For those of you who don’t know, I work as an English teacher in Germany. Last week, my class asked me if I would prepare a mock interview session to do with them so they could gain job interview confidence. I’ve also had quite a few requests from people via social media to write a post on job interview confidence. So I finally decided to do it. Now, I want to mention, that I am by no means an expert on actually conducting job interviews. However, over the past few years, I’ve really been listening, reading, and studying what are the essential parts of a job interview, and I’ve learned to master the art of interviewing.
Many interviewers have told me how confident I appear at interviews. But, here’s something that most people don’t know. My very first job interviews were complete disasters. I wore the wrong clothes. I didn’t bring a copy of my resume printed out. There was even one time called insecure by one of my job interviewers. She accidentally handed me a paper to write my number down where she was taking notes. It said, ‘quite insecure’. She definitely didn’t want me to read that!
Since then I’ve come a long way. First of all, I’ve done a ton of job interviews—both at international companies and companies in the United States. Some jobs I interviewed for I was not offered the position, but several weeks later was called and asked to take another position at the company. If you read my other post about Emirates Airlines, then you know that I landed a job with a pretty high failure rate. That year over 100,000 applicants applied to Emirates and just about 4% of those people were hired, including myself. The reason that I started to nail these job interviews was because I recognized the importance to find confidence within myself when job interviewing. It is something that has to happen or you will never be able to pass a job interview. Trust me. I’m not telling you my personal success stories to make you give me a pat on the back. I’m telling you because I want you to find that essential job interview confidence. So I’m here to help you figure it out.
How you can get job interview confidence
Here I will break down each component that I feel is important for dealing with job interview confidence. Some of these go hand in hand with interview tips, but that isn’t the main focus of this article. If you would like me at some point to go deeper into the exploration of interview tips, I’d be happy to do so. I periodically do a workshop on interview training with my English students including tips, commons questions and things like that. Just reach out to me and let me know! But, for now, let’s get into how you can get job interview confidence.
Job interview confidence tips for before the interview
Prepare beforehand: This should really go without saying. It’s absolutely essential for you to prepare yourself before your interview in order to have job interview confidence. This not only includes researching the company you are interviewing for, but preparing yourself for common interview questions that come up. I wrote a list of common interview questions for some of my English students to help them prepare for job interviews. If you would like them, just get in touch with me. I’d be happy to share them with you! If you prepare beforehand, your pre-interview jitters will not be nearly as strong.
Get that nervous energy out: Leg tapping. Chair fidgeting. Shaky hands. We all have a nervous twitch. That’s why before we go to an interview it is important to release that buildup of energy. It’s normal for us to sometimes have rising feelings of uneasiness within us, but it is our choice what to do with that energy. If we don’t release that nervous energy, however, it usually shows up during our interview. Do whatever you need to let that kind of energy go. I think you would laugh if I put a camera on and filmed some of the things I do to get my nervous energy out! I dance, I sing, I tap my nails frequently on the table. I have all sorts of antics I get up to. I encourage you to do the same before your next interview.
Self-talk: If you are like me, before your interview you have a million thoughts rushing through your head at one time. Your heart starts beating and your hands get sweaty. You start thinking about a million different scenarios, and this can lead you to feel doubt, worry, or even panic. A lot of the time, we can psyche ourselves out before we even get to our interview room. It’s super important for you to see the connection between your inner dialogue and how this is going to affect your behavior towards your confidence, and the job interview itself. Try to be mindful of the thoughts that are coming up before your interview. If you find yourself being negative, just gently remind yourself that you got this interview for a reason. See the next tip below for more on that.
What are you good at? Give yourself a pep talk: Ok, so, the truth is that you need to have self-confidence in order to have job interview confidence. Now, the first thing I must mention is that you were offered a job interview for a reason, right? That company looked through your resume and decided to offer you an interview; therefore, you have the skills and experience for the job.
So, give yourself a little pep talk and remind yourself that you are worthy of getting this job. You don’t have to be a super self-cheerleader to yourself, but you do need to know your own worth. If you’ve read my other posts, you know I’m the type of person who wants everyone to believe in themselves. No one can do that except for you. But, I am aware of how difficult it can be sometimes, and that for many people out there, you may feel extremely insecure. Perhaps you even compare yourselves to other candidates—trust me, I’ve been there too. But, you have to find that strength in yourself to believe you are good at something, and are capable of getting this job. If you need someone to remind you of that, send me a message. I’d be happy to give you a pep talk!
Job interview confidence tips for during the interview
Body language: There are varying statistics of how much our body language accounts for our communication. The bottom line is that it is crucial to maintain good body language throughout an interview. Body language includes many things: posture, gestures, eye contact, hand positioning to name a few. It’s super important to become aware of your body language! Just imagine you were at an interview slumping over in your chair with your arms folded across your chest. What does this convey to your interviewer?
Our body language can be something we do unconsciously that we are not even aware of it. I’ve definitely been there before. I have had to train myself to maintain eye contact during job interviews. It is something that makes me uncomfortable, because I can be quite shy—especially in these types of situations. But, after doing some self-analysis (which we all must do at some point), I noticed that I was really bad at maintaining eye contact. So, I learned how to maintain eye contact first with people I was comfortable with, like my mom. After sometime, it just became a habit or something I was used to doing. Now, it’s no problem for me in interviews. It’s ok if you have something to work on. We all have something we must improve! It’s mind over matter, and you can definitely learn (or unlearn) body language to help you feel and appear more confident. This is not just about your interviews; it is something good for your entire life!
Handling tricky questions: Sometimes you might get a question during a job interview that you are unsure of. But, you can’t let that derail all of your job interview confidence! The worst thing you can do is say that you don’t have an answer, or you really don’t know. The best thing you can do is take a moment to breathe and think. Maybe you don’t have an exact answer to that question, but you have something you can relate to it. Try to remain calm and formulate an answer to the best of your ability in that situation. It’s better to compose your thoughts instead of blurting out something you totally didn’t want to say.
Be mindful, watch your breathing: Mindfulness is something that is super important during our interviews. Here you can read another post I wrote about mindfulness tips, but there is one important aspect I want to mention for interviews: your breathing. Often times when we are feeling anxious or stressed our breath becomes short and quick. This is a natural reaction of our body. But, during an interview, it is SUPER important to notice your breathing and take long, slow breaths. When we do this, we are able to slow our thoughts down and this will help us to think clearly, and be more confident at our interview.
You’ve got this! Handle your next interview with true confidence
So, are you ready to rock that interview? I hope so! I know some of you are already pretty confident with interviewing. But, I also know there are plenty of you who still feel a bit insecure. It’s totally ok! But, I just want to remind you again that you got that interview for a reason! That company saw something within you–now it’s time for you to believe that, too. If you ever need someone to remind you of that, just connect with me. I’m not just some blogger on the internet, I want to be here to help you along your journey and of course be virtual friends 🙂