Confidence is a difficult aspect of one’s self to create. It is doubly difficult to then control this confidence. In no other portion of life is it more difficult to create, control, and then express than within a job interview.
Do not Psych Yourself Out
Most people enter into a job interview already feeling a lack of confidence. They enter the interview feeling suspicious that they will not have the answers to the questions that will be posed. Often people worry that they are too ignorant or that they will be tricked by the employer. Sometimes it is easy to psych yourself out so badly that you end up becoming tongue tied or unable to express yourself correctly. Another consistent fear is that the employer will notice the lack of confidence and see that as a sign of weakness in itself. So how can someone help increase one’s own confidence?
Do not Be Paranoid
The first thing to remember is that no employer anywhere in the world is out to get you. Employers do not sit around and concoct half-brained schemes and got-you questions to make people look foolish. Of course, there is the occasional employer who may have some fun at your expense but also usually not only is it simply good-natured ribbing but also a good sign that the employer actually likes you as a candidate. Nobody jokes with a possible employee that he or she hates. Regardless, these employers are rare. For the most part, employers who conduct these interviews see the process as just another part of their job, and are not interested in making the situation any more awkward, confusing, or inefficient than they already are for the business. Keeping this in mind can help you calm any nerves you have and not make the process so egocentric. Remembering that you are not the first, the last, or the only person being interviewed, and thus it is simply your job to impart your qualities and express your interest for the job.
Take Yourself Out From Under the Microscope
When it comes to feeling as if the employer is noticing that you are nervous, you should remind yourself that rarely ever look as concerned, fidgety, mush-mouthed, or overall nervous as you feel. Often we begin to micromanage our mannerisms because we are concerned that they are noticeable. When you are in an interview and you make a slight pronunciation misstep or begin to stutter, simply move on as best as possible. If you can correct yourself immediately, then do so. Remember to remind yourself to speak clearly and slowly. Quite often in an interview, an individual will increase how fast they speak without noticing, in an attempt to not speak too slowly. However, it is rarely the case one speaks too slowly, and quite often the individual is speaking far too quickly. While most managers do not mind someone that can speak somewhat quickly, it is more important to simply remember that being clear is better than being quick. When you speak clearly, you impart upon the employer that you are confident and able to communicate efficiently. When you hear this in your own voice, it will help you gain confidence as well.
Always Be Prepared
Of course, one of the most important interviewee skills is being prepared to answer questions. Spend from the moment you get the call for the interview preparing. Read over what the company does and the qualities necessary for employee success. If there is a website or information to be picked up from the employer’s office or head office, doing so will give you the tools you need to feel prepared when entering an interview. Feeling prepared and having the answers you need to succeed helps anyone’s confidence skyrocket during an interview. Equally important is to know when to say that you are unclear about something. Most employers do not appreciate a person who cannot admit they do not know something, and then time must be wasted as he/she fumbles around and must backtrack and ask for assistance later. There is no shame in asking for clarification on a particular topic or asking the employer if they can repeat something so you may take a note of it.
You Can Interview the Employer
Along with being ready to ask for clarifications is being ready to ask questions you have about the job itself. Being prepared with questions for the employer helps you feel like you are in not being put under the grill light, and that you do have some control within the interview. When an employer hears that you have questions, especially when they speak to the more fine points of the job, he or she can then tell you took the time to understand the job. More importantly, it shows that you are confident enough in the interview to be thinking ahead to when you are hired and not if you are hired. This confidence can be noticed by the employer, which, can then help bolster your confidence as well.
Confidence Builds Confidence
Quite possibly the most important point I have found when taking part in interviews and preparing for face-to-face or over-the-phone encounters is that each of these tips to keep your confidence high snowballs from one to the next. In other words, if you come into an interview prepared to answer and give question, you often then are able to field questions more calmly and concisely. This confidence then keeps your mannerisms calm and your speech steady and confident. When your speech is steady and confident and you are not nervous (and rubbing your face or talking too much with your hands), then I am able to impart upon the employer that I am a candidate that knows what is expected of him and should be considered more directly as a possible employee.
Remembering that confidence is contagious and that you hold the key to the employer being confident in you is a huge advantage to being capable of nailing down a job interview you might otherwise struggle to obtain.
Image credited to indigostarcoaching.co.uk