May 31

Job Interview Confidence: Stop Looking Weak and Get Hired

Do you have job interview confidence? Most people don’t. The nature of job interviews involves being judged, which doesn’t do a lot for making you feel safe and secure. That scrutiny, along with the pressure of really wanting or needing this job, makes it very difficult project confidence…and yet, if you don’t project confidence, you won’t get hired.

Try these strategies before and during your interview to feel and look more confident, have a stronger interview, and get hired.

Build confidence before your job interview

Put together a brag book

A brag book is a collection of all your successes. It would include things like performance reviews, awards, certificates, complimentary notes from happy customers, coworkers, or bosses, and so on. There’s nothing like seeing all your successes in one place. It’s a big confidence boost. Find out how to build a brag book here.

Call people you used to work for and ask why they liked working with you

Hearing from people who liked working with you is a tremendous confidence booster.  If you have someone like that, call them up (even if it’s been a while since you talked).

Take care of yourself during your job search

Eat right, get some exercise, and get enough sleep. While you’re at it, do something fun. Don’t fall into the trap of thinking that your job search has to be a full-time job. Concentrate on your search for 4-5 hours a day and then do something that lifts your spirits. Spend time with friends and family or start a new hobby. The happiness you get will boost your overall confidence.

Over-prepare for every interview

There’s nothing like being totally prepared to calm your nerves. Practice answering interview questions (you may want to work with a career coach), do a lot of research on the company, and write a 30-60-90-day plan.

Project confidence during your job interview

Use stronger words and phrases

A common mistake I see in job candidates is soft or weak language, such as ‘I hope,’ ‘I think,’ ‘With luck,’ ‘If things go well,’ and ‘If it goes as planned.’ These kinds of phrases make you look weak in job interviews. You can’t inspire confidence in your abilities if you only hope you can get the job done. Yoda said, ‘There is no try…only do or do not.’

Instead, practice your interview answers using wording like, ‘I can,’ ‘I will,’ and ‘I do.’  You don’t just THINK you’ll succeed…you KNOW you’ll succeed.

Use stronger body language

When you walk in, smile and give a firm handshake. Imagine that this person already likes you so you’ll relax. Don’t fidget or touch your face. Those things indicate nerves. Sit up straight in your chair and lean forward slightly because it projects enthusiasm.

Expect a positive outcome

If you’ve prepared for the interview, there’s really no reason for it to go badly. Expect a positive outcome from this conversation and imagine it. When you do, you’ll smile. You’ll seem more relaxed and confident.

If you have any doubts about your job interview confidence, consider working with a career coach.


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