Awakening Your Confidence for an Interview
You always hear how important it is to appear confident in an interview; employers want to hire someone who is cool, calm, and collected. This is great to know, but you have an interview coming up, and honestly? You’re feeling nervous. So, how can you help your future employer—and yourself— believe that you are confident when maybe you aren’t feeling it? Here are a few simple things you can do to help you exude confidence in your next interview.
Prepare, Prepare, Prepare
There’s nothing more stressful than feeling unprepared. Look out for future you by taking the time you need to get fully ready for the interview. Spend time researching the company — it’s values, goals, and how you would fit into it. Practice answering some common interview questions; answer aloud and pay attention to the cadence and speed of your responses. Write out examples of your past successes, you will want these to be front-of-mind during your interview – you will be able to use them for context when asked situational questions. The more you practice, the more comfortable you will become. Knowing that you’ve done all you can to adequately prepare will give you some added reassurance as you go into the interview.
Did you know, physiologically, nervousness and excitement are almost the exact same emotion? The only difference being the story you tell yourself regarding the emotion. You can use this to your advantage by choosing to be excited. Your mind will believe anything you tell it, just keep insisting. And you are excited! Or you wouldn’t have applied. Being nervous is natural, and it shows that you care. You can turn those interview jitters into adrenaline by changing your mind. You’re not nervous, you are excited. Tell yourself that you are excited, you are ready for this interview, and you can’t wait to show them what you know. You will surprise yourself and impress your interviewer.
An interview becomes a lot less intimidating when you think of it as a conversation, rather than an assessment of you. They provide an opportunity to determine not only whether you would be a good fit for the role, but whether the role would be a good fit for you. Don’t forget that they are being interviewed too, by you! Asking questions is a great way to show them that you are engaged, interested in the position, and considering how you would fit in their organization. It also helps take some of the pressure off you, giving you the opportunity to sit back, listen, and observe.
It’s important to stay present and really listen to the questions posed. Take a moment to breathe, literally, take a breath – this will give you a moment to process what was asked and to craft a great response. It may feel uncomfortable, silence sometimes does, especially when you know someone is awaiting your response but by taking a few extra seconds you show that you are thoughtful – carefully considering what is being asked. Your confidence will be apparent to your interviewer, and they will also appreciate how attentive and engaged you are.
Interviews can be nerve-racking, but now that you’ve learned you can change your mind, you’ve got this! They would be lucky to have someone like you, with your specific skills and talents. You have quite a bit to be proud of, make sure not to keep that to yourself.