Importance of Confidence in an Interview
Interviews are one of the toughest things to get through. Yet believe it or not, but confidence is the single most important thing that you can bring to an interview to help you get through it. Of course, your skills and experiences are important, however, no interviewer will believe or trust them, unless you present them and yourself with confidence. If you believe in yourself, then so will the interviewer.
When it comes to interviews, there are two different types of people. Ones who tend to undervalue interviews, thinking that an interview is just a formality, or that they’ll crush the interview no matter what. The others are the ones who are so nervous that they barely make it through the interview. While they are on two different ends of the spectrum, the truth is that neither is likely to get offered a job soon.
However, you need to fall somewhere in the middle of the spectrum to effectively beat an interview. You cannot seem nervous or unsure of yourself and, neither can you appear overconfident or too sure of yourself. Either of which is a red flag. Instead, you need to be cool, calm, and collected (the 3 Cs). You need to show that you believe in yourself and your abilities. Think of yourself as both the seller and the product, while the interviewer is the customer. If you as a seller don’t believe in your product, then neither will the customer. However, if you are too heavy handed with your sales pitch, then the customer will know that you are exaggerating.
Not only does confidence show that you believe in yourself, but also shows that you know how to stay calm under stress and that you will be able to manage the situation, after all if anything qualifies as a nerve-inducing stressful situation, an interview does. This is a good skill to present to the interviewers, no matter what position you are interviewing for.
So, how do you pretend to be confident, when inside you are just big gooey mess of nervousness? While, the obvious way it to actually be confident, however, not all of us are blessed with those genes. So, the second best way is to fake it. In order to do that, you need to be well prepared for the interview.
Look into the job profile and the company before going to the interview. Do your research into what kind of employee the company is looking for. If you think that the position is completely wrong for you then don’t apply, because what’s the point if it doesn’t fit. Also, there is no way you will be able to be confident if you are going in knowing that you are wrong for the job. Make sure the job fits and it is actually what you want. Not everyone has the luxury to get a job they want, but try to get a position that is at least remotely connected with what you want, otherwise you’ll start to hate the job pretty soon, even if you actually get it.
Then make sure you know about the company, the industry, its leaders, and anything else you can find out. If you feel like you know the company, then it won’t feel like you are talking to a stranger, but rather an old friend. Ok, no you won’t, but you will feel more confident if you know who and what you are talking about.
Once you know the company, you should know yourself. Be aware of your skills, and of your strengths and weaknesses. Remind yourself why you would make a great candidate for any position that the management will throw at you. Remind yourself that you deserve this job and that the company will be lucky to have you. If you tell yourself that enough times, you’ll eventually believe it, as you should.
The other best thing you can do before an interview is practice. Practice by yourself, practice in the mirror, or perhaps ask a family member or a friend to step in and ask questions. If you’ve already heard and answer those questions dozens of times, then there is nothing to be nervous about.
If you are well prepared, then you will automatically transition from non-confident to confident; and hopefully over time and after a few interviews, you won’t have to fake it, but rather you actually be more confident, both in yourself, and in the skills that you are bringing to the table.
So, the next time you are going in for an interview, take a deep breathe, remind yourself that you deserve this, and walk into the room full of confidence and with your head held high.