Looking for a job is hard on a person’s ego.

Getting to “Yes, you’re hired,” often comes after several interviews and deflating turn-downs. One of the biggest challenges in a lengthy job search is to stay positive and to approach every interview with confidence and determination.

Performance experts suggest using visualizing techniques used by athletes and top salespeople to ‘rehearse and visualize’ peak performance. The idea is that if you mentally rehearse success by visualizing yourself doing well in a given circumstance, you will carry that preparation and confidence into the real event. This preparation and rehearsal helps you to perform at your highest level. Utilize visualization techniques to prepare for job interviews by imagining yourself acing the interview and being offered the job.

Try these three steps to rehearse your next interview or any other activity where you have to be at the top of your game:

1. Describe in detail how you will perform – Close your eyes and describe to yourself how you will look and sound at the interview. For example: I see myself in an interview room sitting by a desk. There are two interviewers. I am relaxed, smiling, alert and energetic. I am paying close attention to the other people in the room. I listened to the interviewer’s names when they introduced themselves. My posture is upright and I am making conversation easily and effortlessly. The interviewers are impressed with my skills and preparation. I answer every question with confidence.

2. Mentally rehearse from the perspective of an observer – In your imagination, visualize yourself in the interview, comfortable and at ease meeting the interviewer(s) and feeling relaxed and confident. Imagine that you are observing yourself from inside the room. For many people, making the image large and in color helps to make it feel more realistic. Imagine the sound of your own voice reflecting authority and confidence. Introduce feeling by describing the atmosphere in the room, the temperature and the mood of the interviewers. Allow yourself to enjoy the success you are feeling in the imagined picture. Picture yourself answering a variety of questions with ease.

Imagine yourself responding to questions where you are put under pressure. See yourself politely and confidently dealing with everything thrown at you. It is especially important to consider worst-case scenarios and to visualize handling each challenge with confidence. Imagine answering a question you hope doesn’t get asked. It could be regarding limited experience, a period of incarceration or having been fired from a previous job. Visualize that the interviewers being interested and clearly impressed with your response.

3. Rehearse from your own perspective – When you are pleased with how you present yourself and your ability to respond positively to a range of questions, step inside the image of yourself and run through the scenarios again as if you are now in the interview. See, feel, and hear it as if it is really happening. This time, you are looking out into the world from your own eyes. Visualize your hands folded on the table directly in front of you with people facing you. Allow your practice session to unfold in great detail, down to what you and others are saying and wearing. Pay special attention to feelings, imagining yourself feeling exactly the way you want to feel. Mentally rehearse what you will discuss when asked about your work history or how you prepared for the interview. Visualize the completion of the interview and the joy and pride you feel after the best interview of your life. Then, imagine it again – with even better results!

Like anything in life, it takes time to get really good at any new skill. Try using mental rehearsal and visualization several times a day leading up to your interview to train your brain to perform new behaviors. The results will amaze you as your confidence builds. Use this training technique to prepare for those crucial job interviews or other areas of your life such as a sporting event, meeting the prospective in-laws or asking for a pay raise. Enjoy the satisfaction that comes from knowing you are prepared and are performing at your very best.

The purpose of a job interview is for the employer to get to know you and to see how your skills and abilities can be used on the job. Great news! You are the world’s foremost expert on you! Visualize your success and it will happen.