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21 confidence tips for interviews

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One situation in life that is hard for anybody to say they are truly prepared for is ‘the interview’, no matter your work life experiences. While it is hard to be confident when you’re so anxious to impress and put your best self forward, it’s also incredibly important. If you’re in need of some instant motivation before you walk into the board room, check out our top 21 confidence tips for interviews:

1) Emulate someone you look up to or see as confident.

Faking it until you make it is sound advice, but knowing exactly how to fake it can be tricky. Take inspiration from people who appear confident and sure of themselves to you, and use them as your template.

2) Be a listener.

Taking into account everything you can of the company and being attentive to what your interviewer has to say shows enthusiasm, inquisitiveness, and will helps you to look confident if you feel pressured.

3) Know what you are looking for and what you can offer BEFORE you go to the interview.

These are the two most important aspects that interviewers will be testing when asking you questions. If you can communicate those two clearly and precisely in every answer you give, you will appear self-confident and sure of who you are. [The questions you have to ask at interview]

4) Ask for a pep talk from a family member or friend.

Being around someone upbeat, who is biased towards you and wants you to do well, is a good way to put you in a good mood. Having people in your corner is important. There’s not point dwelling on whether you’re good enough for something or deserve something, and it’s more than okay to bolster your ego. Whatever helps!

5) Imagine that the interview goes well and keep that scenario in your mind.

Practise optimism and let it motivate you to do well. By focusing on the end game, you are less distracted by your nerves. [7 top tips for succeeding in an interview from the experts]

6) Rehearse the interview physically.

It’s a classic technique but it can help calm your nerves when dealing with the situation. It’s hard to be yourself in a situation that you’re rarely in, so try and practise putting yourself across in the way you want to, down to the finer points like your handshake and mannerisms. Also, by associating certain phrases or points you want to make with an action, you’re more likely to remember it.

7) Silence the negative voice.

Instead of letting the worried inner voice or pessimistic inner voice win out, channel your aspirational inner voice. Some people refer to this voice as an inner ‘coach’ or ‘fan’, supportive in tone. A good tip is to remember how far you come and to celebrate the fact you got an interview in the first place. [How to stop the inner critic and make friends with the inner coach]

8) Be polite.

Don’t worry about being winningly charismatic or funny in order to look confident. The most important attribute to have is politeness, because it’s a universal standard in good communication skills. Pleases, thank yous and handshakes show formality and professionalism.

9) A positive smile is a great asset.

Serious expressions might seem to be more businesslike, but a smile is the best way of appearing confident and approachable without looking arrogant.

10) Eye contact.

This can be a problem for people who suffer anxiety, but it shows interest in the person you’re talking to and can actually hide any lack of confidence you may have. If you struggle, redirect your gaze slightly away from the eyes but near enough to replicate eye contact (e.g. the brows, the nose). Remember also that constant eye contact is unnecessary and can actually be unnerving for the interviewer!

11) Show your successes.

If you tend to ramble when nervous, always bring a portfolio or equivalent to your interview. Many interviewers will ask for work examples or welcome the initiative of bringing evidence that you will be good at the job. It takes the pressure off you thinking of what to say and can act as a prompt.

12) Embrace the nerves.

Allowing yourself to show a bit of nervousness isn’t weak or a sign that you can’t handle pressure, but that you respect the opportunity. No one goes into an interview with complete confidence. [Top tips for overcoming nerves in an interview]

13) Take your time.

In order to keep relaxed and focused, don’t rush to answer questions. A good trick is to have a drink if offered or bring a water bottle with you, and take a sip as you consider an answer. If anything, pausing before answering a question shows thoughtfulness and a desire to get things right. It will also stop you giving too lengthy answers or answers that might be inappropriate.

14) Resist fidgeting.

This can be difficult, as our bodies can develop habits and tics without us realising, but it’s important to keep still (i.e., no messing with hands, bouncing of leg, etc.). Some interviewers will find fidgeting distracting, meaning they aren’t concentrating on what you are saying but worrying about your nerves.

15) Breathe deep.

The 4-7-8 rule can really relax the body and bring you to focus on yourself in the present moment rather than worry about the interview.

16) Remember the interviewer is a person.

A large portion of the reason we lack confidence in interviews is that we build up the image of the interviewer too much. They are a person just like you before they are their job title. They too have a responsibility to be polite and treat you fairly.

17) Research the company.

Give yourself as much preparation as you can about the place so you aren’t caught off guard. A fear of the unknown can exacerbate anxiety. Although you can’t find out everything, find out as much as you can, especially as a demonstration of company knowledge normally impresses interviewers.

18) Don’t lie.

Lies can become hard to control and manage, especially with professional matters. Constantly lying also encourages you to be less proud of your true achievements and causes you to have lower self-esteem over time.

19) Don’t be afraid to clarify if you don’t understand.

It shows total engagement with what the interviewer is asking and can take the pressure off if you’re starting to self-doubt or panic about giving answers. It’s better to clarify what the interviewer wants to know than panic and give an answer they weren’t looking for.

20) Put effort into the appearance.

Make sure you are looking and smelling as best as you can. The visual impression is the first impression, whether you, the interviewer or anybody else likes it or not. Feeling your best on the outside helps you feel your best on the inside.

21) Take a notebook.

Use it to make notes of what the interviewer says, go through scenarios, or verbalise your ideas before saying them. It shows you are thorough and engaged. The prop of a notebook and pen can also ease fidgeting and give you a focus point to stop you getting too anxious.

These quick-fire tips are sure to bolster your confidence as you approach your interview. Remember that interviews are never going to be easy but one person will always come out on top – and it can definitely be you. Download a free copy of our award winning experts eBook on how to find the secret to discovering your inner potential to help you succeed in life.  Or join our empowering club and access a community of support and tools such as videos and eBooks on everything you need to know when looking for and applying for a new job.

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This article was contributed by Pink Moods.

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