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8 Tricks To Be More Confident for Your Interview

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8 Tricks To Be More Confident for Your Interview

A job search can be a stressful time in a person’s life, and staying positive and motivated can make a world of difference for how a candidate is viewed through the eyes of the interviewer. There’s a wealth of practical information on the web about resume and cover letter tips, acing the interview, and follow-up responses. But how do you avoid getting wrapped up in all the stress and worry of a job hunt and maintain a positive outlook? The more confident you feel, the more it will show. Be poised and hold your head high with these useful day-of interview tips:

8 Tricks to Be More Confident for Your Interview

Use Power Postures

We all know that our minds control our actions and our movements. But did you know you can actually use your body to trick your mind into feeling a certain way? Slouching or slumping and crossing your arms are all examples of closed off postures, and when we feel small, we tend to exhibit these poses. If you spend a little time opening yourself up and exhibiting the postures of the confident, you can build a sense of assurance just by your actions. Spend several minutes practicing “power poses,” or opening yourself up, spreading your arms, walking tall, and looking the part.

Practice Speaking Out Loud and Smiling

We often spend the hours before our interview at home alone going over our perfect answers for the questions we anticipate. We haven’t spoken out loud all day, and without noticing it, we feel holed up and nervous. Public speaking and enunciation are skills and we need to hone these skills in order to master them. Once the interview starts, it’s extremely difficult to correct our speaking problems because we may be too nervous or we just plain don’t notice them. Practice speaking your answers out loud so you can hear your voice and correct any nervous intonations, pitch problems, or pacing issues before you go to your interview.

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And don’t forget to smile. Smiling is contagious, even for yourself. Smile often before your interview to get in the habit of doing so, and you’ll feel more comfortable offering a genuine smile while you’re greeted and when you’re being interviewed.

Listen to Upbeat Music

When you’re in your interview, you want to sound excited and enthusiastic about the position, and not downtrodden and beaten up by the job search process. Do whatever you do to pump yourself up and put yourself in the mood to win, whether it’s listening to upbeat music or watching motivational YouTube videos, or just reading inspirational quotes. Think about a time in your life when you succeeded to get yourself motivated.

Leave Your Hang-ups at the Door

So you had your dream job interview the previous day, and now you’re at your backup job interview. If only you could know beforehand whether or not you’ll be offered the dream job, because then you wouldn’t have to keep interviewing. Yesterday you were at your best, but today doesn’t really matter.

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Whatever you feel about the job you’re interviewing for, treat it like it’s your only priority. Bring enthusiasm with you to every interview you go on, because nothing is set in stone, and no matter how confident you are that you aced the dream job interview, you can never be sure until you’ve signed the contract. If you’re anything but excited about the position, it will show. And you never know, the backup job could end up being perfect.

Dress For the Feeling You Want

Job searching sometimes only happens every few years, or longer. If your last interview outfit has gone out of style, you’ll feel outdated and boxy while wearing it and this could result in awkward behavior on your part because you don’t feel comfortable. Don’t dress in clothes you feel ridiculous wearing. If you take some time to pick out a professional and stylish outfit you feel confident in, you’ll be more likely to exude this assurance and everything from your posture to your attitude could change for the better.

Do One Extroverted Act Before Your Interview

Smile at a stranger. Start small talk with the barista. Chat with the receptionist or the people in the elevator in a friendly manner. Interviewers aren’t just looking for the person who has the perfect answer for every question, they’re also searching for someone who can fit the team dynamic. Employers strive to create a motivated, friendly environment with high company morale, and if you come across as someone who’s shut off and impersonal, no matter how well you answer the questions, you’re doing yourself a disservice by not letting your more lively personality show a little.

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Always remember that the small talk that occurs at the beginning of the interview is equally important as the interview itself, so put yourself in a friendly mood by being an extrovert for a few minutes in the morning. (True story: a friend of mine was once so friendly to the people in the elevator after her interview, that one employee rode right back up to tell his boss to hire her immediately. Every action counts, even if your interviewer isn’t present.)

