4 Ways To Be Confident In An Interview

Confidence might not be the only thing that lands you the job. But when interviewing, it’s going to help you in a number of ways. For instance, having confidence during the interview gives the interviewer confidence that you can do the job. It also communicates that you can carry yourself in a professional manner. Lastly, it will make negotiations of salary a bit easier as you’ll be perceived as the best candidate for the job.

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So how you can you exude confidence to those you are interviewing with? There are a few ways.

Ways To Show Confidence In An Interview

1. Speak clearly and with articulation

It’s important that you don’t ramble on. Imagine trying to be sold something in a retail store. If the sales associate you are speaking with is telling you sentence after sentence about why you should buy the product, what do you think is going to happen? You’re going to feel like they are falsely selling you. If they were to say, “You should buy this.” with only one impactful sentence, you’ll most likely respond to that better. Same goes for interviewing. Don’t over-articulate.

2. Body language is important

The best body language is a comfortable one. That means don’t fidget, don’t sit straight up like you aren’t comfortable. It’s okay to cross your legs and look comfortable. By having this body language it will put you in a dominant position, which is what you want.

Related: 6 Confident Body Language Tips For Interviews

3. Eye contact is important

Making frequent eye contact is very important. If you are constantly looking away from the person you are speaking with, it will appear as though you might be telling white lies or fibs. It won’t come across with confidence. Too much eye contact isn’t required. You can break away and look at something else. But be sure you are paying attention to how much eye contact you are giving.

Pro fact: Dr. Albert Mehrabian, author of Silent Messages conducted a number of studies on nonverbal communication between humans. He found that only 7% of the message to another person is conveyed by words. While 55% came through nonverbal elements.

4. Smile

Yes, smile every once in a while. But only when the time is right. Don’t smile when unprompted or else it will appear as though you are thinking about something other than what you are speaking about. It will make the other person feel uncomfortable.

5. Use your hands

Yes, using your hands is a good thing. Speak with expression. You can point, you can tap your hand on the desk or table. These are all okay things to do. Be sure that you don’t overdo it. Just do what feels comfortable to you.

6. Have water with you

It seems simple but if you need to clear your throat or you have a dry throat, you’ll feel uncomfortable. Have some water with you just in case. That way if you need it, it’s there. Additionally, it gives you something to do while interviewing and makes you look more comfortable.

7. Practice your delivery

Being prepared for the interview questions in advance will make you feel more confident. It’s important that you practice every single potential interview question you might receive and have a prepared answer.

8. Don’t overthink it

The worst thing you can do is start to overthink the scenario. Are they liking the interview? Are you doing a good job? Are you doing a bad job? Don’t think about these things. Just do your best and let the interview come to you.

9. Ask them questions

Don’t just let them ask you questions. Have a notebook where you have some prepared questions you’d like to have answered. It’s okay to have a pen and paper with you. Write down some general questions that you think are leading questions. Things like, “What’s your favorite thing about the work environment here?” that simple type of question can go a long way in making the conversation feel friendly.

10. Pay attention

This is a simple one but it’s really important. Don’t just hear someone, listen to someone. When they are talking, don’t be thinking about your next answer or question to whatever they are talking about. Watch their lips, and try to ingest as much as you can about what they are saying. Make them feel like you are listening to them. When they are speaking, that’s the perfect time to be making eye contact with them.

11. Don’t interrupt someone

Another very simple yet effective tactic. Don’t interrupt the person you are interviewing with. It will appear desperate and also rude. Let them finish what they are saying and then speak. If they are taking up too much of the conversation, that’s okay. Let them continue to do so. That means you’ll have less time to have to answer questions and that could be a great benefit for you.

12. Silence is okay

People often think that when they are prompted with a hard question, they need to respond right away. It’s okay to let the conversation take a pause. If you need a moment to think about your answer, all you have to do is say, “That’s a great question, let me think about that for a moment.” and then continue with your answer.

13. Wear something comfortable

Comfort is the same as confidence. If you don’t feel comfortable in what you’re wearing, then your body language will show that. Wear something that makes you feel confident and comfortable. If you don’t have one of those outfits, I suggest that you go out and buy one for your interview. If the interview requires you to dress up, it’s better to slightly underdress and be comfortable than to overdress and look uncomfortable.

14. Clean up

It sounds simple, but get yourself a new haircut. Or make sure you spent enough time before your interview, getting prepared. Again, comfort is key here. But do anything you can to make you feel comfortable. If that means going for exercise before your interview, then do so. Find what makes you feel good and do that before your interview.

Why Is Confidence Important In An Interview

Confidence is important in an interview because it indirectly expresses experience. For example, if you were going to the grocery store and ask someone a question and they gave you a long answer, you might start thinking that the person you're speaking with doesn't actually know the answer to your question. Ideally, you asked a simple question and you got a simple response because that person has the experience to know how to answer it.

That's why confidence is important. Your interviewer wants to feel a sense of security, that they are hiring the best potential candidate with the most amount of experience. Your delivery method (confidence) is critical in making your interviewer feel secure about what you're telling them.

Is It OK To Tell Your Interviewer That You Are Nervous

It's absolutely okay to mention to your interviewer that you're nervous. It may not have any impact on the interview itself, as the interviewer still wants to know that you have the experience to be able to answer their questions clearly. But if you say something like, "I really love this company and have wanted to work here for years, so I apologize if I sound nervous at all." it could give you "extra credit" with the interviewer and make them feel like you're passionate about the job.

Preparation Will Make You Confident (How To)

This may sound like the simplest task in all of this. And unfortunately, the one that’s going to take the longest for you to prepare for. But when you are ready to answer all of the questions that you might receive, it will inherently make you feel more confident. Imagine this like preparing for a sporting event as an athlete. If you know the other teams play and how they play the game, it gives you more confidence in what to look for.

Spending the time to go through the interview questions with a family member or friend will be of benefit here. They can give you feedback about how you might have answered the questions and what your demeanor looked like. If the conversation felt natural, then that’s a great sign. You don’t want to appear uncomfortable. That’s the key to confidence, looking comfortable.

author: patrick algrim
About the author

Patrick Algrim is an experienced executive who has spent a number of years in Silicon Valley hiring and coaching some of the world’s most valuable technology teams. Patrick has been a source for Human Resources and career related insights for Forbes, Glassdoor, Entrepreneur, Recruiter.com, SparkHire, and many more.


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