Self-confidence is rooted in experience, knowledge and practice. Could you do with an extra boost of confidence when you walk into that interview? If you could, you would not be alone. ‘Ideals’ imposed on you by yourself, the media, your company, your boss, work colleagues and even your family can make you feel that you have something to live up to. Is this helpful? Let’s look at a few simple and easy ways to boost your self-confidence in an interview situation.
Confident candidates perform well at interviews. They give the employer more reason to say ‘yes’ to choose them than to say ‘no’. What qualities do you need to develop in order to give your best interview performance?
Listed below are Sarah Berry’s top tips to help you boost your confidence:
- Give eye contact. Eye contact is vital but try not to stare. Giving eye contact will help the way your message is received at the interview. If you can remember to give eye contact when you are talking to the interviewer, it will communicate that you are interested in him/her and that you are feeling good about yourself. Direct eye contact shows that you are an open, relaxed, direct and honest person. Are you aware that looking away while you are talking to someone can make you appear uncertain, sad, fearful and unhappy?
- Smile at your interviewer. Smiling is one of the most powerful things you can do. If you can manage a smile it will immediately give the interviewer a positive impression of you and it will help you to get over any feelings of nervousness or insecurity. Whatever you are feeling inside your face is communicating that you are comfortable and relaxed in your new surroundings and you may even get a smile back.
- Face your fear. Fear often stops many people from doing and having the things they really want. Do you have any rituals or behaviours that help you get around uncomfortable situations? It is only natural to feel insecure from time to time and to have moments of self-doubt. Do you have a fear lurking under the surface? Do you know what your fear is all about? To help yourself in these situations, try asking yourself, ‘What am I frightened of here?’ Notice what answer comes back. The answer isn’t usually as bad as the feeling it creates.For example, if you have made every effort to arrive on time and you arrive late for your interview, you have to accept that that is how it is. Be honest and apologise for your delay and for having kept your interviewer waiting. At the end of the day, once you are late you can’t change it.Try to replace fear with fun. It may not always turn out how you planned it but try to go out and have fun.
- Focus on your interviewer’s name. If you were shown a group photograph of you and your colleagues, the chances are that the first person you would notice is yourself. Why? Most people have been conditioned to look out for and after number one. If you can use the interviewer’s name during the interview you will immediately create rapport. He/she will listen more intently to what you have to say if you make a reference to his/her name in your sentence. Treating someone with respect is vitally important and shows a degree of self-confidence.
- Ask for the job. No one expects you to beg for the job, for example, ‘Please, please give me the job’ but your interviewer does expect to see your spark for the job on offer. Many candidates fail to show their enthusiasm because somehow they think it is cool to be an ‘aloof candidate’. If you play an aloof candidate, you will leave the interviewer in doubt about your thoughts of the job on offer. Be keen but not pushy; it is suitable to say something along the lines of, ‘This is a job that I would be pleased to accept.’
- Listen. Listening is a good way to calm your nerves. It will help you to focus on the other person and not on what you are worried about. Summarising what the person has just said is a very good way to show that you have heard, taken in and are able to comment on it. Pay attention to the interviewer’s pace and pitch when he/she speaks and see if you can match it. All of these things will help you to witness a positive response in the other person.
- Accept things. Confident people have the ability to accept that things don’t always go to plan or perfectly. The more you can accept things, the greater your show of confidence. Accepting things gives you the opportunity to avoid berating yourself for how you think something ‘should be’ or ‘must be.’ There will be occasions when you will forget what you have just said, drop things or speak in a funny-sounding voice. It is all part of the process. Try to be honest with the people around you, admit that you feel nervous and move on. It can only get better next time or even the time after that.
- Give and accept compliments. Learning to give compliments will make you feel good but it will also show others that you value them. Try to find some positive things to say to your interviewer. Ask yourself, ‘What do I like about this person?’ Then make it your business to tell this person as sincerely as possible. When you are complimented, simply thank the person and give them a clear sign that you value yourself enough to accept good things.
- Be positive. Be positive throughout the whole interview. Resist the temptation to be picky or critical as this will only reflect back on you. The tone of your voice is a real indication of what is being said. Try and vary the pace and the pitch to keep the listener interested and alert.
- Be loyal. Don’t be tempted to moan about previous jobs, bosses and management style. Personality clashes are acceptable but long moans aren’t. Minimise discussions of this sort and stress positive things about your previous company. Positive energy is much more powerful.
To be a confident candidate at your interview, try to remember the subtle things as well – things such as manners and thanking those people concerned for their time and efforts. Focus on the 100 great things about you and go out and give a great performance. Sarah Berry’s best selling e-book, ‘Win the Job at the Interview’ will help you to focus on all the things you might be tempted to forget or overlook. Please click below for further information.
Win the Job at the Interview