Get Your Nervous Tics Out of the Way Before You Enter the Building

So you crack your knuckles. You bite your nails on occasion, you tap your foot when you’re feeling excited. We have nervous tics because they offer a feeling of release, and it can be relaxing to give in every once in a while. You don’t have to tell yourself to abandon your habits completely, but make sure you’re not doing them in front of a future employer. Make a point to get it all out of the way when you’re still at home or in your car. Go ahead and crack your knuckles and tap your foot if it calms your nerves, then make a mental note to hold off for the few hours you’re in the building (Do be careful when biting your nails, you want them to look nice and well-manicured for the interview).

Understand and Have the Best Possible Answer to the Question “Why Do You Want This Job?”

Depending on how you answer, this could potentially be the most important question of the interview. It can make or break your prospect of landing the job, and if asked in the beginning of the interview, it can set the tone for the rest of the meeting. Knowing the answer to this question means knowing all about the company and the company’s mission, and it requires a deep understanding of your own career values and desires. It also addresses not only why you’re enthusiastic about the position, but how your specific skill set can be of use to the company.

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If the interviewer doesn’t ask this, answer it anyway. When it’s your turn to ask questions or add something, say that you’d like to add what motivated you to apply for the position at that particular company, and why you were excited to be contacted for the interview. Talk about how you believe your values and ambitions are in line with the company’s, and why you feel passionate about the work they do. Think of this answer as your chance to impress and spend a lot of time researching and rehearsing what you’re going to say in this moment.

Your Chance to Shine

Always remember that the interview isn’t just a session to figure out what skills and experience you possess, it’s a chance for you to let your personality show and to prove that you’d be a good fit for the team. Don’t pass up any opportunity for friendly conversation, and be more wary of short and curt answers than loquaciousness (but try not to ramble too much, of course). Have confidence in yourself, believe that you’re capable of landing this job. After all, they called you; they decided your resume and cover letter were worthy of an interview. So practice potential questions and your answers, but also work on building confidence in yourself and having a positive outlook.

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Last Updated on August 25, 2021

Why Personal Branding Is Important to Your Career

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Why Personal Branding Is Important to Your Career

As a recruiter, I have met and interviewed hundreds of candidates who have no idea who they are.

Without a personal brand, candidates struggle to answer the question: “tell me about yourself—who are you?” They have no idea about who they are, what their strengths are, and how they can add value to the company. They present their CV’s believing that their CV is the key to their career success. In some ways, your CV still has its use. However, in today’s job market, you need more than a CV to stand out in a crowd.

According to Celinne Da Costa:[1]

“Personal brand is essentially your golden ticket to networking with the right people, getting hired for a dream job, or building an influential business.” She believes that “a strong personal brand allows you to stand out in an oversaturated marketplace by exposing desired audiences to your vision, skillset, and personality in a way that is strategically aligned with your career goals.”

A personal brand opens up your world to so many more career opportunities that you would never have been exposed to with just your CV.

What Is Your Personal Brand?

“Personal branding is how you distinctively market your uniqueness.” —Bernard Kelvin Clive

Today, the job market is very competitive and tough. Having a great CV will only let you go so far because everyone has a CV, but no one else has your distinct personal brand! It is your personal brand that differentiates you from everyone else and that is what people buy—you.

Your personal brand is your mark on the world. It is how people you interact with and the world see you. It is your legacy—it is more important than a business brand because your personal brand lasts forever.

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I have coached people who have very successful careers, and they come to me because they have suddenly found that they are not getting the opportunities or having the conversations that would them to their next role. They are having what I call a “career meltdown,” all because they have no personal brand.

A personal brand helps you become conscious of your differences and your uniqueness. It allows you to position yourself in a way that makes you stand out from the pack, especially among other potential job applicants.

Don’t get me wrong, having a great CV and a great LinkedIn profile is important. However, there are a few steps that you have to take to have a CV and LinkedIn profile that is aligned to who you are, the value you offer to the market, and the personal guarantee that you deliver results.

Building your personal brand is about strategically, creatively, and professionally presenting what makes you, you. Knowing who you are and the value you bring to the table enables you to be more informed, agile, and adaptable to the changing dynamic world of work. This is how you can avoid having a series of career meltdowns.

Your Personal Brand Is Essential for Your Career Success

In her article, Why Personal Branding Is More Important Than Ever, Caroline Castrillon outlines key reasons why a personal brand is essential for career success.

According to Castrillon,[2]

“One reason is that it is more popular for recruiters to use social media during the interview process. According to a 2018 CareerBuilder survey, 70% of employers use social media to screen candidates during the hiring process, and 43% of employers use social media to check on current employees.”

