Ignore the immediate hippie-dippie image that comes to mind when we mention the word ‘Meditate’.
Meditation isn’t just something you do as part of a yoga routine because your hyperbolically laid back and centered yoga instructor makes it part of the class. The concept of meditation has come a long way in Western culture , shifting from something that only Eastern cultures “do” towards a mainstream health acceptance and practice.
Research is coming to light now that demonstrates a clear connection between how we treat our mind and our overall health. And this is where it ties into our realm & your job search:
There are a whole host of benefits associated with meditation, but perhaps one of the single biggest benefits comes from improved mental performance. This is particularly important when you begin to talk about interviewing for jobs or starting a new one. Why? We think most people will agree that an interview or job search is a nerve wracking endeavor.
So grab a comfy pillow and sit cross legged as we dive into how you can use meditation to improve your interview skills.
Reduce Stress and anxiety
Meditation has been closely linked with a reduction in negative emotional states such as stress, anxiety, depression and an increase in peace. Now just imagine for a moment that when you sit down for that interview with someone who is ostensibly grading you, that, rather than feel anxious and jittery, you instead feel calm and at ease. This would surely make you stand out from the crowd, no? Coming into an interview session with a calm, cool demeanor indicates confidence and signals that you can perform under pressure. It also can help improve your communication skills, allowing you to succinctly and clearly impart your professional abilities to your interviewer.
Improve parallel processing
Another, unsung, benefit of meditation is a relatively new finding: meditation may improve parallel processing in the human brain. (Not sure what parallel processing refers to? Click here for a quick refresher).
While it has been reported that multi-tasking can actually decrease your productivity levels, such a skill is still necessary in an interview. You’re dealing with expected & unexpected questions, while monitoring your eye contact and overall posture, trying to think of good follow up questions AND actually ingest what you’re learning. Assuming Meditation actually DOES improve parallel processing, it could really give us an edge in an interview scenario in being able to access the information that we need, when we need it, and enabling us to answer questions with poise and clarity. If we can glean just the tiniest edge here from meditation, and combine that with the aforementioned decreased stress and worry, we really have the potential to make a great impact on the interviewer(s).
So essentially what we’ve got is a simple method to improving our disposition during incredibly stressful times in our lives. These benefits aren’t limited to interviews of course, so look into ways that you can incorporate a little meditation every day and you never know – it might just be that extra kick you need!
Not sure where to start your expedition in Meditation? Check out this new LA-based start-up, HeadSpace, that was recently featured in a list of top LA tech-startups. HeadSpace provides personal-meditation training through an easy to use app and web interface. We have yet to try it out, but it looks pretty cool!