Let’s be real for a moment: job interviews can be daunting. When having that conversation with a prospective employer, you’re there to make a great first impression, to show them why you’re absolutely the right person for the job. You’re expected to exude a high level of confidence when, in fact, you may feel anything BUT confident. This can be even more of an issue the longer you’ve been looking for work, especially if you have had a few rejections.
But don’t fret! There are some practical, tangible steps you can take to reclaim your self-confidence before heading into the interview. Let’s explore a few effective and actionable confidence-building strategies that can help you ace your next job interview.
Remind Yourself of Your Qualities and Qualifications
Let’s start by pointing out the obvious: you got the job interview. That means an employer saw your resume and liked what they saw–to the point that they reached out to you. This in itself is an achievement, and it means they’ve already recognized your talents. The next step (i.e., the interview) isn’t to decide whether you’re qualified, but if you’re the right fit for the team. In other words, you’ve already proven your value before the interview starts. Reminding yourself of this one fact, and the qualities you have that led to this moment, can itself help increase your confidence.
Positive visualization is a powerful tool used by many successful individuals, from athletes to CEOs. Start by picturing yourself confidently walking into the interview room, shaking hands with the interviewer, and answering questions with ease and assurance. Imagine leaving the interview room knowing you’ve given your best. If your interview is scheduled on Zoom, visualize exuding confidence, smiling, adopting open postures, etc. This mental rehearsal can significantly boost your confidence.
Review Your Achievements
Often, the root of low self-confidence is forgetting our past successes. Before your interview, create a list of your achievements. This could include projects you’ve completed, challenges you’ve overcome, or skills you’ve mastered. Reviewing this list will remind you of your capabilities and accomplishments, helping to bolster your self-confidence.
Adopt a Power Pose
Body language speaks volumes about your confidence level. Research led by social psychologist Amy Cuddy has shown that adopting a “power pose” can increase feelings of confidence. (If you’ve never seen her TED Talk on the subject, it’s worth a watch.) Her ideas have sparked debate over the years as to whether power poses actually work–but recent research on the subject has recently validated this concept. So if you’re struggling with confidence, try this: stand tall with your hands on your hips, or sit with your legs and arms spread out in a relaxed manner, for two minutes before your interview. These poses can “trick” your brain into feeling more confident and powerful–and before you know it, you will be.
Practice Out Loud
Practice makes perfect, or at least, much better. Take a look at the job description and turn the job duties lists into questions an interviewer might ask. Then rehearse your responses to those questions out loud to make you feel more prepared and confident. Consider practicing in front of a mirror or recording yourself to get comfortable with your responses, expressions and body language. Pay particular attention to your facial expressions, especially if you’re prepping for a Zoom interview. (Pro tip: When doing Zoom interviews, also remember to look into the camera, not at your screen. This presents the image of making eye contact with the interviewer.)
Dress for Success
What you wear can significantly impact how you feel. Whether you’re interviewing in person or by Zoom, dressing professionally can boost your confidence and help you make a positive first impression. Choose an outfit that makes you feel comfortable, professional, and confident.
Confidence isn’t something you’re born with – it’s something you build. Developing confidence takes time and practice, but these actionable tips can help you feel more self-assured in your next job interview. Remember, every interview is a learning experience. So, even if you don’t get the job, consider it a step forward in your journey towards career success. Oh, and one more tip for gaining more confidence: work with a career coach. Few things can help you feel more confident in your job search than knowing you’re not alone in the process. I’ll work with you on multiple levels to help you find the opportunities, identify your strengths, and convey those strengths both on your resume and your interviews, so you can land the job you want. To schedule a free initial consultation, access my calendar here.