Finally scheduling an interview with a potential employer after a long job search is both exciting and nerve-wracking. There can be a lot of pressure to perform well and impress the hiring manager, especially if it’s a job that you really want.
When it comes to nailing an interview, confidence is everything. Expressing confidence through your body language and mannerisms demonstrates to the hiring manager that you believe in your ability to do the job and that they should too.
Here are four ways to develop confidence before your next interview.
Talk yourself up - not down
It can be easy to fall into a mental trap of worst case scenarios prior to an interview - whether it’s convincing yourself they’ve already chosen another candidate, mixed up your resume for someone else’s, or perhaps won’t value your experience level. This kind of thinking doesn’t prepare you for an interview, it only puts even more unneeded stress on yourself.
While it’s essential to prepare and anticipate the flow of an interview, framing your preparation negatively can lead to a negative result. Instead, try to re-frame your expectations towards having a positive experience. For example, instead of second-guessing whether they’ve already chosen another candidate, make the assumption that you’re their top choice. Rather than being unsure of your past career experiences, remind yourself of their value and what you learned from them that prepared you for this position.
Going into the interview assured in your skills and abilities will reflect in your interactions with the interviewer and give you an added edge in landing the position.
Remember to breathe
An essential part of keeping your cool before and during the interview is to remember to take the time to breathe. Taking the time to practice a few deep breaths before meeting with the hiring manager can help to center yourself and calm any last minute nerves.
During the interview, monitoring your breath control while you answer questions can help you to remain conscious of the pace at which you’re speaking. This can help to ensure you don’t come off as too rushed. Being deliberate with your answers and the manner that you answer them plays a huge role in the impression the interviewer will have of you. It also reflects on your level of confidence. A fast talker may come off as nervous or unsure of themselves, while someone who stays calm and cool demonstrates they’re comfortable in discussing important duties related to the job.
Empower yourself through your look
Personal appearance can have an extraordinary effect on your confidence level. Looking and feeling your best empowers you to be the best possible version of yourself. While being dressed in an interview-ready outfit is a given, you should also remember to take care of the smaller details surrounding your appearance. Make sure to freshen your breath, trim any facial hair, and maintain a stylish haircut.
If there’s an aspect of your appearance that brings down your confidence level, there’s likely a beauty hack to fix it. Whether it’s using concealer to hide a blemish, or looking into easy hair-loss solutions - there’s undoubtedly a way to address whatever insecurity you may have.
Remember that your interviewer is a person too
Feeling intimidated by your interviewer’s status within the company may cause your own confidence to falter - but it shouldn’t. The power dynamic between an interviewer and an interviewee only carries as much weight as you let it, especially in a job market that has become primarily candidate-driven.
Remember that you’re both people, and you both bring value to the table. You’re there because they’ve already assessed your qualifications as potentially valuable to the company, and it’s just a matter of having a conversation to solidify that impression. Keep your value in mind, and let it empower you to speak with confidence on what you can accomplish for them and how you can help them reach their goals.