Whether you are feeling it or not, if you can appear confident in an interview (and not over-confident or cocky) it will go a long way in convincing the hiring management team that you are the right person for the job.
Confidence is an inner knowing that you are capable. Think about driving for example. If you are an adult that drives you probably get in your car each day and drive to your destination. You know under most circumstances that you will get to where you want to be because you feel confident about your abilities. Driving can be challenging and leads to many accidents, injuries and even death, yet most people have no doubt about their ability to drive.
If you were asked about your drive to the in-person interview and about your driving skills, you would appear confident. You know what to do and how to handle most situations. This is what you need to do in the interview. Take the confidence you have in driving and apply it similarly to the position you want to land in as you present yourself to be capable based on your experience and skills.
Another way to appear confident, open and likable is with your body language. People read body language within 45 seconds of seeing you. If you are slumped with a frown on your face, what does that say? Good body language can help you to build rapport and sometimes overcome the lack of a skill or requirement for a job.
Whether you are sitting in a manager’s office or doing a video interview make sure to sit straight and with good posture. Most importantly, smile when you first meet someone and periodically during the interview. This makes you look friendly and approachable.
If you are a table or desk put your hands on the table in an open position. This shows you have nothing to hide and you are open to discussing any professional topic.
Eye contact is another very important aspect of body language. You want to build a connection and bond with the interviewers. You want to be heard and you want the hiring manager to feel heard.
The best way to do this is with eye contact. Do it with intention with every interviewer whether in an individual interview or with a panel as you answer a question or make a point. With eye contact, you are showing that you are not afraid, that you are confident, and that you recognize and appreciate that they are there. It also shows that you are present in that meeting and want to address and engage them.
Be aware that if you are doing a video interview that you must look at the camera while you are listening and answering questions, which is the only and best way to show eye contact and attentiveness. The tendency is to look at the person on your screen, which often looks like you are looking down. I strongly recommend that you practice and get feedback before you do a video interview.
Since an interview involves talking, your speech patterns and intonation are of utmost importance and at the core of sounding confident. Speak with a clear voice, normal volume and pace, no filler words such as “um”, “uh” or “you know.” Explain about your previous positions, tell them about your accomplishments and how your skills and experience will be an asset in the role. Make sure to practice, recording yourself so you can hear your own voice. Or do a mock interview with a coach or a friend so you get feedback and can make adjustments.
And keep in mind for phone interviews there are no visuals so how you speak will be key to moving forward in the interview process.
Going into an interview knowing your skills, abilities and accomplishments as well as preparing and practicing in advance with an emphasis on body language will help you to appear confident even though you may be nervous.
Remember, people are unconsciously attracted to a confident person that knows what s/he wants.
Let Estelle help you in preparing for your interview or meeting. She will coach you in enhancing your body language, how to best answer questions and in how to talk about your accomplishments and the issues that you need to address. Contact Estelle at firstname.lastname@example.org or 831-601-6576