Getting mental balance for job interview/outcome
April 8, 2011 8:10 AM   Subscribe

In a whirlwind of a week and a half, I submitted a resume, got a phone interview, and a job interview scheduled for Monday so have been cramming. My question though is on handling outcome. I am so anxious that I need to somehow convince myself that it doesn't matter what happens. There are pros and cons for uprooting if I get the job and the same if I stay at my current job. Pay is the same, just be starting over, but would be near my family. Any Jedi mind tricks when things are uncertain?
posted by snap_dragon to Work & Money (7 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
I saw something somewhere recently, basically it said flip a coin, and you'll know what you really want by how you feel when it lands.
posted by L'Estrange Fruit at 8:12 AM on April 8, 2011 [1 favorite]

Best answer: Read the Alan Watts book The Wisdom of Uncertainty. It's relatively short, you should be able to read it in a weekend. Skim over the God stuff if you don't care about that. If you want something in smaller chunks with less God, I recommend Comfortable With Uncertainty by Pema Chodron, which is more of a day-by-day format.
posted by desjardins at 8:17 AM on April 8, 2011 [2 favorites]

One thing you can try is staying in the present rather than concentrating on the future. You have today to enjoy and the weekend after that; on Monday you have your interview, and you won't even know if you get the job or not until after that. For staying in the present, one easy way to get started is to focus on your body, since that's necessarily in the present. A lot of people get mileage out of focusing on the breath, like in many forms of meditation.
posted by KDj82kao at 9:16 AM on April 8, 2011

From personal experience, I would say that being near family is nice when you have a family of your own. If there was a reasonably compatible company near my parents or my in-laws, I would consider jumping at the opportunity if the pay was in my range (relative to cost of living). With that said, I would do so because I have a family and the extra hands on, time with grandparents, and occasional night out would be better for my family. Likewise, I would have to find a career comprable to what I am doing to make that move. In otjerwords, for me, its a question of: does the move benefit my future?
posted by Nanukthedog at 9:22 AM on April 8, 2011

In moments like this, I like to remind myself that a difficult decision is difficult because both (or all) options are good ones (or, in less fortunate moments, all options are bad). If there were an obvious "winner" of an option, there wouldn't really be much of a decision, after all!

And since both options are good, there's no pressure on making a "right" choice.

Later, I'll have the chance to act such that whichever thing I chose really was the right one, as I build my life around it.
posted by rosa at 10:47 AM on April 8, 2011

The issue will resolve itself in relatively short order, so frankly I would just go ahead an distract yourself. Go to a movie, play some video games, read a book.

It's also likely that you'll come out the end of that with a calmer perspective about your choices.
posted by Tell Me No Lies at 12:55 PM on April 8, 2011

Best answer: So you really want the job, anxious about it, and trying to calm yourself down? Or you actually aren't sure which outcome you want? If it is the latter, there is a good chance that your ambivalence will come out in your interview performance.

I interviewed someone this week in a similar bind, and the feeling they gave off (not from what they said) was that although this would be great for them on paper (the job and the location), they were very conflicted about it.

I have been in a similar position as an interviewee, where I was interested in the job, but really didn't want to move to that location (even though I had done a great list of why it would be a good location). I think that came out subtly through my interview too.

So don't do too good a job of convincing yourself that it doesn't matter if you really want it. If you are ambivalent, well, then the outcome doesn't matter. Life will either change, or it will stay the same!

If you do want it, calm yourself down with good preparation. Know about the organisation, know about current issues. Go through the position description - what questions would you ask to find out whether the person was right for the job? If there are selection criteria, write two questions for each. Write out an answer for each one, identifying at least one good example from your work history to use. Now take the list of questions, without your answers. Get someone to ask you the questions (or you can ask yourself), and practice answering. Keep going until you remember your examples and can explain the important points clearly.

Just be careful in interview that you don't try and use examples just because you prepared them and wished they'd asked the question differently. You might not be prepared for all the questions, but you should be prepared for many of them.
posted by AnnaRat at 3:22 PM on April 8, 2011 [2 favorites]

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