The first thing I do as a recruiter when I want to check out a candidate or coaching client is to look them up on LinkedIn or other social media platforms, such as Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. Your digital footprint is the window that highlights to the world who you are. When you have no control over how you want to be seen, you are making a big mistake because you are leaving it up to someone else to make a judgment for you as to who you are.

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As Jeff Bezos, the founder of Amazon, once said, “Your brand is what people say about you when you are not in the room.”

In her book, Becoming, Michelle Obama writes about the importance of having a personal brand and her journey to defining her personal brand. She wrote that:

“if you don’t get out there and define yourself, you’ll be quickly and inaccurately defined by others.”

When you have a personal brand, you are in control. You know exactly what people will say about you when you leave the room.

The magic of a personal brand is that gives you control over how you want to be seen in the world. Your confidence and self-belief enable you to leverage opportunities and make informed decisions about your career and your future. You no longer experience the frustrations of a career meltdown or being at a crossroads not knowing what to do next with your career or your life. With a personal brand, you have focus, clarity, and a strategy to move forward toward future success.

Creating your personal brand does not happen overnight. It takes a lot of work and self-reflection. You will be expected to step outside of your comfort zone not once, but many times.

The good news is that the more time you spend outside of your comfort zone, the more you will like being there. Being outside of your comfort zone is where you can test the viability of and fine-tune your personal brand.

5 Key Steps to Creating Your Personal Brand

These five steps will help you create a personal brand that will deliver you the results you desire with your career and in life.

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1. Set Your Personal Goals

What is it that you want to do in the next five years? What will your future self be doing in the next five to ten years? What is important to you? If you can answer these questions, then you are on the right path. If not, then you have to start thinking about them.

2. Create Your Unique Value Proposition

Create your unique value proposition by asking yourself these four questions:

  1. What are your personality features? What benefit do you offer people?
  2. Who are you and why do people enjoy working with you?
  3. What do you do and what do people want you to do for them? How do you solve their problems?
  4. What makes you different from others like you?

The answers to these questions will give you the information you need to create your professional story, which is the key step to creating your personal brand.

3. Write Your Professional Story

Knowing who you are, what you want, and the unique value you offer is essential to you creating your professional story. People remember stories. Your personal story incorporates your value proposition and tells people who you are and what makes you unique. This is what people will remember about you.

4. Determine Which Platforms Will Support Your Personal Brand

Decide which social media accounts and online platforms will best represent your brand and allow you to share your voice. In a professional capacity, having a LinkedIn profile and a CV that reflects your brand is key to your positioning in relation to role opportunities. People will be connecting with you because they will like the story you are telling.

5. Become Recognized for Sharing Your Knowledge and Expertise

A great way for you to promote yourself is by sharing knowledge and helping others. This is where you prove you know your stuff and you gain exposure for doing so. You can do this through social media, writing, commenting, video, joining professional groups, networking, etc. Find your own style and uniqueness and use it to attract clients, the opportunities, or the jobs you desire.

The importance of having a personal brand is not going to go away. In fact, it is the only way where you can stand out and be unique in a complex changing world of work. If you don’t have a personal brand, someone will do it for you. If you let this happen, you have no control and you may not like the story they create.

Standing out from others takes time and investment. Most people cannot make the change by themselves, and this is where engaging a personal brand coach is a viable option to consider.

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As a personal brand coach, working with my clients to create their personal brand is my passion. I love the fact that we can work together to create a personal story that defines exactly what people will say when you leave the room.

Other People’s Stories

Listening to other people’s stories is a great way to learn. In his article, 7 TED Talks About Personal Branding, Rafael Dos Santos presents the best Ted Talks where speakers share their stories about the “why,” “what,” and “how” of personal branding.((GuidedPR: 7 TED Talks About Personal Branding))

Take some time out to listen to these speakers sharing their stories and thoughts about personal branding. You will definitely learn so much about how you can start your journey of defining yourself and taking control of your professional and personal life.

Your personal brand, without a doubt, is your secret weapon to your career success. As Michelle Obama said,

“your story is what you have, what you will always have. It is something to own.”

So, go own your story. Go on the journey to create your personal brand that defines who you are, highlights your uniqueness, and the value you offer to the world.

Featured photo credit: Austin Distel via unsplash.com

Reference

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