Confidence is key in landing a new job. But what if you don’t feel confident during an interview? Like the old saying goes, simply fake it till you feel it. Here are some tips for both boosting your confidence and projecting confidence even when you’re nervous.
Prepare for Everything
True confidence starts with being prepared. Go through your resume and think of short anecdotes to highlight your successes. Decide how to answer tricky questions, such as those about a gap on your resume or behavior-based questions that ask you to predict what you would do in a specific scenario.
Don’t forget to prepare for the circumstances surrounding your interview. What will you wear? How will you get there? How long will it take? Who will watch the kids? Take as much uncertainty as possible out of the day, while allowing extra time in your schedule to cope with the unexpected.
Many of us develop nervous habits when we begin to feel anxious. You might smooth your hair, tap your fingers on the table, or jiggle one leg. If you start feeling nervous during the interview, check your body for fidgeting behaviors and make a conscious effort to stop.
Use Breathing Exercises
Before walking into the interview room, take a moment to do some deep breathing. During the interview, you might feel your breathing start to become shallow and restricted. Momentarily turn your attention to your breath, inhaling deeply through your nose a couple of times. This can help slow your heart rate and bring your nerves back under control.
When you get nervous, you might tend to speak faster. This can quickly spiral into rambling punctuated by ums and other vocal tics, none of which convey confidence. Speak deliberately and slowly. If you aren’t sure of the answer to a question, ask for a moment to think it through. Remember, there is absolutely no rush.
Projecting confidence is a crucial interview skill. Like any other skill, it gets better with practice. Prepare as well as possible and then use these simple methods to keep looking confident even when you’re nervous.