I’m not going to take away the fact that interviews can be incredibly daunting, but confidence is key when it comes to meeting prospective employers.
Nerves are completely normal, and they shouldn’t be quashed. We all know that confidence and arrogance tread a fine line, which is why nerves are a good thing. It also shows how much you want to impress and how much an opportunity means to you. However, in saying this, you shouldn’t let nerves get the better of you – no one wants to turn into a human Jibber Jabber (does anyone remember them?! I loved mine – if you don’t know what I’m talking about, please watch this!)
Lately we’ve been introduced to the saying ‘Fake It Until You Make It’ and that does hold some weight when it comes to interviews. You may not exude confidence naturally, but the way you present yourself can help you to not only feel more confident, but also, impress an employer and show that you’re knowledgeable and confident in your abilities.
Bear in mind that the below advice does come from someone who isn’t the most confident person, but has overcome some fears by being put in daunting situations and tackling them head on. If I can do it – you can too!
1: Practice, practice, practice.
First up, is practice. It may seem obvious, but it is best to try out a mock interview. Ask a friend or family member to sit down with you and ask you questions about your career and expectations. Let them ask you run of the mill questions, competency based questions, and some of the obscure ones (the obscure ones don’t crop up too often, but if they do it’s best to be prepared!). Read through your CV and practice explaining your experience, skillset, and achievements.
Do your research! We can all agree that walking blindly into a situation is much more daunting that knowing what to expect, so we can’t stress this point enough. If you’ve been called to an interview, the first thing you should do is head straight to the website to get a grasp of the company and their ethos. Snoop their social media pages, not only should it give you a glimpse into the company culture, it could also give you a good idea of what they’re currently doing. It is also imperative that you read the job description thoroughly. Grab the highlighters and highlight all the points that you can do, it makes it easier for you to explain how your experience meets their requirements. It’s also important to ask who you’ll be meeting so you can have a look at their LinkedIn page – we don’t want you to go into stalker mode, but putting a face to a name, and taking a look at their experience and career path to date, may help to calm your nerves.
They say knowledge is power and having a little knowledge will most likely give you a little confidence boost!
3. Get dressed up
Comfort is key. We’re not talking about rocking up in your trackies (although at this point, I think mine are all worn out!), but wearing something that is professional but also still ‘you’. If you aren’t comfortable wearing a full-blown corporate suit, then grab something that’s formal but still shows a bit of your personality. If you’re happy in the clothes you’re wearing, it will show and will put you at ease
4. Body Language
It’s an important one that can be difficult to control, but you can do it! Firstly, the handshake (it’s probably not one to worry about now!), but a firm handshake can show confidence from the off and gives a great impression to an interviewer. Another thing to consider is your posture, a good percentage of us are guilty of slouching so it can be tricky, but keep the shoulders back, chin up, and back straight. Not only does your posture make you appear more confident it actually opens up your lungs and allows you to breathe more freely and deeply, resulting in reduced stress levels and increased energy – win, win! Lastly, eye contact. Establish it and maintain it! Check out the Very Well Mind website for some great tips on how to ace eye contact.
5. Be Positive
Lastly, think positive thoughts! The worst anyone can say is no, which in the grand scheme of things, isn’t the worst thing in the world.