“Sooner or later, those who win are those who think they can.”
Competence often breeds confidence. But sometimes, even the most competent candidates can get job interview jitters and lose confidence. Projecting confidence in a job interview can almost be as important as showing your skills and qualifications.
Confidence is the act of trusting yourself. During a job interview, showing that you trust yourself is critical because it can lead your interviewer to trust in you, as well. Use these tips to look confident and sound competent:
1. Make eye contact.
To show confidence, start by practicing your eye contact. Keeping natural and steady eye contact throughout your job interview is an excellent way to project confidence. Aim to maintain natural eye contact instead of making eye contact that feels intense or prolonged. Add a smile to it as well for that extra touch of charm.
2. Maintain good posture.
After you work on your eye contact, you might also find it helpful to practice good posture. Body language is an important aspect of communicating confidence during your interview. Start by sitting with your arms unfolded in your lap to convey an open, friendly attitude. Make your back straight with your shoulders back and your chest and chin raised.
Standing with your feet shoulder-width apart, chest and chin high, back straight and your fists on your waist for a few minutes before your interview can make you feel calmer and confident.
3. Practice breathing techniques.
When you get nervous, the blood flows away from your brain and into your muscles for fight or flight mode. This lack of blood in the brain can impact cognitive functions. However, when you take slow, deep breaths, you bring oxygen back to your brain to help you think.
4. Calm your fidgeting.
Fidgeting is a sign of nervousness. If you tend to tap your fingers or twirl your hair, practice keeping your hands on the table. You should also make a point not to keep a pen or paper in your hands if you typically fidget with anything you are holding. If you often shake your leg when you are nervous, you can keep your hands in your lap and apply a little pressure to remind yourself to stop shaking.
5. Prepare and rehearse your answers.
One great way to showcase interview confidence is to prepare your answers to common interview questions. When you walk into an interview with the knowledge that you are prepared, it can take off the pressure and help you feel more confident. They do not need to be memorized but aim to prepare enough so that you can produce responses you are proud of.
If you go into an interview with prepared answers for most questions, it takes the pressure off and you walk in confident you’ll know your stuff. To make sure you’re well-equipped, rehearse potential interview answers with a friend or in front of the mirror. Look at the skills, experience, knowledge and personal qualities you have and think of examples showing how you developed these. It will make all the difference to your confidence.
6. Your voice matters.
Speak calmly and slowly. To stop yourself from rambling, try to answer each question by addressing one point at a time. Confident people also tend to take their time when answering questions. If you feel like you need a moment to compose your thoughts, feel free to say, “That is a good question. Let me think about that for a second.” Also, do not be afraid to ask the interviewer for clarification of the question.
To convey confidence, always speak in a clear and controlled voice. Vary your tone and pitch without coming across as too excited or emotional. Remember to breathe and pause before answering a question to give yourself time to react, absorb, and formulate an answer that you are sure of that you will be able to deliver in a confident manner.
7. Research the company.
This is just good interview advice, regardless of your confidence levels. But if you’re feeling nervous, remember that knowledge is power. The more you know about the company, the position, and your interviewer, the better you’ll feel walking through the door.
8. Don’t dress to kill, but look sharp.
Choosing the right outfit for your interview can help improve your confidence. Your dressing can actually affect your mood and this has a spillover effect. A business suit for men, skirt suit for women smart business casual are all good options. Make sure you feel great about what you are wearing, but don’t overdo it.
Do also avoid excessive jewelery or strong perfume as some offices are fragrance free.
9. Reverse the roles.
The best way to look confident in a job interview is to be an active listener and ask questions. Of course, be sure to note that you’re thankful for the provided opportunity, but don’t seem desperate as though you don’t have any other options.
To pull this off without seeming arrogant, ask meaningful questions about how the company works and how they have achieved some of their great results. Doing so will signal that you understand the company and you are willing and qualified to be part of their success story.
10. Think positively.
A final way to calm your nerves and boost your confidence is to think positively. One step you can take to think positively is to focus on areas where you lack confidence and practice making them better. Remind yourself that you have something of great value to offer. That positive mindset helps your confidence level.
11. Be Present.
The key to confidence when interviewing is coming prepared and staying present, connected and fully engaged in the process and what you need to convey about yourself. Connect with your interviewer by providing helpful answers to questions and being actively interested in what they have to say. The more focused you are on what you trying to accomplish; the less room insecurities, nervousness, and self-doubt will have to creep in
12. Apply chemistry.
In an interview it’s important to come across as likeable. So, to maximize confidence, your energy should be focused on building a rapport with your interviewer rather than impressing him or her. Learn to make the emotional and psychological connection. When you have such chemistry, you can be in better control of the interaction.