Whether you’re headed to your first job interview or your twentieth, it’s always a nerve-wracking experience—more so if you’re applying to your dream company. For better chances of acing the interview and leaving a great impression on your recruiter, you’ll want a heavy dose of confidence on your side.
One way to gain confidence is through preparation. Before the day of the interview, you should have already done your research on the company, its culture, and the job role that you’re applying for. But in addition to these, here are a few more tips for building your confidence and being more at ease during interview day:
1) Dress to Impress
Dressing up for your interview will allow you to show your personality and communicate your professionalism to your interviewer. While you definitely need to consider the work culture and the job role you’re applying for when deciding what to wear, it would also be good to incorporate your own dressing style so that you can stand out in a good way.
For positions in media or tech industries like digital marketing, where the dress codes are known to lean on the creative or relaxed side, you can consider wearing an artsy printed dress over sheer women’s tights. You can opt to dress it up a little with high heels or dress it down with ballet flats.
However, if you’re applying as a management trainee or in another position for a corporation with a more conservative work culture, you may need to dress more formally. Safe pets include a pantsuit or a crisp blouse and pencil skirt. That said, you can still inject your personality into your corporate-ready outfit by adding pops of color and statement accessories.
2) Use Breathing Techniques
Nervousness before your interview can lead to shallow, rapid breathing, which will only exacerbate your anxiety. Calm your pre-interview nerves by learning how to control your breath.
Try deep breathing exercises like the 4-7-8 technique, which entails inhaling for 4 seconds, holding your breath for 7 seconds, and exhaling for 8 seconds. It’s also possible to practice a short guided meditation if you have time before the interview. For this, all you need is a pair of earphones to listen to calming recordings while steadying your breathing. Exercises like these will reduce your anxiety, ensuring that you’re in control and focused while you’re being interviewed.
3) Rehearse Your Answers
Preparation for your interview questions will quell your nerves and make you less prone to getting flustered in front of your interviewer. Before it happens, it’s wise to anticipate common questions and rehearse your answers. Using the STAR (Situation, Task, Action, Result) method can help structure your responses and ensure that you give clear, concise, and compelling answers to the questions you’re asked.
The STAR method can also be utilized to tell a story or anecdote at work where you demonstrated certain skills and achieved satisfying results. To illustrate, if you’re given the opportunity, you can tell your interviewer how you overcame a challenging situation at work, the steps you took to resolve it, and the result of your actions.
4) Envision Your Success
Try to picture yourself answering the interview questions confidently and impressing your interviewer at least a few minutes before the event. This mental rehearsal can help ease your nerves and boost your self-assurance.
What’s more, your positive attitude may come out in the interview through your expressions and your answers. This can bode well for you, as employers tend to favor candidates with optimistic personalities.
5) Make Eye Contact with Your Interviewer
Maintaining eye contact during an interview is a powerful way to project your confidence. It demonstrates that you are engaged and attentive, which will in turn make you appear self-assured and capable to your interviewer. However, be mindful not to overdo it as you may appear panicky or like a deer caught in the headlights.
6) Be Conscious of Your Body Movements
Your body language will also speak volumes to your recruiter or interviewer. Try to quell nervous habits like fidgeting, tapping your feet, or crossing your arms. Instead, be extra conscious about practicing open and inviting body language. Sit up straight, keep your hands on the table or your lap, and avoid excessive movement. These subtle adjustments can make a significant difference in how confident you appear to whoever’s interviewing you.
7) Don’t Rush Your Answers
It’s understandable for you to want to rush your answers during your interview, all for the purpose of not forgetting anything important. But remember to take your time when answering questions, as speaking too quickly can make you seem nervous or unsure. Pause, gather your thoughts, and respond thoughtfully to your interviewer. A well-paced answer will show your confidence in your knowledge and abilities as well as an aptitude for taking people seriously.
8) Ask Questions
Lastly, remember that an interview is a two-way street. While your potential employer assesses your suitability for the job, you can also take the opportunity to find out more about whether the company is a good fit for you.
Ask questions about the company’s history, what your team will be like, or kinds of responsibilities you can expect to handle. You’ll be able to engage in a meaningful conversation with your interviewer, and this can help you be at ease as well as readily showcase your professionalism.
As you may know for yourself, confidence is a game-changer in job interviews. This quality can actually set you apart from other candidates with similar qualifications. Try these tips to build your confidence, and you’ll be well on your way to nailing your succeeding job interviews.