Here at WBCP, we have helped interview many job candidates. The truth is that interviews can be nerve-wracking. Especially when you’re applying for your dream job, you might feel nervous before your conversation with the hiring team. Let the record show: Even highly qualified C-suite executives get nervous.
It’s also quite common to experience “imposter syndrome,” the phenomenon of suddenly feeling unqualified and unprepared. Fortunately, this feeling does not mean you’re not qualified for the job. You just need a helpful boost of interview confidence!
This is your comprehensive guide to building confidence for your interview:
1. Begin with a Positive Mindset
Your mindset is the most important thing to prepare prior to your hiring conversation. If you advanced to the interview stage, know that the hiring team looks forward to getting to know you. Picture yourself walking into a room full of people who are excited to hear all about your work experience, vision and mission, and goals for the future.
Candidates can be nervous for a variety of reasons. Some of your fears might be useful to help you prepare. Write them down on a piece of paper. Now that you have written down your concerns, cast them aside. Don’t worry – we’ll use them in the next step for interview prep.
To begin with a positive mindset, use affirmations to put yourself into a confident state of mind. Write down an encouraging, aspirational statement – and be as specific as possible. Here are some examples:
I am the perfect candidate for this position. My skills, capabilities, and personality make me an ideal match for this career!
Here is a way to take it a step further:
I am the perfect candidate for this position because I have so much experience working in this field! My interpersonal skills and ability to meet tight deadlines are a huge asset to the people I’m going to be working with. Clients are going to really appreciate my warm personality and personable communication style.
Say this affirmation to yourself constantly leading up to your interview. Do you notice how you begin to radiate confidence when you practice positive self-talk?
2. Use Your Concerns as Assets
Some pre-interview concerns are unhelpful. You probably already know what they are. These are things like “I’m not qualified enough for this job. They’ll see right through me!” or “I never get these jobs, so I probably won’t get this one either.” Looking at these statements, let’s face it – these are just your fears talking. These fears can be overcome through a positive mindset. However, some concerns are completely rational and can be used to help you prepare for your interview even further. The key to using concerns to prepare for an interview is reframing, and it really works.
It looks like this:
They will not want to hire me, because I took time away from my career to have a baby. vs. In my interview, I’ll discuss how my time away made me an even more well-rounded person and candidate. Becoming a parent taught me patience and flexibility – and I deepened my skills in multitasking and effective communication. My employer and coworkers will benefit from these attributes!
Here is another example of how to reframe a concern before you interview:
I can’t compete with other candidates who have more education and better qualifications. vs. I have a strong mission and vision for the future. I know the work I can accomplish in this role. In my interview, I’ll focus on what I do bring to the table – my relevant projects in the past, my personal communication skills, my technical training, and my ability to be flexible and learn.
As you can see, you can – and should – reframe your concerns to reflect what you are most certain about. Employers will take note of your confidence. Take the fears you wrote down earlier and try this exercise.
3. Be Your Authentic Self
The key to showing up authentically in an interview is confidence from within. Stepping into a hiring conversation, reflect who you are inside by wearing something that makes you feel confident on the outside. This means wearing something that isn’t distracting but is warm and engaging. When selecting your interview outfit, what do you want to convey to the hiring authority?
If wearing a blazer makes you uncomfortable, consider presentable and professional outfits that fit your personality. If wearing all black and white just doesn’t feel natural for you, consider wearing navy blue or even a structured piece in a more powerful color. Whatever you do, be yourself. You don’t want to be nervous and uncomfortable – you want to be vibrant and confident!
Are you ready to cultivate your confidence?
We hope these tips help you become a more confident, self-assured candidate – and land your ideal career.