You did it. You’ve just landed that coveted interview with a big commodity trading firm. In a few days’ time, you’re going to have to convince the person interviewing you that your skills, professional experience and personality can make a significant contribution to the company’s performance. It’s no secret that self-confidence is key when it comes to persuading interviewers that you’re the right person for the job. However, just like a top athlete, you also need energy and to be ready to take on the challenge. Companies that achieve great results all share in common the fact that they constantly recruit dynamic employees – go-getters – at all levels of the organisation. The keys to success are innovation, creativity, determination and leadership. A serious study by Kellogg Insight suggests that certain songs may increase our feeling of empowerment, self-confidence, competitiveness and even our ability to grasp abstract ideas more than others. ‘Empowering music might be used strategically to get us in the right frame of mind,’ explains Derek Rucker, Professor of Marketing at the Kellogg School of Management.
We’ve got some good news for you. You’ve been selected to get some lessons in musical de-stressing. Here we prescribe our playlist of songs to put you in a winning mindset.
GET THINGS OFF TO A GOOD START
‘Respect’ by Aretha Franklin
‘R-E-S-P-E-C-T… Yeah (just a little bit)…’
Senior managers (especially) want to hear all about your latest successes and achievements. They are also looking for things such as your honesty and integrity, as well as checking that you have principles, are deserving of their trust and are capable of developing the values shared within the organisation. Respect begins by reflecting on your professional career objectively and realistically and not overstating the facts. How? By taking a step back and getting some distance. Why? Because you need to be able to identify your strengths and weaknesses. Make the most of this opportunity by showing how you can relate your successes and achievements to the needs and requirements of your employer. Be honest. There’s no need to exaggerate your experience; instead, talk about your successes and long-term objectives, as well as your strengths and weaknesses, in the specific context of the post you’re applying for.
‘In Da Club’ by 50 Cent
The person interviewing you wants to know about your energy – your ability to inspire trust in employees and create a dynamic, stimulating working environment. The empowering music of ‘In Da Club’ can help get you in this frame of mind. A ‘guaranteed party starter’ with its ‘blaring horns, funky organs, guitar riffs and sparse hand claps’, here’s an ‘insanely catchy’ song that should help boost your feeling of empowerment! Take a leaf out of rapper 50 Cent’s book and it’ll come naturally. A few selected lyrics: ‘Go, go, go, go go, go, go, shawty, it’s your birthday…’. Obviously the lyrics have to be tweaked a bit to suit the occasion – it’s not your birthday, so how about ‘It’s your interview’. Go, go, go…
‘We Will Rock You’ by Queen
Managers are going to be testing your perseverance and resilience – your ability to carry out an analysis under pressure, make decisions quickly or manage several tasks simultaneously. ‘We Will Rock You’ was released in 1977 and remains one of Queen’s most popular songs, ranking as one of the ‘500 greatest songs of all time’. Often played at sporting events and endlessly covered and remixed, this world-famous piece will definitely bring out the tiger in you. Imagine singing a cappella, beating a four-four time with two foot stamps and a handclap, followed by a pause. This song is sure to boost your competitiveness. So repeat (twice) after me: ‘We will, we will rock you…’
‘Get Ready For This’ by 2 Unlimited
The official anthem of the NBA, this song should give you the ‘hunger’ and ‘perseverance’ of the greatest champions. Right up to when you arrive at the office of the company you’re interviewing for (and until proven otherwise), you are still the king or queen of the dance floor. Let yourself go!
GO OUT WITH A BANG
‘Let It Go’ from Frozen
Why not end the interview on a high with a song from the 2013 Disney film that proved a smash hit with children worldwide (not to mention a strain on their parents!)? You have to admit there’s nothing more liberating… You’ve got through two hours of hand-to-hand combat, picked your way through a professional minefield and now you’re out of there! You’re ready to sing your heart out, right there and then. All together now!
‘Let it go, let it go
Can’t hold it back any more
Let it go, let it go
Turn away and slam the door.’
The genre or style isn’t important. What matters is the energy a song gives you and its ability to put you in a good frame of mind.
‘Empowering music might be used strategically to get us in the right frame of mind.’
How about you? What music do you play to give you a boost before an interview or a big meeting?