The key to making a good first impression and nailing your job interview is to keep cool under pressure. What better role model for keeping calm amidst harrowingly stressful conditions do we have than the Jedi master? With the Force on his (or her) side, he vanquishes his enemies and restores order to the universe.
While it’s not in your best interest to frame your potential employer as your mortal enemy, it can be very beneficial to walk into your interview with a few Jedi mind tricks hidden up your sleeve. Just don’t wear a robe, as comfortable as it may be.
You’ve heard the saying “practice makes perfect.” A Jedi master knows that to be false, for only perfect practice makes perfect. Before a Padawan becomes a true Jedi, he or she must train and practice… but the training and practice never ends. There is always more to learn in the ways of the Force. So, too, with interviews. Just because you may be a C-level professional with years of experience, you must practice your interviewing skills before you walk in to meet your potential new employer. Do not let ego or pride be your downfall.
Control Your Focus
A Jedi’s focus is always centered in the present moment, because “your focus determines your reality,” according to Jedi master Qui-Gon Jinn. He does not distract himself with wandering thoughts of a past he cannot change or a future that has yet to be shaped. All of his mental energy flows into the task at hand. During your interview, use your Jedi focus to stay present. Do not bring in mental baggage from your past or worries about your future. Instead, walk in with a clear mind and a laser-like focus on the job, the company, and the specific questions you will need to answer. The Force is strong in those who can focus.
Let Go of Your Fear
Yoda, the wise Jedi master, once told young Anakin Skywalker that he must train himself to “let go of everything you fear to lose… [because] the fear of loss is a path to the Dark Side.” During the interview process, do not let yourself give in to the fear of not getting the job. Trust in the Force, believe in yourself and your training, and allow the best outcome to simply happen, knowing that the Force sometimes works in mysterious ways. A Jedi master walks into the interview fearing nothing.
Trust Your Feelings
“Your eyes can deceive you,” Jedi master Obi-Wan Kenobi advised young Luke Skywalker. “Don’t trust them.” A Jedi does not get fooled by outward appearances. Instead, they trust their feelings; they trust the Force. During your interview, should something trigger a gut instinct, a knowing deep within, trust that knowing. It is the Force revealing truth. With truth on his side, a Jedi is free to answer any interview question with integrity and honesty.
Don’t Get Cocky
Han Solo was not trained in the ways of the Force, yet it flowed strongly within him. His wise words to ambitious young Luke Skywalker are a direct, if ineloquent introduction to an important teaching of the Jedi order: humility. “Great, kid… don’t get cocky,” he told Luke, simultaneously recognizing his ability while shutting down his ego. Be humble in your interview. Establish your skills and abilities clearly, but do not embellish and do not boast. A Jedi gets the job based on merit, not pride.
To interview like a Jedi master, you must quiet your mind, focus your intention, and trust in the Force. Believe in your feelings, and let them guide you before, during, and after the interview. Whatever the outcome, know it was the right one. Do not let fear tempt you, for it is the path to the Dark Side… and the unemployment office.