Author Topic: Mindfulness and Job Interviews  (Read 3972 times)


Mindfulness and Job Interviews
« on: October 29, 2009, 11:47:12 AM »
Recently, I've had two job interviews.  As someone who has been previously diagnosed with an anxiety disorder, this is the type of event that would provoke some pretty bad anxiety.  Well I was quite nervous before both interviews, with all the symptoms of anxiety that one would expect (sweaty palms, pounding heart, reddening of face, and a terrible tightness in my chest).  In my pre-mindfulness life I would have done anything to get away from those feelings and accompanying thoughts, of course to no avail - they would have devoured me so to speak. This time was different though.  Practicing what I have been learning, I placed my attention directly on those uncomfortable feelings and breathed with them, like a quasi meditation while waiting to be called for the interview.  I did not run from them.  Within minutes, I could feel a feeling of calm trying to pervade my body.  By the time it was my turn to interview, I was feeling a lot better.  I must have felt better because the interviews went great, and one of the jobs was offered to me right after!  This just serves to prove that the mindfulness approach is the correct one.  I have been running most of my adult life from these types of feelings with no success, for a while they controlled me.  By becoming more comfortable with the uncomfortable, we can loosen its grip on us, and for perhaps the first time I have experienced some of that loosening.  I am very grateful to all of the teachers and non-teachers (such as those on this board!) alike who strive to spread the wisdom of this beautiful method.  Best wishes to all in their practice and lives.   


Re: Mindfulness and Job Interviews
« Reply #1 on: October 29, 2009, 04:51:40 PM »
Great story Mcgee55...congrats on the job offer.

I have also suffered from pretty serious daily anxiety for most of my life, which was especially evident in advance of job interviews or starting a new job, but was pretty much triggered by anything and everything on a daily basis. Vipassana meditation and mindfulness have almost completely eliminated anxiety from my daily life, although it has been three years since I had to go on an interview.  :)

Ironically, as someone who used to be in a position to hire lots of people in the past, if there was no clear front runner to choose from in the interview process or if I had to decide between two people with identical qualifications and skills I always chose the person who was nervous because I figured they were the most real and honest and I was never disappointe with my choice. Not that it is scientific or anything, just worked for me.

Thanks for sharing.



Re: Mindfulness and Job Interviews
« Reply #2 on: October 30, 2009, 02:29:52 AM »

I tried anything and everything I could think of in my past to help alleviate my anxiety, including some not so healthy things so to speak.  My anxiety was controlling my life, and leading me down a bad path.   It was in a moment of desperation that I bought a book on mindfulness.  It took me a year to actually work up the ethic to read it and try meditating.  Since that moment, my anxiety problems have seriously dimished, although not disappeared.  I wont get into any talk about miracle cures, but my life has changed profoundly in a short period.  As a fellow anxiety sufferer and meditator, I'm sure you understand all that I say.  I firmly believe now that with right effort, anything is possible.  One day, if I'm ever experienced enough and am qualified, I hope to help spread the good word fellow sufferers.  Best wishes, and thank you for your comment.


Re: Mindfulness and Job Interviews
« Reply #3 on: October 30, 2009, 04:32:42 PM »
I understand completely, I was encouraged to take an MBSR (Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction) course by my partner, she had attended one before we met, I can honestly say that it profoundly changed my life. I also suffered through years of self-medication with a variety of negative options. Thankfully that part of my life is over, now that I have found meditation. Thanks for sharing, Don


  • The Irreverent Buddhist
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  • Meditation: It's a D.I.Y. project.
    • Buddhism is a practical psychology and philosophy, not a religion.
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Re: Mindfulness and Job Interviews
« Reply #4 on: October 31, 2009, 01:02:42 PM »

This is exactly why meditation practice is called "practice" -  it's the off the cushion change that is where it really counts. The additional resources you have given yourself access to through practice, developing calm abiding and insightful self-knowledge have paid off in a real world situation.

That is the real hold the practice has on me. It changes how I am in the world.

What you say about getting to know your own discomforts is true. They hold less sway on you. Some say familiarity breeds contempt - in matters of the mind it breeds content.

I've spoken before about toilet meditation for people who work in offices. Basically you will be a bout twice as productive in an office based role if you spend 5 minutes of the hour sitting on the loo doing Shamatha Vipassana practice. The calm resounding mindfulness is then refreshened and applied to the next 55 minutes of work. The loo is often the quietest place in the office and even gives one the opportunity to develop equanimity to malodorous situation ;)

In the Dhamma,

« Last Edit: October 31, 2009, 01:05:07 PM by The Irreverent Buddhist »
~oOo~     Tat Tvam Asi     ~oOo~    How will you make the world a better place today?     ~oOo~    Fabricate Nothing     ~oOo~


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