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3 ways to be more confident at job interviews

4 minutes

1. Don’t try to impress your interviewerResearch shows recruiters hire people who they like,...

1. Don’t try to impress your interviewer

Research shows recruiters hire people who they like, and who are most like them. So while it’s important to demonstrate your skills, trying to “impress” an interviewer with your vast knowledge won’t work as well as simply coming across as likeable.

One way to do this is to stop thinking about how you feel and put yourself in the interviewer’s shoes, says psychologist Dr Gary Wood.

Interview coach Margaret Buj’s top tip is to match the interviewer’s talking pace. “For example, if the interviewer is talking slowly, you might want to match that speed. It helps to establish rapport.”

2. Channel your inner coach

Often when we’re nervous, our inner voice tells us we won’t succeed. Business psychologist Sarah Connell recommends paying close attention to your thoughts before the interview.

“When you find yourself engaging in unhelpful or unrealistic thinking, challenge the thoughts and replace them with something more positive.”

For example, if during the job interview you think “the panel think I am rubbish, they are all bored”, challenge yourself by saying: “what evidence do I have that they think I am rubbish?”.

Then replace the thoughts with something helpful, such as: “The interview panel are on my side. They want to hear what I have to say.”

One way to get yourself in a positive mindset before the interview is to practice focusing on your strengths, adds Wood.

“My top tip is to set a stopwatch for 60 seconds and say as many good things about yourself as you can in that time. Do this as often as you can, and then do it just before you go into the interview. It will give you a great confidence boost.”

3. Relax … and breathe

People get preoccupied with how to come across well and what body language to use at interview, but the most important thing is to relax. “Then the body language takes care of itself,” says Wood.

However, when a potential new job is on the line that’s easier said than done. One tip that works well is to take some deep breaths to calm your nerves. “It will help you relax and take your body out of ‘survival mode’,” he adds.

Buj agrees that taking deep breaths before an interview is a quick way to boost confidence. “When we get nervous our breathing becomes shallower and faster. By doing the opposite, breathing slowly and deeply, we can counteract our nerves.”

Our jaws and shoulders also tend to tense up when we are frightened – so a good way to alleviate this is to practice moving your jaw and rolling your shoulders back.

Ultimately, succeeding at job interviews is about presenting yourself well, coming across as competent and managing your nerves. The best tip to boost confidence is to listen to your body – whether you are breathing too quickly, or telling yourself you will fail – and work towards changing those habits.

Source: Total Jobs