There are few situations in life filled with as much uncertainty as finding a new job. Job seekers are simultaneously balancing the insecurity of not knowing the next step along the career path, while having to exude the confidence needed to get hired. If you’re feeling the nerves getting the best of you before interview day, try out our simple tips for boosting job interview confidence:
Breathe. It’s easy to feel a bit panicked when you start considering a job interview from every possible angle. Questions start to pop in your head without warning like, “How early is too early to show up at the office?” “What if I blurt out something stupid?” “What if I accidentally light my suit on fire!?”
Okay, maybe you’re not imaging a stop, drop and roll scenario, but you get the idea; when you feel your heart rate start to race, take that extra moment to breathe. Mentally, your brain will appreciate the break. Physically, some the less flattering effects of stress – redness in the face, sweaty palms, rapid heartbeat – will also subside after a moment of rest and reflection.
Let’s circle back to that little voice inside your head forcing you to think of worst case scenarios. This pesky little voice is otherwise known as doubt. Doubt has a funny way of creeping in right before difficult moments. Instead of letting the fear hijack your brain, try consciously visualizing job interview success. Taking a few minutes to clear your mind and think of nothing else but the perfect handshake, nailing every question and smiles up and down the table. Athletes use this positive reinforcement tactic all the time, and it’s equally effective in any professional setting.
Next, take the positivity out of your mind and bring it to life with role playing. Find a trusted friend or family member that makes you feel comfortable and ask them to help you walk through some common interview experiences. Using someone as a stand-in for the interviewer can help you recreate moments like that ever important first impression handshake or walkthrough specific questions. Once you practice these scenarios a few times, your mind will be more at ease during the real deal.
With role playing, practice makes perfect. This is also true for maintaining a positive demeanor during a job interview. How can we expect to enter an interview beamiingng with positive stories about personal achievement after living under a cloud of negativity for the rest of the week? Start practicing positivity before meeting with an employer. If you catch yourself making a negative statement, make the conscious choice to turn it around. For example, instead of commenting about how, “I stink at thinking on my feet” replace the negativity by finding a positive, such as, “I’m great at really listening to what people say and remember important information.” Once positivity becomes a habit, it’ll naturally find its way into the conversation on interview day!
Dress the Part
Job interview fashion might not be the most exciting outfit you’ll ever wear, but it still better get you pumped. Whether it’s a brand new pair of shoes or that trusty lucky shirt of yours, make sure you’re dressing for success. Not only do you need to project a professional sensibility to the interviewing team, but your confidence gets a nice boost when you look and feel your best.
It’s a Conversation
After a while, the interview process can feel like a beauty pageant. The conference room is your stage, and a panel of judges sits in silence as you eagerly try to impress them with a song and dance routine titled, “My Resume.”
This sort of thinking can be deadly for your confidence! Instead of treating a job interview as a time to plead your case for worthiness, rethink the situation as just another conversation between people. Sure, maybe it’s a bit more formal than a chat with family and friends, but at the end of the day, a job interview is just a conversation between professionals who, hopefully, share common goals. Maybe you will click with the organization and their mission, maybe not. Thankfully, this is a conversation about a subject you have a ton of expertise on – you!
You’re the subject matter expert here. Remember, a job interview is just a conversation about your career goals and how an organization might align with those goals. By taking a few simple steps as you prepare for the big day, you can easily boost your confidence and get in the right mindset for success.
Do you have any tips for crushing the interview day jitters? We’d love to hear them in the comment section below!