I have learned over time that breath work can be helpful, not only in yoga but in daily activities and in particular those activities that can cause us a bit of stress…like an interview. If you haven’t considered the effectiveness of breath work as one of the ways you can prepare for an interview, read on.
Geez, I wish my hands didn’t get so clammy when I get nervous. It’s so embarrassing. Now they know I am nervous. That’s a strike against me. I am going to bomb this interview. I am not good enough to be here.
Sound familiar? Stories like this are common. It is these kinds of stories that we want to get away from. I believe this starts with a calm state of being. A calm state allows us to focus more on the present. One of the ways I know how to become more present is through breath work.
Here is an exercise for you:
Find a quiet spot where you will be uninterrupted for at least 5 minutes. If you have children or others in your life who want your constant attention, maybe your quiet spot is sitting in the car or maybe it is in the shower. That’s OK. Finding a quiet spot can be tough sometimes. Your quiet spot doesn’t have to be a serene meditation room.
One you have found your spot, close the eyes or bring your focus to something that is not moving.
Start with noticing the breath. Notice the inhales and exhales through the nose. With each breath allowing for a bit more stillness. Maybe your shoulders have softened a bit. Continue to breathe like this for 10 cycles of breath. Continuing to notice how you feel. Thoughts or judgements may pop in your mind, if that happens focus on your breath or focus on the counting of the breath. Breath one, breath two, breath three….
Let’s change this a bit.
On the inhale, say to yourself “I am calm”
On the exhale, say to yourself “I am at ease”
Continue breathing, repeating these words, “I am calm” (on the inhale), “I am at ease” (on the exhale) for 10 breaths.
After you have finished this exercise, take note of how you feel. Maybe more relaxed? If not, that’s OK too. Mindfulness and breath work does take some practice. It can feel uncomfortable. We live in a world that is continuously moving and to stop and breathe and only breathe can feel weird. That said, I do believe our breath is an amazing tool that we can use to our advantage. It can help us relax. It is this sense of a relaxed being that ideally you can bring with you to your interview. The next time you are invited to an interview and you notice your clammy hands remember “I am calm, I am at ease”.
Michelle Precourt is a Career Coach, Recruitment Expert and Registered Yoga Teacher based in Ottawa, Canada. She has blended her 15 years of recruitment experience with her Hatha and Yin teacher training that provides for a diverse approach in her work. Learn more about Michelle and her work at https://michelleprecourt.com/