As a job seeker, the goal is to secure your dream job. But, before you can get the job, you must first pass the interview. A job seeker may experience two phases of emotions after landing an interview: joy and worry.
While the interview process is exhilarating, it can also be stressful, so it’s understandable that the prospect of interviewing can cause anxiety.
If interviewing makes you feel nervous, here are some steps you can do to appear more confident in how you present yourself before and during an interview.
Table of Contents
How To Boost Confidence Before An Interview
Do Your Research
It’s natural to be anxious at a job interview, no matter how many you’ve experienced. One of the easiest methods of dealing with this anxiety is to plan ahead of time.
In an interview, you’ll most likely be asked about the company’s business as well as some basic information about the role you’re interviewing for. You’ll also be asked why you’re the right candidate for the job and how the work fits into your career ambitions.
It’s best to give yourself a few days in advance to prepare for the interview, as having confidence in your own knowledge will show the interviewer that you’re the right person for the role.
Spend some time scrolling through their website and social media profiles and take note of any interesting facts or campaigns you think might come up.
And if the interviewer doesn’t bring them up, you can! This will help to show your knowledge of the company and they’re likely to appreciate the time you’ve spent familiarising yourself with their work.
But it’s not just the company your should be studying, you’ll need to read through your own CV and cover letter (if you sent one) as it’s highly likely that the interviewer is going to bring up some of the things you’ve written.
For instance, if there are any large gaps in your resume, you should be equipped with an explanation for this. Also, be prepared to talk in further detail about your qualifications and prior work experience.
Even if your experience doesn’t align with the role you’re applying for, don’t be afraid to talk about those all-important transferable skills.
Rehearse The Interview
Preparing responses to popular interview questions is an excellent strategy to display interview confidence. When you enter into an interview knowing you are prepared, it can relieve stress and make you feel more confident. Try sitting down with a friend or relative to practice your responses.
They do not need to be memorized off by heart, but you should prepare enough to be able to provide answers that you are pleased with.
Believe In Yourself
Right before an interview, it’s easy to let your mind run wild with unhelpful thoughts such as, “I’m not going to get this job,” “why would they want to hire ME?,” and perhaps worst of all, “I bet the other applicants are much more qualified than I am.”
This kind of thinking will only damage your chances of bagging your dream job and can hold you back from displaying the confidence you need.
If you’re the kind of person who talks down to themselves in stressful situations, there are some helpful techniques to get you feeling confident in no time.
Consider talking to yourself in the mirror and recite affirmations such as, “I’m going to nail this interview” and “I’m the best person for the job.” This kind of positive thinking can help rewire your brain and provide you with a much-needed pep talk before starting the interview.
If you’re still lacking the confidence you need to get you through the interview, consider reflecting on all of your past achievements. They don’t have to be huge, just take a pen and paper and jot down 5 achievements that make you feel proud of yourself.
This can help to remind you that you’ve conquered difficult things in the past, and you can do it again.
Since feeling calm is at the core of confidence, breathing and meditation activities can help. Staying present by concentrating on your breathing immediately before an interview can help you relax.
When we are nervous, blood rushes away from our brain because we are in fight-or-flight mode, and our thought processes may deteriorate as a result. Steady, deep breathing can replenish the oxygen in your brain and allow you to think effectively.
How To Boost Confidence During An Interview
Maintain Eye Contact, Even If It Pains You!
When we’re feeling anxious, it’s all too easy to fall into the trap of staring at the ground while twiddling our thumbs. Begin by making eye contact to demonstrate confidence. Maintaining natural and consistent eye contact during your interview is a great approach to show confidence.
Rather than creating intense or extended eye contact, try to maintain natural eye contact. When redirecting your attention to the potential employer, take a moment to review your résumé or any other materials you took with you to the interview.
Correct Your Posture
After you’ve worked on your eye contact, you might want to practice good posture. Body language is a crucial part of expressing confidence during an interview. Begin by sitting with your arms unfolded on your lap to project an open, welcoming demeanor.
Maintain a straight back, and focus on keeping your shoulders back, chest and chin elevated.
For an extra confidence boost, practice some “power poses” in the mirror before your interview. By creating a physically strong posture, you can fool your own brain into thinking that you can take on just about anything.
The best power stances involve standing straight with your head held high and your feet wide apart. Never be afraid to take up space, you are worthy!
Try Not To Fidget
Fidgeting is an indication of anxiety. If you have a habit of tapping your fingers or twirling your hair, try keeping your hands on the desk to prevent this. You should also avoid holding a pen or a piece of paper if you are prone to fidgeting with whatever you are holding.
If you have a habit of bouncing your leg when you are anxious, put your hands in your lap and apply light pressure to tell yourself to stop shaking. Ask a friend or relative to give you some honest insight fo how you fidget so you can become conscious of it and work on your behaviors.
Think Before You Speak
If you’re feeling nervous, it’s easy to get carried away with impulsive speaking which can result in you rambling and not actually answering the questions thrown at you. Speak slowly and calmly. To avoid rambling, try answering each question by tackling one sentence at a time.
People that are self-assured also take their time while answering questions. If you really need a second to gather your thoughts, you can say, “That is a great question.” Let me think about that for a moment.”
Also, don’t be scared to ask the interviewer to clarify a question as this can buy you more time to perfect your response in your head.
Always talk in a clear and steady voice to communicate confidence. Change your tone and pitch without seeming overly eager or emotional.
Remember to take a deep breath and stop before responding to a question to give yourself time to react, digest, and prepare an answer that you are satisfied with and will be capable of delivering confidently.
Dress The Part
Choosing the appropriate wardrobe for your interview might boost your confidence. To determine how you will dress for the interview, look into the company’s dress code. Guys should wear a suit if the dress code is professional, while women should choose a pantsuit or skirt and blazer.
Look for apparel in basic and neutral colors like black, gray, and tan. Slacks, dark trousers, button-up shirts, and casual wear are appropriate interview dresses if the employer is informal. When in doubt, it’s best to wear formal clothing.
People that are confident smile. Anxious people frown or furrow their brows, making them appear serious or inattentive. So, in addition to making eye contact, as previously suggested, smile and maintain relaxed, placid facial expressions.
It’s fine to show that you’re thinking about an interview response or considering what to say, but you shouldn’t always appear strained and unhappy.
At the end of the interview, it’s highly likely that you’ll be given the opportunity to ask questions, so plan accordingly. It demonstrates your interest in the role while also providing you with the opportunity to learn if the position is suited for you — an interview isn’t a one-way street!
By not posing questions, you not only appear uninterested, but you also portray a smug, know-it-all attitude, as though to say, ‘There’s there’s nothing you could teach me that I don’t already understand.’
You may believe that you can do the job balancing on your head, but why not inquire about the team atmosphere, the problems you’re going to face, and if they have any reservations about your application? Just ask!