HOW TO PORTRAY CONFIDENCE IN AN INTERVIEW
Photo by Antonio Guillem
Congratulations! You’ve been selected to interview for an amazing job. This is an exciting moment, but it can also be daunting—it’s very important to make a good first impression!
It’s no secret that employers prefer candidates that are confident in interviews. It says a lot about who they are as a person and shows they will be able to handle the job well. If you seem unsure of yourself, it will show.
So, how can you portray more confidence? Here are our top tips for staying relaxed, calm, and self-assured in an interview:
1. Make eye contact
A lot of people feel uncomfortable when making eye contact, especially when they’re speaking and having a conversation.
But, it’s very important to make natural-looking eye contact, both when listening to the interviewer and when speaking.
This is one of the best ways to show confidence, as it’s very noticeable to the other person if you start looking down or looking away.
2. Check your body language
Another very important aspect of confidence is body language. This is often subtle but can make a huge difference in how you come across.
Think about the position of your body. Ideally, you should seem open and relaxed at all times. Always avoid looking defensive or overly aggressive.
When standing or sitting down, try and avoid positions that make you look smaller, like hunching your shoulders or crossing your arms. Keep your back straight and sit upright with your arms open for a great power stance.
3. Use relaxation techniques
If you’re very nervous before or during an interview, using relaxation techniques can be really helpful in staying calm and focused.
One way to do this is by focusing on your breathing. Try taking a deep breath in through your nose, then breathing out slowly through your mouth. This is amazing for mindfulness and getting in the best state of mind to answer questions.
4. Avoid fidgeting
A big mistake people make in interviews or other challenging situations is fidgeting. This is a real giveaway that you’re really nervous or feel uncomfortable.
The most common types of fidgeting are hand or feet tapping, playing with objects like a pen, constantly fixing your hair, or touching the table too much.
You can use your hands when speaking to look animated and show enthusiasm. However, when listening, you should try and stay as still and in control as you can. If you’re struggling, maybe try placing your hands in your lap or keeping them by your sides.
5. Practice your handshake
A firm handshake is essential for portraying confidence. Limp handshakes make you seem unsure of yourself. Don’t be overly aggressive though, as this is a real turn-off.
If you’re unsure, you can practice this at home with family and friends. Keep trying until you get the right balance!
6. Don’t talk too fast
When people are nervous, their speech often speeds up without them realizing it. If this happens to you, it’s important to consciously slow down and not rush. This will make you seem much more confident.
Also, don’t be afraid to take short pauses before speaking. This gives you some time to think about your responses and to make sure you answer well. Plus, if you’re not sure what to say, it’s okay to ask the interviewer to clarify a question.
7. Be prepared
If you get really anxious before interviews, we suggest preparing really well and planning out some potential responses in advance. Think about the questions you might be asked, and practice what to say—you can even practice out loud if this helps!
In addition to this, you can plan out some questions you could ask the interviewer. Asking questions about the position and company makes you seem much more confident. It also makes you more appealing to the interviewer, as it makes you look less desperate as you have other options.
8. Always listen carefully
Although it’s really useful to plan out what you’re going to say, it’s also very important to be natural. Don’t just wait for your turn to talk, actually listen to the interviewer, and engage in a conversation with them.
By not listening carefully, you can miss opportunities to build genuine rapport with the interviewer and bond with them. Not only does this make you seem awkward or unnatural, but you could also be missing out on opportunities to stand out and impress.
9. Smile and enjoy the process
Lastly, try and enjoy the interview process as much as you can. We know it can be challenging, but this way, the interviewer will get to see a lot more of you as a person—and this really helps you to make an amazing impression!
Although it’s okay to look more serious when you’re thinking about a question, you don’t want to look miserable. This can make you seem distracted and nervous.
Instead, smile as much as you can, try and maintain strong eye contact at all times, be as relaxed as possible, and try and use calm facial expressions. This will make you seem much more confident!