We would all love to be naturally confident. It doesn’t even have to be in a ‘command the room’ type of way, just enough to come across like we know what we’re doing, especially in situations such as job interviews.
Sadly, many of us struggle with confidence, even more so when the nerves start to set in, but research shows that the more confident (but not cocky) you come across in an interview, the more attractive to an interviewer you will be.
While there isn’t a magic potion that will give you natural confidence, there are a few tricks you can have up your sleeve that will help you be confident in an interview. Here are just a few you could try:
Research shows that an interviewer will make a decision on a candidate within the first four minutes of an interview. After this point, it gets tricky to change their mind. So, with the knowledge that first impressions count, make sure you dress well, stay fit (which will give you more energy) and have good personal hygeine (as awful as it sounds).
Try and be confident from the minute you walk through the door, so before you go in take some deep breaths to calm your nerves and stand in a position of confidence. American social psychologist Amy Cuddy refers to this as ‘power posing’ – by this she refers to the idea that standing with a posture of confidence affects the brain’s testosterone and cortisol levels giving us confidence and improving how we feel and appear to others.
When you first walk through the door have your shoulders back and hold yourself tall. Give a firm handshake, genuine smile and make direct eye contact. Maintain the eye contact throughout the interview, although to avoid looking slightly crazy, get a break in every so often to refer to your notes for example!
Once you’ve taken a seat in the interview try and focus on your posture. Think about how you would sit if you were interested in what a person was saying and try not to fidget. Decide where you are placing your hands and keep them there, whether it’s on your lap or the table to avoid doing things such as fiddling with your hair or adjusting your clothes.
Natural confidence often comes with experience, so, if you don’t have experience in the role, make sure you are well read up beforehand and be prepared for any questions that might come your way.
Try and maintain a positive attitude throughout the interview – often it’s easier to focus on negatives, but this can come across as unattractive. Remind yourself that you deserve to be there, keep a positive outlook and your confidence will naturally increase.
Be interested throughout the interview and fully engaged, don’t let your mind wander, as being caught off guard with a question, or having to ask them to repeat it can damage your confidence.
And finally, don’t be too hard on yourself. You’ve made it through the selection process and you deserve to be there so relax. Everyone slips up from time to time, that’s what makes us human and chances are the interviewer is human too, so go with it and try and be yourself in the best light possible!