Job Seeker Blog - Spark Hire

How to Improve Your Interview Confidence

When you have confidence, you feel like you can accomplish almost anything. You are well aware of your strengths and know your weaknesses. When you’re confident in yourself, you represent the best you possible. Walking into an interview, be it in-person or online, this is the you that you want to portray.

What do you do, though, if you lack the confidence needed in order to nail an interview with an employer? There isn’t some easy way to go about gaining confidence. Truth is, it has to come from within and often comes with preparation, research and assurance that you have done everything you can to prepare for the interview. Being fully informed and ready to answer any question that comes your way can improve your interview confidence even when you are lacking the self-confidence. Take a look at some of these tips that can improve your interview confidence and remember that being confident and sure of yourself can take you a very long way.

Positive Thinking
First and foremost, it is very difficult to succeed at anything when you have a negative attitude. When you say things like “I can’t “ or “I’m not good enough for that position” you are already setting yourself up for failure. These kinds of thoughts cycle negativity and hold you back. Plus, who wants an employee that doesn’t think they are good enough or always says “I can’t.” Instead, you want to think in positives and tell yourself that you can and will do whatever it is you want to do. To follow through with that, you must prepare yourself.

If the idea of sitting in front of someone while they probe your brain for answers intimidates you, then job interviews probably make you a nervous wreck. That’s why you should sit down with a friend before and have a mock interview. Have them ask you questions an employer would likely ask such as “what are your strengths, weaknesses” and “why do you think you would be a good fit for this position?” Practice how you would answer these questions and even practice asking the questions you want the employer to answer. By sitting down with another person and rehearsing the interview, you are preparing yourself for what’s to come. That way, when you sit down in front of an actual employer, it will feel familiar and you will be more comfortable. This boosts your confidence immensely and also helps you exude confidence by showing how comfortable you are.

Imagine Success
Once you have already sat down and practiced with someone else, sit down with yourself and try to play out the interview in your head ahead of time. Picture yourself answering the interviewer’s questions clearly and with confidence. If you slip up and start to picture yourself in a negative way, like stumbling on a question, quickly replay it in your mind again and replace the image with a positive one, like you answering the question with clarity and confidence. Make sure that in the end, you picture yourself getting the job offer. This may sound silly, but it’s a great way to boost your confidence and think positively.

If you go into an interview without researching the company, you will likely fail and the interview will flop. If you do not research the company you are interviewing with, how can you expect them to think that you truly want this position? Aside from the obvious, knowing everything you can learn about a company will definitely boost your confidence since it gives you a good idea of what the company is like and what they want. Of course, that’s something you’ll learn more about in the interview, but having a good foundation of company knowledge will put you ahead of the game. Looking at the company website and reading everything you can about them is great, but it isn’t enough. Look at their website and try to understand what the company needs and why they need it. Take a look at their competitors and how they are different. Are there changes taking place in the industry? If so, what are they? Answering these questions for yourself can give you a wealth of knowledge on the company and will boost your confidence level during the interview.

Make Eye Contact
When you are talking to someone about something important, you expect them to look you in the eye when you are speaking and when they are talking to you. By making eye contact with your interviewer, you are showing that you are not afraid and that you are confident in your skills, yourself and the answers you are giving. If you cannot make eye contact and are constantly glancing the other way when they look you in the eye, it shows them that you lack the confidence needed to be successful in the position and in the company. This is especially important when you meet them and shake their hand. When they greet you and extend their hand to shake yours, be sure to look them in the eye when greeting them back. It seems like a small gesture, but its importance is massive.

Ask Questions
A confident person is often a curious person. They want to know what is expected of them, what their schedule will look like, what the culture is like, etc. To portray confidence, even if you are lacking some, be sure to ask the interviewer important questions. The interview should be a 50/50 conversation, not a 90/10 with you doing all the talking. For good questions to ask, take a look at Spark Hire’s post on what questions to ask in an online interview.

Looks Do Matter
To show that you are confident, you should dress confidently. A lot of people may brush it off as false, but if you look the part and act the part then others will likely see you as the part. If you dress like you don’t care, even if you do, others will see you as such. If you are dressed nicely and appropriately, it’s one last thing to worry about or fret over. Going along with this, body language or non-verbal communication is very important. To master this, check back with Spark News later to learn about the ‘Proper Body Language and Behavior in an Interview.’

IMAGE: Courtesy of Reference and Education

Nicole Nicholson

Nicole is the Content Editor for Spark Hire and mainly writes for and edits the work for the Spark News blog. She graduated in 2010 with a BA in Journalism from DePaul University in Chicago, Illinois. She has a passion for writing, editing, and pretty much anything to do with content. In her free time she frequents the Chicago music scene and writes reviews on shows for her own personal blog. Connect with Nicole and Spark Hire on Facebook and Twitter

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