Practical Ways to Feel Confident: Before and During an Interview
So, you have an interview lined up! That’s great! I, too, used to search the internet and get some tips regarding the interview. To get a job that we desire, we need to be as close to perfection as we can. These are my personal experience which taught me some secrets and tips that I am about to share with you. While at first, it may seem a lot to do. It is really very easy.
There are broadly three steps to feel confident for the interview. –
- Developing Confidence Before the Interview (Pre-Interview)
- Developing Confidence during the Interview
- Maintaining that Confidence after the Interview (Post-Interview)
Building Confidence for an Interview is a Step-by-Step Process rather than a Quick Fix. It requires the Knowledge of your Profession, Trusting yourself, a Great Posture that makes yourself look Confident to others and feel confident within yourself, and the Ability to Communicate your points. Mastering these aspects can build a never-ending stream of confidence.
- Developing Confidence Before the Interview (Pre-Interview)
As I said earlier, confidence is not a quick fix rather it’s a stair that you climb one step at a time. Most of us are going off track thinking that just building a great posture or thinking positive can get us the job. Yes, that is great but that is half the battle. The other half of the battle is where people get stuck and lose their chances of getting the job. I learned these things after facing countless rejection and the tips mentioned below can improve your chances of getting selected drastically
- Know your Profile Thoroughly
Whatever field that you might be in, knowing and understanding your job profile is the most critical thing you must do. When we talk about Job profiles most people only research the Key Responsibilities that are mentioned by the firm. But Knowing your Job profile is more than that.
Understanding your job profile has more to do with common questions asked in your field. Updating yourself with the latest questions helps you understand the latest skills required to get the job. This is crucial because it builds your fundamentals and knowing about the latest skills and questions makes you knowledgeable and knowledge brings confidence.
To get your questions simple use google and type –
- [Latest Interview Questions for ___ ] e.g. Latest Interview Questions for Social Media Executive
- [Latest Skills required for ____ ]
- Remind Yourself of the Skills that you Know
No matter how good we are at what we do we must constantly remind ourselves of the skills that we do know because repetition is the mother of all skills. Everybody wants to know and master the advanced stuff from their profession, which is not bad, but what makes us perfect at something is the repetition of all that we already know.
So take out a pen and a paper to write down the things that you probably learned from your past job if you are a trained professional or if this is your first job write down the things that you learned in your coaching classes or your research. What this does is gives you clarity of the skills that you have and the skills that you need to prepare for.
- Associate a Case Study with the skills that you Know
I would advise you too to avoid storytelling but there are certain skill sets that when backed by a quick case study boosts your chances of clearing the interview. Make no mistake, tell the case study only for the skills that you have practiced thoroughly in the past and it should be quick, on-point, and backed by some numbers.
How do you find a skill to associate a quick case study? Do the research and check the most asked questions that you know of. When you find the question simply use your experience and answer it with facts and figures.
Let’s say you wanted a job for Social Media Executive – I did some quick research and this is the question I found on most sites
Now, if you already had previous Job experience with this skill. Use it for a quick case study. This will prepare you mentally for the interview and build confidence. If you do not have job experience however and you did a project in your classes, share that with authenticity.
Note – Avoid this step if you do not have a case study to share
- Have at least 5 Interviews scheduled in a span of 30 Days
You might be wondering I do not want more interviews, I just want to clear this one because I like this company and its environment. I get it, I want you to succeed too but what this does is, play with your psychology. Our brain is designed to avoid pain therefore it creates confusion in our head.
Consciously or subconsciously we keep telling ourselves things like – what if I don’t clear this interview, What if I don’t get this job, Would I be a failure? These questions do not boost our confidence rather takes it down. Having more interviews lined up puts you in a beast mode. Here are some quick benefits of having more interviews lined up –
- Even if you don’t clear this interview you have another lined up
- Use the experience of the previous interview to do your best in the next one
- You create multiple opportunities to get a job in your respective profession
Thus, having more interviews scheduled gives you the confidence you require and resets the thought process of your brain by providing it a certainty.
- Get the Right Mindset
For most job seekers, interviews would bring in stress and anxiety. However, if we practice the steps mentioned above. You would be in a good position to answer the questions above with confidence. But there is only one last thing you need to have before appearing for the interview.
You need to think of it as a Business Meeting rather than an interview
When you know the skills that have a demand in the market, have a quick case study to share then it merely becomes a business meeting where you would be selling your services to the person. You would be having a two-way conversation about what the business needs and how your ideas and services may help them.
We all see the interviewer as someone above us but having the skills and knowledge and thinking of it as a business meeting puts you on an even ground. When this happens, we discuss the opportunities rather than answer questions. This storms your confidence and now you are ready for the interview.
2. Developing Confidence During the Interview
Building confidence is not limited to the pre-interview process. It is a process that carries throughout the interview and after the interview. In this process, you aim to communicate thoroughly in a way that would make sense. You aim to connect with the interviewer and not to impress the interviewer. These are some tips that would help you connect better.
- Replicate this Body Language
An average human pays more than 90% of attention to body language and tone of voice. Therefore it is highly critical for you to at least know the basics of healthy body language. This makes a huge difference in the interview as it may make you look confident or uncertain.
