How to exude confidence in your job interview
If you’re not someone who likes to talk about themselves (or someone with imposter-syndrome), interviews can be a tricky balance. You know you have to talk yourself up, but you may not want to sound cocky or over-confident.
You can easily make yourself sound amazing with confidence without coming across as someone who likes to toot your own horn. Here are our tips to keep in mind.
Firstly, remember the context of an interview, they’re expecting you to be confident
In fact, if you don’t appear confident, that can play against you! Just make sure you aren’t over-thinking or afraid of your interviewers judging you based on how you talk about yourself. They want to hear valuable information coming from you that can help them envision you in the role. They want to hear that you are capable, driven and passionate.
Practice and get used to talking about yourself
If you really struggle speaking about yourself with confidence, we recommend practicing interviews before hand either in the mirror on your own or with a friend or family member. Doing this with a friend or family member can sometimes feel silly, which is even better practice to help you deal with an awkward interaction (if that’s how you feel about talking yourself up).
You can even practice your answers by talking to yourself whilst cleaning or getting ready. Whenever you have some spare time on your own – get to know yourself!
Use examples, metrics and anecdotes to back you up
The easiest way to avoid sounding over-confident is to back up your claims with facts. Think about what common questions could be surrounding your role and experience (where you might have to explain how good you are). Then, think about 5 – 10 (depending on your experience level) examples that you can speak on specifically to do with these questions. They can be number based, or simply just great anecdotes or perhaps, feedback. Interviewers know you can do things for them that you have already achieved elsewhere. They will be happy to hear any positive experiences and outcomes you’ve personally taken part in.
Project confidence with your tone of voice and body language
This is more important than you may think. Negative body language and tone of voice can instantly decrease your likability no matter what the words are coming from your mouth. We recommend the following:
- Maintain a good level of eye-contact
- Don’t cross your arms
- Have a nice, straight posture
- Avoid fidgeting
- If in a video interview, avoid looking at yourself too much
- Speak confidently, don’t mumble
- Avoid too many ‘um’ and ‘ah’s’, if you need time to think about the question, ask them to repeat it or say ‘that’s a good question’ whilst thinking about your answer
- Nod when they are talking to show you are listening
And perhaps, an unconventional interview tip; it can help to practice ‘self-love’
Isn’t self-love some woo-woo thing that has nothing to do with work? Not exactly. The way you perceive and treat yourself has an effect on your entire life, including work, your career and especially your job hunt. Without self-love you may find yourself completely defeated after any interviews that are unsuccessful because you are associating your worth to your job/interview performance, when that is not where your worth comes from.
Some self-love tips we can offer that will directly and positively impact your confidence for a job interview include:
- Writing down your accomplishments and achievements in life, school and work. This will help you remember and reflect on the wonderful things you are capable of.
- Writing a gratitude list because this boosts your attitude.
- Get introspective and become aware of your inner critic. Make sure your authentic self is in control not your inner critic, otherwise you may be overcome by self-doubt.
- For some people, affirmations work! You can stick post-it note affirmations around your living area so they are in sight every day and you get used to the idea that you’re amazing.
- Keep in mind the idea that we must treat ourselves, the way we want our most loved ones to be treated. Don’t you think the world of them? Why not yourself too?
- Exercise, meditate, sleep enough, and eat well. In other words, make sure you are taking care of yourself.
By practicing self-love in the best way that suits you, you will not be defeated by a bad interview or by the fear of judgment. You will feel more confident going into any interview knowing you will find your right fit even if it isn’t on your first try.