I’d like to share a story with you about an experience I had recently and how this made me really think about the importance of feeling confident when meeting with recruiters and potential employers.
I was walking down the street and saw a little girl step out of the car. She brushed her dress down, flicked her hair and then stood up and looked out at life confidently with a ‘here I come’ attitude. She looked straight at me saying with her eyes, “don’t I look pretty in my dress”? She then proceeded to walk down the street, with her head high and a confident stride in her step.
Her attitude said
‘here I come world, watch out! I am here. Notice me because I will make a difference’!
All I could think of was ‘what if my clients brushed their clothes down and looked straight at their recruiters in the same way? Here I come, take notice’.
HOW YOU CAN MAKE A DIFFERENCE IN YOUR NEXT INTERVIEW
Here are my suggestions to help you prepare for your next interview. They will help boost your confidence so you can present the best version of yourself!
Prepare and Rehearse Your Answers
If you ask a friend or your career coach to work with you to prepare for the interview, you are well on the way to feeling more confident during the interview. It will take the pressure off by helping you rehearse potential interview answers. For more difficult or scenario based questions (e.g. ‘Tell me about a time you did this . . ‘) I recommend you use the Situation, Task, Action, Result (STAR) technique. This involves following 4 key steps to answer a question about your skills and experience.
- Situation: Open with a brief description of the Situation and context of the story (who, what, where, when, how).
- Task: Explain the Task you had to complete highlighting any specific challenges or constraint (e.g. deadlines, costs, other issues).
- Action: Describe the specific Actions that you took to complete the task. These should highlight desirable traits without needing to state them (initiative, intelligence, dedication, leadership, understanding, etc.)
- Result: Close with the result of your efforts. Include figures to quantify the result if possible.
Be Kind to Yourself Before the Interview
Before the interview it is very important to speak to yourself with compassion, like a best friend, and dispel any critical thoughts that stand in your way. Positive self-talk can be a very helpful boost for your confidence.
Use Breathing Techniques to Boost Confidence
At the heart of confidence is feeling relaxed, so breathing and mindfulness exercises are helpful. Stay present by focusing on your breathing just before an interview. This will help calm nerves and still your mind. Focus on the present moment, either by concentrating on your breathing or on body sensations, for a few moments. It will help calm you down. In the interview also remember to speak slowly, as we tend to rush when we are nervous. Don’t be afraid of silences. Sometimes leaving pauses in your sentences will help you command the situation better.
You should aim to connect with the interviewers, not just impress them and so if you come across as likeable and focus on building rapport with your interviewer rather than impressing him or her. Building rapport can be done in a number of ways, including matching body language, using similar language and finding a general topic to discuss to get the conversation going.
Once the interview is under way and the conversation is flowing, don’t be afraid to sell yourself. People worry about appearing arrogant but the interview panel are not mind readers and do not automatically know what you have to offer, so it is up to you to tell them. The STAR method gives you the structure to answer questions. If you focus on building rapport, remain calm, approach the questions with confidence and remember to smile, you will feel good and present very well.
What do you need to do to make a difference?
It is my hope that this story of the confident little girl and my suggestions will encourage you to approach life your next job interview with a little more confidence.
I am a passionate Career Coach who works with individuals in the explore and search phase of their career journey, helping you realise your strengths through my career coaching and training programs. I enjoy showing people the path to greater career satisfaction and providing insight and tools to help you make your next career move.