What are the things you need to get the right body language? Well, there is no set body language for all but these are the things you need to keep a check on –
The Power Pose – The power pose is known to increase your dominance and lower your stress levels. When you enter make sure you walk straight not slouched and your shoulders should be back and resting naturally. When you sit make sure you sit straight with shoulders wide and legs shoulder-width apart.
The Eye Contact – Making healthy eye contact builds a connection between you and the interviewer. Make sure you don’t make them uncomfortable by simply staring at them constantly. The best way is to look in the eyes for 10 seconds and look away for 2 second
Hand Gestures – Gestures adds more value to the stories. While greeting the interviewer a firm handshake would make you look confident. This makes you look authentic.
Expressions – People tend to depend on Facial Expressions to interpret motives and Emotions. The best way to be expressive is to think like you are talking to someone you respect. Make expressions like raising your eyebrows when you are shocked, smiling when you are complimented.
Your Tone – Your tone is the result of all of the above Body Language. To sound confident it is critical to get all other aspects correct. Make sure you have a tone like you are excited to see them and professionally greet them.
- Here’s How you Start
When you first enter the room enter with a quick smile and wait for them to greet you. Once they greet you, you would start with a polite greeting such as – I’m pleased to meet you! And follow it up with quick gratitude for being considered, Thank you for considering me for this Interview
Mostly every interviewer would start by asking something about yourself. I do not want to give you a set of lines for you to learn. But just introduce yourself freely. For fresher, you would be introducing yourself with your qualification and specifications. For Experienced Professionals, you would be introducing yourself with your experience.
- This is What You Do When You Don’t Know an Answer
We all know that honesty is the best policy. When you are asked a specific question in an interview to which you don’t know an answer. Be honest. Tell the interviewer the truth that you don’t know the answer. You can prepare for almost every other thing but there is a chance that you might miss out on something.
What is the best way to tell them that you don’t know the answer? The best way to tell them a no is to use the Sorry + I can Formula. What is it? This means; I’m sorry but I might know about ____ But I can figure it out and be the best at it. This makes you connect with the interviewer on the grounds of honesty.
Do not make something up as the interviewer will mostly catch your lies. This would reduce your chances of getting selected.
- Give a Quick Reminder to Yourself
When there is an interview going on you would be getting at least 5 seconds when there is spare time for you to think. Use this quick 5 seconds to remind yourself about all the skills that you already know about.
You can simply think about the broad topics that have a mental tick mark in front of those topics. This would keep you confident and prepare you mentally. You would be ready to face any questions now. For Eg- If you are into social media, you can quickly recall – Budgeting, planning, Strategies, etc. This would boost your confidence.
- How an Interview should end from your side
There are things to follow and somethings to avoid while trying to end the interview from your end. Closing the interview well would make you look more confident and shows that you have an interest in the firm. So how do you end the interview?
Things that you should follow –
- Ask questions related to training opportunities
- Address the questions you missed to answer
- Thank the interviewer for their time
To combine this in a statement, you must say something like – There is one quick doubt I need to clarify is if we have any training or seminars to improve the skills, can I take it up? Wait for the response then address the questions you missed the answer to, I am sorry that I was unable to answer about ___ I guarantee that I would learn about it before the day ends. And at last, Thank them – Thank you for taking the time to consider me.
3. Maintaining the Confidence After the Interview (Post Interview)
Most of us think that after the interview is done. Our job is over and confidence is not required anymore. However, that is not true. You need to maintain it for at least a day or two. For the rest of the day, you might want to think about the good things that happened during the interview and take the learning opportunities. Here’s are few ways to keep your Confidence even after the Interview
- Maintain the Cycle
What cycle you may ask? As we discussed at the beginning of this article. Building Confidence for the interview is a step-by-step process. The cycle consist of Learn, Improvise, and Improve. For most of the experienced professionals, this cycle would already be in the process as they had previous experiences with the interview. However, with the Freshers, this was the beginning of your cycle.
So as a fresher the best thing to do is learn from the interview. Think about the good stuff that happened and think about the stuff that did not go well. Both of the experiences should build confidence within yourself.
- Remind yourself about other options you have
The other way to maintain your confidence level is to remind yourself about other potential interviews that you probably sent a mail out a few days ago. If you did not do it that is okay you do it now. Why is this required anyway? This is required to remind ourselves that there are other options available. We can use the knowledge of this interview to crack the other interview.
Remember, a few setbacks during the interview were meant to be. This is how we learn things and improvise. If you are rejected in this interview, it is still fine. What was more important is the exposure that you received.
- You just improved your Knowledge
Having an open mind is critical. Remember that our brains would try to show us the negative side of everything that was happened. Did you know why our brains do that? As we know, our brain is created to protect ourselves. The reason why it shows it, again and again, is because it wants us to avoid what gives us pain.
This cannot be stopped and should not be stopped. After all, we don’t want our brains to stop, right? When you are getting pictures of the bad side in your brain. Ask yourself questions like what does it mean? Why is the brain showing me this picture? The questions that you ask yourself in your mind would be the reason for your focus.
Hence, have control of your question. Instead of mentally asking yourself, why did they not select me. Ask yourself what did I learn? Instead of running away from your weaknesses. Ask yourself what were my weaknesses? These questions have the power to turn your negative brain into an optimistic person that is ready to crack the next interview that you’re called upon.
Hey, y'all I'm Faisal!!👋
I’m SO excited you’re here! I’m super passionate about improving ourselves and the daily challenges we Millennials go through, gives me hope to change our lives for good!
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