Job interviews can be nerve-wracking. But they don’t have to be.
Even if you’re the nervous type, there are a few things you can do before and during a job interview to not only appear confident, but actually be poised and ready to face your next challenge head-on.
The first step to being confident during a job interview is to be ready for it.
This goes beyond dressing well and practicing answers to typical interview questions (although these are important steps, too).
More importantly, you need to walk into your interview with a sense of purpose. Make it clear to your prospective employer you know exactly why you’re there, and exactly what you can bring to the company.
By preparing for your interview ahead of time, you’ll be able to anticipate with confidence how it will play out.
Exhibit Positive Body Language
The way you hold yourself can make you appear strong and confident – or it can completely betray you.
By practicing steady breathing and keeping yourself grounded, you maintain control over your body physically and mentally. Refrain from fidgeting, shuffling your feet, or shifting in your seat as much as you can.
Make a conscious effort to make eye contact with each of your interviewers. Looking down or glancing away from them can make you appear unsure of yourself – or even worse, untrustworthy.
While you don’t want to appear completely relaxed, show your interviewers you can handle the pressure of being in the spotlight. Stay calm and collected, but also alert and ready for action.
While you want to treat your interviewers respectfully, you should also keep in mind they are human beings, just like you. Try to make connections both on a professional and personal level throughout your interview.
When it’s your turn to speak, be clear and concise – but not robotic. Instead of responding to questions and prompts as if reading from a script, answer in a way that shows you’re thinking critically about the topic at hand.
When it’s not your turn to speak, listen carefully. You’ll be given time to respond – whether prompted to or not – but always yield to your interviewer, and be sure they’re done speaking before you say anything.
Face Your Anxiety
This is more of a mindset shift than something to “do,” and the way you go about it will differ depending on what works for you.
It’s natural to be nervous or stressed out before a job interview. In fact, the right amount of stress can actually motivate you to succeed if you face it head-on and power through it.
Remember: The worst that can happen is you don’t get the job. Even a failed interview counts toward experience and will lead to personal growth.
You’ve got nothing to lose, and everything to gain.
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