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The new year is a great time to look for a new job. If you’re one of the many January job seekers looking to take the next step in their career, chances are you’ll be thinking about how to be confident in a job interview.
After crafting a slam dunk CV, perfecting your interview technique is one of the most important things you can do during a job search. But one of the most useful qualities for interview success is also often one of the most elusive: confidence.
A lucky few people seem to have it in spades without even trying, while others find it much more difficult. If you fall into the latter group, we’ve got good news for you. The following steps explain how to be confident in a job interview, both by boosting confidence beforehand and appearing confident at the time - even if you don’t feel it!
The better prepared you are, the more confident you’ll feel. Spend as much time as you can researching the company and wider industry. Look at what skills, experience and qualities the job description asks for, then think of examples that show how you've demonstrated them in the past. Practice these responses, as well as answers to common interview questions.
When we say practice, we mean really practice - write down your answers then say them out loud, multiple times. If you can set up a mock interview with a friend or family member, even better. If you go into your interview with answers prepared it will take a lot of the pressure off.
Picture yourself being successful in a job interview: imagine walking confidently into the room, shaking the interviewer’s hand, developing a rapport and answering each question with conviction.
Positive visualisation is a great way to give your self-esteem a boost and calm pre-interview nerves. Imagining yourself succeeding in the interview will help you believe that you can - which in turn should make you more able to in real life.
Before the interview, you’re likely to be feeling at least a little jittery. You can help calm those nerves with some simple breathing and relaxation exercises.
In the lead up to the interview, try going to a yoga class or two, or do some meditation. These activities can help reduce anxiety, making you feel more confident in general.
Immediately before the interview, try some breathing exercises. This is one of the simplest and most effective ways to give yourself an instant confidence boost - even just taking a few slow breaths should make a difference.
Having a connection with your interviewer is just as important as saying the right things. You want to come across as likeable rather than arrogant, so focus on building a rapport rather than singing your own praises.
If you put your interviewer at ease, they’re more likely to perceive you as confident - and if you’re getting on well, you’re more likely to feel confident yourself.
You may have heard that adopting a ‘power pose’ can help boost confidence. However, recent studies have shown that power poses don’t actually work. Luckily, using the right body language can make you appear more confident - even if you don’t actually feel it.
Adopt an expansive or open posture, maintain eye contact with your interviewer and don’t fidget. If you find it difficult to keep your hands still, try holding them folded in your lap.
Finally, if you find your nerves getting the better of you during the interview, take a deep breath and hit pause.
Lots of us ramble when nervous. To help combat this, try to answer questions with only one thought or idea at a time to prevent yourself going off on tangents. The key is to maintain a sincere tone, so that even if your answers are brief, they don’t come across curt.
Don’t worry about not saying enough - if the interviewer wants to know more, they’ll ask you to elaborate.
We hope our guide on how to be confident helps you smash your next interview.
Before you get an interview, you’ll need a top-notch CV - so why not let us write it for you? Our tailor-made CVs highlight your strengths and show you at your best. Find out more.
If you’re worried about not having all the relevant experience, here’s how to make the gaps in your CV work for you.