Interviews are Auditions!
Job seekers from all walks of life can benefit greatly by modeling interview preparation techniques, much like a professional musician's audition preparation.
When facing an audition, the finest musicians find success when training transcends time with their instrument. Just like preparing job requirements, creating a positive and successful outlook brings comfort when the 'magic moment' arrives.
The excerpt below from "Audition Mastery Guide," translates well to preparing for various 'on-the-spot' situations. Mental preparation helps to conquer performance anxiety, no matter the circumstance.
OUTLOOK AND ATTITUDE
- You’re not alone! -- Everyone gets nervous. The most experienced and successful musicians learn how to make their anxiety work for them. Accept that you may be nervous. Perform as often as possible.
- Preparation -- Being prepared is the best antidote to anxiety. Always memorize, but use the music. Don’t feel guilty for not preparing more. Prepare well ahead of time, let your music rest, and then come back to it. On the first attempt, practice performing a piece without stopping. Arrange a mock audition or a recital run-through.
- Visualization -- Picture success! Imagine how a world-class performer would accomplish your task. Ask yourself, “What’s the worst that can happen?” It’s probably not too bad. Before the event, visualize everything in great detail: how you walk out on stage, acknowledge the audience, and tune, what you are wearing, how you shape every phrase, how you feel afterwards, etc. Create a narrative for your music. Where is it set? What emotions does it evoke? What do you see, hear, feel, taste and smell?
- Attitude -- Don’t put too much stress on one audition or performance; if you blow it, it’s not the end of the world. Take pleasure in your playing; focus on the music, not on technical perfection.
- Turn off judgmental inner voices -- Just play, don’t evaluate. Go easy on yourself. Calm your mind and focus your thoughts. Be energized, optimistic, alert, and self-confident. You can’t control what the audience or jury thinks of you, so just concentrate on playing. Every audience wants you to play well. Concentrate on what you are playing that instant. Don’t dwell on mistakes and don’t fear that passage coming up.
- Competition -- Challenge yourself; don’t compete against others. At an audition or a competition, try not to listen to the other players. Choose warm-ups to benefit you, not to impress them. Long tones will help more than a race with the musician next door. Don’t hold back; give 100%. Learn from failure.
- Physical relaxation -- Remind yourself to breathe slowly and deeply. Consciously relax all the muscles in your body, one at a time. Before playing, do some stretching exercises.
- Nutrition, sleep, and exercise -- Avoid excessive caffeine and sugar. Eat a light meal that is high in carbohydrates (pasta). Drink plenty of liquids. Regular exercise builds up the body’s tolerance to anxiety.
YOU ARE IN TRAINING!
Do you have helpful mental preparation techniques that work for you?
(The above is an excerpt from "Audition Mastery Guide" -- StringQuest Virtual Music Curriculum www.stringquest.com)