Of all interview types, the in-person interview might be the most nerve-wracking. As a culture, so much of our correspondence is done through email, texting, and video, and face-to-face communication has become more difficult. Add the already stressful element of interviewing for a potential job, and one’s sense of confidence can hit a low point.
Contrary to popular belief, confidence is a learned skill for most people. The trait is not something that comes naturally to the bulk of the population. This is good news, especially when it comes to facing a job interview.
Here are a few tangible ways to help boost confidence during the interview process:
Prepare ahead of time
The Human Resources team or the hiring manager has called you, and an interview time is set. Now, the best thing you can do is prepare. We’ve covered how to prepare for a job interview previously, and this is also one of the best ways to boost confidence.
Look for the following information:
- Size of the company
- The mission statement and values of the company
- Where they’re headquarters are located
- How long the company has been in business
Knowing the answers to these key points will also help you determine if the company’s values match your own. Additionally, you’ll walk into the interview more at ease knowing you understand the company’s culture and basic information.
Consider a Dry Run
So many factors can make interview day more stressful—a car accident causing a traffic jam, spilling coffee on your shirt, rainfall. Thinking (without over thinking) and preparing for possible issues are great ways to boost your confidence.
Performing a dry run is useful in getting a feel for just how long it will take you to get to your destination. You can also prepare your outfit and other materials.
- Choose two outfits that make you feel good. This way, you have a backup should something happen with the original outfit.
- Use GPS to map the route from your residence to the company. You can then use this information to travel to the company’s location at the specified time of your interview to determine what traffic will be like.
- Make sure you have an umbrella in your car and an extra set of resumes at your disposal.
Minimizing potential mishaps will help you walk into the interview calm and collected, which can boost your confidence and ease unnecessary tension.
Practice common interview questions beforehand
You can almost count on being asked to “tell us a little about yourself” in a job interview.
Ease your anxiety and boost your confidence in the interview by running through some of these questions well before your scheduled interview.
You might not be asked the questions verbatim, but preparing answers ahead of time will make it easier in the interview process. Some questions to consider are:
- What is your biggest weakness?
- Tell me about a time you overcame an obstacle. How did you do it?
- Out of all our other candidates, why should we hire you?
- Tell me how you get along with people you might not agree with.
- What makes our company the right fit for you?
Having answers prepared to these questions will set your mind in the interview mode, which can make it easier to answer other questions as well. Want more? Here’s a list of several other possible interview questions. You might also consider industry specific interview questions.
Prepare for standard face-to-face etiquette
Some of these may seem like no-brainers, but our digitally saturated society has a tendency to stifle in-person etiquette. Practicing in-person communication skills can help boost your confidence during the interview. These skills are essential:
- Make eye contact throughout the conversation
- If you enter the room before the person conducting the interview, stand to greet them when they enter
- Turn your phone on silent—not vibrate, but silent. Check, and double-check this one!
- Sit upright, but comfortable
- Try not to fidget or fiddle with things in front of you
- When exiting the interview, thank the potential employer for their time
Write down all the reasons you are right for the job
You might know why you are right for the position in your head—you have the skills, experience and education. You have a great, team-oriented personality. You know what your strengths are, but seeing them on paper makes them more powerful.
Take some time and write down why your skills and expertise, your personality and drive match the job opportunity.
Preparation and knowing your worth can help boost confidence in the interview process, and being a confident candidate can help set you apart from the other applicants.