If watching professional tennis is your thing, it’s US Open just concluded and thought it fitting to apply a mental strategy used by a world-class athlete and use it in your job interviews.

Played a USTA doubles tennis match this Summer in the picturesque, cool, breezy mountains of North Carolina.

Although the weather was a reprieve from the scorchingly hot Summer conditions in Miami my home-base, the competition was fierce especially since I haven’t been playing much in the heat.

Needed to prepare mentally for the battle ahead!

My go to source for a quick “mental tune -up” is one of the best tennis strategy books ever written called “Winning Ugly” by the now famous tennis tv commentator Brad Gilbert…he’s all over coverage at this year’s Open.

If you’re not familiar with Brad’s pro tennis career, he was a journeyman on the ATP Tour (Association of Tennis Professionals). Of average ability and talent, Brad made a dangerous foe by figuring out and exposing his rival’s weaknesses. At the same time Brad used his strengths to slay some of the biggest names on the tour in the 90’s including Johnny Mac (McEnroe), Michael Chang, Boris Becker and Stefan Edberg.

Not too shabby.

So how can average guy with an average body type and skill-set, abused by the likes of McEnroe screaming during a match “Gilbert you are the worst. The — worst! …you don’t belong on the same court as me!” take down multiple titans of tennis?

Brad asked himself 2 questions before every match:

A – what do I want to make happen?

B – what do I want to prevent from happening?

This advice is golden for interview preparation.

Before approaching any interview, uncover what problems a potential employer may have and explain how you (your strengths) can help solve their problem/problems.

The goal is to not let personal or professional weaknesses sway an employer the wrong way. I’m not suggesting you ignore or lie about your shortcomings like a lack of experience. Instead, be honest and explain that a lack of tenure pales in comparison to the level of energy and determination you have to succeed (check out blog entry called “Make the Skeleton Dance” detailing a cool story about a guy who turns big resume negatives into positives during his interview).

Make the interview focus on the employer’s needs and your strengths.

Prevent weaknesses from putting the kabosh on a job offer by spinning negatives into positives.

Get your game on and attack your next interview like a pro.

Speaking of positioning, looking for a job in golf?

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It’s easy to use and effective placing you and your uniqueness in the spotlight.

Dawn Schlesinger

ChiefGolfJobologist

  1. Pic above. That’s me in white and my partner playing as deep underdogs. Won 1st round  lost in quarter finals.