It’s only natural to be nervous during a job interview. You’re talking to a stranger who has the power to change your financial fortunes. You’re either in an unfamiliar location or on a potentially awkward video call. And you have no idea exactly what to expect. But you don’t have to let your nerves get the best of you. No matter how nervous you are, there are specific techniques you can use to project confidence.
How Can You Be Confident For a Job Interview?
Fake It Till You Feel It
Pretend you’re a movie star or stage actor playing the role of a confident job hunter. What would that look like? How would your voice sound? Develop the character in your head, and then mirror it in your interview. This takes you a step back from your own nerves, allowing you to come across as poised and self-assured. Other people will react favorably to your confident persona and, before you know it, you’ll actually start to feel more comfortable in your own skin.
Practice Breathing Regulation
Anxiety dissipates with regulated breathing. Focusing on your breath also helps to distract your mind from your nervous thoughts, while projecting an air of confidence. Sit up straight and inhale slowly through your nose for a count of four. Hold for four, breathe out for four, and then hold for four again. Known as square breathing or box breathing, this technique can induce an immediate feeling of calmness.
Keep breathing regularly as you answer questions throughout your interview. It will buy you time to compose your answers and ensure that you are speaking at a steady pace. If your breath starts to feel tight, slow down and refocus before continuing your answer.
Find Your Power Pose
When humans feel threatened, we tend to make ourselves as small as possible. But when animals sense a threat, they tend to open up their bodies to appear larger and stronger than they are. Take a cue from the animal kingdom and try to intentionally grow in your chair. Lift your chest, plant your feet, and keep your head up. This will boost your confidence while making you come across as someone who is poised and self-assured.
Humanize Yourself and Your Interviewer
So much of the nervousness in a job interview comes from the unknown. So find a way to break the ice early, and you will build a much more human connection. You might try a mild joke (nothing risqué, please!) or comment on something you see in the office. Exactly what you talk about isn’t important. The point is simply to take the edge off the tension and acknowledge each other as human beings.