After sitting through numerous interviews, one major flaw that even the best candidates (on paper) regularly show is low self-confidence. I understand that many of you are humble. However, failure to articulate during an interview is not humility. What you are doing is underselling yourself. Not being able to accurately describe yourself and your gifts because you don’t like to talk about yourself is not being humble that’s just fear. Fear of being perceived as arrogant or self-absorbed. Maybe even fear of saying the wrong thing to answer the interviewer’s questions. What you need is an adequate amount of self-confidence. Here are some tips on how to have positive self-esteem going into an interview.
Be satisfied with your answer to a question. If you have to lie to get the job do you need that job? Yes, “life happens” and you could be under pressure to get a job but fit matters most. Sometimes the answer is “No, I do not know.” Don’t fudge an answer if the answer is no. Some organizations can train you on specific skills it just helps to know if you already have the skillset. It may be something not listed in the job posting.
Study the job posting and come up with potential interview questions. Work on fully developing your answers. Most interview questions are open-ended and call for more than a simple yes or no. Take your time and think before you answer questions, an interview is not a race. You want the best answer you can give.
Speak up for yourself, and be proud of all of your accomplishments, big and small. You did them so tell the story and end it there. Speak in a tone that everyone in the room can hear you. Panel interviews might take a slightly higher volume so that everyone can listen to you. Practice talking in front of the mirror.
Believe in You
Reading body language is not a complete science, but it helps to know what your body language is saying to others. Confidence or lack thereof can be shown through slumped heads, lack of eye contact, tapping your finger or any other nervous ticks. Try to sit in the middle of the chair not all the way to the back. If you are in school, your institution might have an office that conducts mock interviews. If so, sign up immediately. If not, you can perform one at home and record one yourself. Watch the video and or send it to someone for feedback. You can be amazed at how you look in the eyes of the interviewer. Make sure to wear your interview outfit for your mock interview. Nothing should feel different during the meeting. Be as comfortable as possible. It’s just another rehearsal. A mock interview is also an excellent way to alleviate any potential wardrobe malfunctions.
Some of you might read this and think these preparations are extra and are a bit much. Lack of confidence and preparation can cost you dearly. Training leads to more confidence. What if one other person with similar skills prepared more for the interview than you? This organization does not know you, and you have to put together the best presentation of yourself in a short amount of time as possible. Think of your interview as a performance, a performance that will present the best and most accurate depiction of yourself to others. Why wouldn’t you want to rehearse a production of yourself?
Stop applying for jobs to without due diligence of researching the potential opportunity. Research the position, research the company. Look at the transportation to and from, the schedule. Moving forward let us be more methodical about our job searches. You are going to spend too much each week to not put time into choosing where you spend that time.