the position is a fit. You operate from a place of being highly intuitive and creative, bringing inspired ideas to the table without concern for justifying them. As a level 6 person, you are likely not applying for many jobs, and looking only at very specific jobs in which your way of operating would be accepted and embraced. Level 6 people do not operate from a place of ego, so you would not be a great fit in many organizations as you might have trouble relating to the people and the politics. Most likely you would find your position by word of mouth – the people around you would sense that you had some sort of intuitive brilliance, and they would be willing to put up with your lack of concern for convention, knowing your ideas are worth it. You would not be worried at all about getting a particular job, as you would be trusting your intuition to lead you to the right position for you. You are always peaceful, job interview or not.
Coming from Level 7: Level 7 (Pure Passion/ Complete Non-Judgment) is even more impractical than Level 6 when it comes to the job search. If you are operating at a Level 7, you may appear to be aloof and uncaring. You are not uncaring, you actually love everyone and everything exactly as it is, but you don’t feel the need to express it because you are connected to all and it seems obvious to you. Where as a Level 1 interview is run by the interviewer, and a Level 5 is basically led by you, a Level 7 interview would likely be in the interviewer’s hands since, when you’re coming from Level 7, you have no need to prove anything and don’t perceive that there is anything in life to “fix,” so you wouldn’t voluntarily have a lot to say. You would be patient with answering questions, and would answer from your heart with passion, but would not be thinking at all about how to prove anything beyond answering the questions. As with the Level 6 Energy, you would likely not be out applying for jobs. If you were to work you would happen into it by just being you and attracting opportunities to use your passion and genius. You would attract an environment of trust of you and your ideas, which just flow into you directly from source without question. You may work for yourself and attract the right partners to get your work “out there” into the world.
OK, great, so “What do I do with this information?”
Well, as there are as many energy level combinations as there are people, and since we each bring our own unique spin to life based on our experiences, I can’t tell you which level you, personally, should access without talking to you personally. (By the way, I am happy to do this, check out my site – I offer personal evaluations of your default tendencies using the Energy Leadership Index assessment). What I can offer is this:
- Most people in a job search situation operate from a Level 2. Choosing any level above a 2 will likely set you apart.
- To really use this to make a difference in your experience and outcome, it is important that the energy from which you operate matches with who you are, authentically. As you read the different levels, which one was inspiring, interesting, or exciting to you? That would be the one on which to focus right now. Don’t try to force something that doesn’t fit.
- When doubt, 1 level up. If you identify yourself, today, at a certain level and you don’t like it, go for one level up. If you are feeling passive about the job search (Level 1), getting angry and competitive would actually bring you more energy, and so on.
- You can choose to operate from any level, at any given time. Sometimes old stories or beliefs from the past keep us from accessing a higher level, and that is where coaching can really help. However, if you can see it, you can choose it. I spend a little time thinking from a Level 6 on a regular basis. While it is not always practical, it can lead to new ways of thinking and brilliant intuition that guides me when I’m in the other levels.
- I, personally, love Level 5. When in doubt, that’s where I go. Not that you should too, but thought I’d share. Five is inspiring and peaceful, yet still has enough of an ego focus to not be impractical.
- Whatever you do, breath and relax as much as possible. When we operate in stressful energy, not only does it affect our peace but also our health. Moments at Level 3 and above are “good for you!” Let them in!