It’s understandable to feel nervous before a job interview. But getting too nervous and allowing self-doubt to get its grip on you will interfere with your ability to think clearly about the interview questions, succeed at any skills tests, and make insightful observations about your interviewer and the workplace; your diminished confidence will also come across in your voice and body language.
When you think of how to prepare for a job interview, consider what you’d need to do to manage self-doubt and appear more confident.
Remind yourself of your strengths. The fact that you were called for an interview means that your prospective employer already sees you as a strong candidate; that you’ve been picked from a large pool of applicants indicates that you have qualities they’re looking for.
Keep in mind that your prospective employer is also trying to make a good impression. The interview isn’t only about your employers assessing you; it’s about you evaluating them and the workplace environment they’re offering you. During the course of the interview, pay careful attention to your surroundings and to what your interviewer and other employees are saying; not only will this help you take your mind off your own nervousness, you’ll also be able to make a more informed decision about whether the job would suit you. Even if you’re driven by a financial need for the job, don’t arrive with the attitude of a humble petitioner. Focus on how your prospective employers are selling themselves to you.
Do all the background research you can. Research exactly what the company does, their latest products, services, and accomplishments, and the kinds of topics they’ve been writing about in journals, magazines and on social media. Come prepared with a list of questions. Not only will your preparation impress them, you won’t feel as if you’re struggling to come up with what to say; you’ll be less likely to experience long and awkward silences that induce self-doubt and anxiety.
Make confident behaviors habitual. If you don’t think you interview well, practice with a coach and get pointers on your grooming, speech, and body language. You may find this makes you self-conscious at first, but with sufficient practice, you’ll be able to assume a confident pose without much thought or effort; it will become second-nature to you. Go through scenarios where you practice responding to both typical interview questions and the strange, potentially awkward questions that interviewers sometimes throw at you to see how well you react under pressure or think outside the box. Interviewing well is a skill, and the more you practice at it the less doubt you’ll have about your abilities and the more confident you’ll seem to your prospective employer.
Contact us to discuss additional ways of approaching an interview with confidence. You don’t want to lack of confidence to stand in your way when you have the competence and the character that would make you a strong fit for a job.
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