Even for those who have natural confidence skills, job interviews are stressful.
Having the ability to walk into an interviewer’s office feeling confident about who you are and why you’re right for this position is hard enough. But what happens when those unexpected confidence blows happen during the meeting?
Here are a few ways to boost your confidence skills and help brush off those interview jitters:
First things first, you need to go into the interview feeling confident. This will help with any pre-interview jitters and bring your confidence up when dealing with unexpected mishaps. Looking good doesn’t mean you need to be in People’s “Best Dressed” edition. But you need to make sure the way you dress is sending the message you want to get across.
So, what happens when you walk into your interview like Sofia Vergara feeling good about yourself and all the employees are dressed in jeans and T-shirts? Don’t let feeling overdressed or underdressed affect your confidence. You dressed to get the job and you’re looking good.
Knowing every question an interviewer is going to ask is an impossible task. Finding ways to recover when you’re asked a question you don’t know the answer to is what’s most important. Taking extra steps to do your homework on the company before you walk through their doors will make you prepared to answer, and ask, all kinds of questions.
Unfortunately, there will be moments when you don’t immediately know the answer. Practice “the pause.” This is simply taking a moment to think about everything you’ve learned about the company and apply that to your response without rushing to answer. While it’s natural to want to answer immediately, taking this time to compose yourself and give this kind of insight will have employers recognizing how prepared and knowledgeable you are.
Researchers found that maintaining good posture will help you feel more relaxed and make it easier for you to do cognitive activities. So it’s absolutely vital to pull yourself upright for a necessary confidence boost.
There’s nothing worse than having an out-of-body experience when an employer asks you a question and you have no idea how to answer. So while taking a moment to think through your response, be mindful of your posture.
Everything seems to be going fine in the interview as you say hello, sit down, and then everything begins. The questions begin to flow: “What are some of your strengths? What are your weaknesses? Why do you think you would be a good fit?” You find yourself mumbling something about doing well on a project and finding new leads for your company.
Having a list of “power words” to describe your many talents is a great confidence skill to help pull you out of this sticky situation. Describe your talents with strong action verbs like “administered,” “increased,” and “oversaw” to bring back that fighting courage you came in with.
It seems like making sure you’re presenting your happiest self in an interview is common sense, but some of us wear our emotions on our sleeves. It’s not easy to smile through such a nerve-racking process, but confidence skills and positive attitudes go hand-in-hand.
A study by Stanford University found that being positive improved kids’ memory, problem-solving skills, and ability to answer math problems. Even though you’re not a kid anymore, employers are looking for those exact qualities that positivity produces.
Some questions are particularly anxiety-inducing though. For example: “When was a time you made a mistake in a job?” None of us want to focus on a time when we screwed up, but putting a smile on your face as you speak about a negative experience will conquer that nagging doubt and help you focus on the positive you learned from the situation.
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