How to Boost your Confidence to Ace Interviews
Photo credit: The University of Arizona
Just graduated or still in school and looking for work? Finally got contacted back for an interview? Congrats! Here are some useful tips on how to be confident for interviews.
If you have an interview coming up, regardless of whether it’s for a job or volunteer position, you absolutely must prepare for it. Doing so will help boost your confidence.
One critical step to prepare is to take the time and put in a bit of effort by researching the company. Some people skip this step for several reasons, they might be too busy, lazy, unmotivated, and/or they fail to see how important it is. If you’re one of those people, think of this: you could either be searching a company online on places like Google and Glassdoor, or you could be completing (more like starting) your school assignment that you’ve been procrastinating on, once again. Getting back to the point, doing research beforehand has major benefits. It is possible that you’ll get asked a question about the company, such as “What is your view on the company’s culture?”, “Tell me a weakness that the company has and how could it improve?” etc. Knowing the details of the company will make it easier for you deliver good answers and to ace your interview.
From the information provided on their website, you can also get the message on what kind of specific attributes they are looking for when selecting the most ideal candidate to hire. There may be a phrase including some keywords that generalize the skills of their employees or potential employees. For example, “Our team of hard-working, self-motivated, and dedicated professionals take the initiative to provide exceptional service to all customers, while quickly adapting to any changes that arise in the industry.” So from this sentence, you can see that the hiring managers will be likely to choose someone that exhibits the skills of being hard-working, self-motivated, dedicated, initiative, adaptable, and having exceptional customer service.
Furthermore, doing research on the company and being able to talk about the facts that you’re aware of, gives the managers the impression of how interested and eager you are to learn. This will show and be evidence for why you would be a good fit to be a part of the team and business.
2. Practice, practice, practice
Practice makes perfect, right? Even if you’ve gone through many interviews already, still take the time to think up of answers, to both standard and behavioral questions. Look online for interview questions, and make sure you can answer them, since those will be the most common ones being asked. Another way to practice is to do a mock interview, which can be done with a friend, sibling, career advisor, or somebody else. Whether you’re practicing with someone you know quite well or not, treat the whole process as a real interview, so don’t forget to smile, shake hands, give eye contact, and be courteous. Drilling these small things into yourself early on, will help you act in the same manner effortlessly for the big deal.
3. Convince yourself
This next part is excellent advice that I received (from an amazing Twitter friend) right before my first interview in the professional industry, which I later passed on to a friend, and now to you guys.
“Confidence is a tricky thing. Take the time beforehand to think of reasons why you SHOULD be confident. Don’t worry about why you shouldn’t get the job, that’s for them to worry about, not you. Why should you get the job? What qualities do you have that make you an ideal candidate? Why do you WANT the job? It’s tempting to just say for the money, but what else about it is exciting? I think once you build up that confidence in yourself, being relaxed during the interview just naturally follows. Look at it this way: If you can convince yourself you should have the job, then you can convince someone else too.”
4. Channel your inner <insert name of a role model/mentor/inspirational figure here>
Remember that person who seems almost perfect at anything and can be confident no matter what? Try to think of how they would act before and during interviews, and imitate their best features. In a sense, you could calm your nerves by partially role playing. Fake it until you become it.
Don’t feel stressed about your upcoming interview, especially right before it. Everyone has different relaxation techniques, so find out what works well for you. For me, I recently started listening to Eminem’s song called “Lose Yourself” the night before an interview over and over again, and then repeat it in my head the next day. Those song lyrics are the key to success.
6. Think positive thoughts only
The worst thing you can do before an interview is to come up of ways in which you’ll mess up and ruin your chance to get the perfect job. Thinking like that will just destroy any confidence that you had in the first place. Don’t make it more difficult than it should be. You must think positively. Be optimistic. It’s your moment, own it. “I’ve got this.”
Originally published at http://recultured.com/ on April 18, 2014.