It is natural to be nervous before an interview! You may be wondering what type of questions they will ask you. You may even be feeling stressed about how to prepare and appear confident on interview day. If you are looking for some simple ways to look and feel more confident during your interview, these tips can help you find your interview groove.
Do Your Due Diligence
Nothing screams that you are not serious about a hiring manager’s position quite like a lack of knowledge about their company or the role in general. Do your research and take a few minutes to think about why you want the position and how you might describe the role in your own words.
Companies like to hire people who are prepared. How you prepare for your interview gives employers insight into the type of professional they will be hiring. Before your interview, spend some time on the company’s website to get some background information; this can be a great way to break the ice and show your interest, especially if your interview is starting to become a little lukewarm.
Select one or two facts you have learned about the company or their services that apply to you and your job search. Not only does talking about a topic you are comfortable with allow your passion to come through, but it also shows your interviewer that you did your research ahead of time.
Yes, You Do Need To Bring Your Resume
In this digital age, it may be tempting to leave hard copies of your CV at home since your interviewer has a digital copy, but delivering a paper copy shows your interviewer you are prepared for any situation (even when others may not be).
It is always a good idea to have, at minimum, three copies of your resume printed and ready to hand out. If your interview is virtual, you can send a digital, proofread copy of your resume to your interviewer before the interview.
Use your resume to go over your experience but be careful not to read directly from your bullet points; try explaining your experience in your own words versus reading straight off your resume.
First Impressions Do Matter
Be prepared and on time for your interview! In fact, be 10 minutes early. You never want traffic or technical problems to leave a bad taste in your interviewer’s mouth. If your interview is virtual, jump on five minutes early to make sure there are no technical problems ahead of time.
Pay Attention To Your Body Language!
When you are interviewing, the goal is to display a professional demeanor and show respect for your interviewer. Eye contact can be a great way to achieve this. Maintaining eye contact shows that you are paying attention in the interview. It also sends the signal to your interviewer you care about what they have to say.
In addition to maintaining eye contact, watch your posture and avoid crossing your arms. If your posture is slouched or you cross your arms, you may come off as closed off or disinterested. Try sitting up straight during your interview, leaning in slightly, and nodding your head when questions are asked to show your engagement and interest in the question.
Do not forget to smile! Smiling is an important part of an interview. Employer surveys conducted by Career Builder and Adecco suggest that you may be sending out signals with your body language that you may be unaware of. Surveys are finding that 67% of hiring managers think the biggest mistake you can have is not maintaining eye contact and 39% of hiring managers will write you off in an interview for forgetting to smile.
Practice Makes Perfect
It is not a bad idea to think about the types of behavioral or situational questions you’ll be asked in your interview. Building and rehearsing interview answers to combat those pre-interview jitters can make you appear more confident. Practice your questions with a friend, significant other, or even out loud to yourself in the mirror before your interview.
If you are feeling particularly anxious about an upcoming interview, try some breathing techniques to help combat your nerves beforehand. Using a breathing technique can bring some much-needed quiet back to your brain after your nerves get the best of you.
“Tell Me About Yourself” and Other Interview Questions
In addition to calming your nerves and showing off that winning smile, always have a great answer for the question, “Tell me about yourself”. This is one of the most common questions interviewers will lead with, so you’re doing yourself a disservice by not thinking about how to best answer this question. Typically, the response hiring managers are looking for includes a brief one-to-two-minute pitch of your professional life up until now, highlighting skill sets or experiences relevant to the role you are interviewing for.
If your interviewer asks you to talk about a tough experience you’ve had, be sure to portray yourself in a positive light. A hiring manager never wants to hear you speak negatively about yourself, a past employer, a difficult customer, or even about a client experience you’ve had. The best way to address these questions is by framing the negative experience as a positive learning opportunity.
You Can Do This!
Your mindset going into a situation impacts the outcome of that situation more than you realize. To give yourself that final confidence boost, give yourself some good old-fashioned self-talk. Try something like, “I will get this job,” or, “I feel confident in my abilities.” Visualize your success. If you believe in yourself and your abilities, confidence will come naturally.
It is also never a bad idea to put on your favorite upbeat song to pump you up before the interview. “Eye of the Tiger”, anyone?
Interviewing is a nerve-racking experience. Remember, at the core of those nerves is the opportunity for a better career and quality of life –you’re excited, not scared! If you can recognize those nerves for what they are, prepare for the position and company-focused interview questions, and remind yourself that you’ve got this, you will have the confidence needed to make it through your interview without breaking a sweat.