BLOSSOM WITH Confidence
- Are you someone that lacks confidence?
- Are you quiet or shy?
- Do you become terrified when put on the spot by unexpected questions?
- Do you hide and run away because you’re scared or worried about failing to achieve your goals and dreams?
If this sounds like you don’t worry, you’re definitely not alone. Although I try my best to forget it, I can’t help remembering back to my very first interview. Heels I couldn’t walk in, sweaty palms, forgetting the interviewer’s name....
Several years later, I’m a lot more confident at interviews now and some of this has come with practice. But I’ve realised that some of this confidence can also be learnt. In fact, you can even pretend to be more confident. You just have to get good at acting!
Let’s start by talking about confidence first. So many people lack confidence where others don’t. We all have strengths and weaknesses, we just need to figure out what they are and use them to our advantage to get where we want and achieve our goals.
What are your strengths and weaknesses? Think about three of your strengths and weaknesses and then write them down. For example, “I can’t stand up in front of people and talk, it terrifies me.” What do you do? Do you run and hide? No. Take deep breaths and think “I am going to do this and succeed”. Positive thinking can change the way you see things. Now try one of your weaknesses you have written down and this time, turn it into a positive. Keep telling yourself that you can succeed and believe me, you will.
Like me, if you’re not what you’d describe as a naturally confident person, here are my seven tips for coming across more confident in your next interview.
Seven tips to act more confident in your next interview:
1. Use your environment: One effective way to help develop confidence ahead of an interview is to use your environment around you. Why not try reading self-development books, watch documentaries and YouTube videos by real professionals and take note of the tips that could work for you? Why don’t you try to surround yourself with confident people, observe their body language and how they behave? Test it out. Next time you go shopping or go out with friends, try some of the things you’ve learned in a less stressful environment so you feel prepared for when it really matters.
2. Do your research: Before you attend an interview, you must do your research! It would be really embarrassing if you didn’t know anything about the company you hope to be working for. Employers are most likely to ask you to “Tell us what you know about this company?” You must be prepared for questions, so do some research. You can even take a notepad and pen into the interview, especially if you’ve made notes you might want to refer to. Feeling prepared will naturally make you feel more confident.
3. Dress for success: The way you dress and look plays a massive part in your confidence. Dressing smartly doesn’t just make a good first impression with the interviewer but can also make you feel good about yourself. However, a little word of warning. Remember what I said about my uncomfortable heels? Make sure you try your all-important outfit on the night before and feel relaxed in what you’re wearing because if you don’t, this can have the opposite effect on your confidence. Bursting buttons and sloppy straps are never a good look and can make you feel self-conscious throughout which can be really off-putting.
4. Don’t be late: Never be late to an interview. Always arrive 10-20 minutes before so you have time to breathe, to think and to prepare before you go in. If you’re rushing around, your stress levels will rise and if you’re late, it can look really unprofessional to the employer. They might even write you off and hire someone else purely on the basis of poor time keeping alone.
5. Smile: Walking through the door of your interview, what’s the number one thing you should do? Normally, people say make eye contact. For me, that’s great if you’re confident but if you’re not, that might make you feel worse. Instead, I would say smile. You’d be surprised how good it is for you on the inside as well the outside. On the inside? Smiling realises positive patterns in your mind which can overpower negative patterns. On the outside? You’ll create a more happy and friendly atmosphere and naturally appear more confident.
6. Turn the tables: This is a really big confidence booster. Always remember that the interviewer is just as anxious about the interview as you are and they need to impress you as much as you do them. Why don’t you turn to your research and ask them questions? This will make you more confident in yourself because you’re regaining some of the control. Also, giving off a confident persona will score you points with the interviewer too.
7. Don’t obsess about what went wrong: Last but certainly not least, don’t stress out after an interview. You’re only going to give yourself a headache and knock your confidence in the process. You can’t do anything about the things you forgot to mention or how bored you thought the interviewer looked. Sometimes you can just never tell how an interview went. You might be really surprised and get it and if you don’t, ask for feedback, dust yourself off and move onto the next one!
Part-funded by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF), the Knowledge Exchange & Enterprise Network (KEEN) is a graduate recruitment programme designed to give bright and talented graduates a platform to launch their careers, while gaining valuable business skills along the way.
It’s a three-way relationship between a graduate (or Affiliate – that’s you!), a company and a university; and can last between 6 to 18 months.
About the author
Rianna Haq is a current Broadcasting and Journalism graduate from The University of Wolverhampton. She has worked on a WXP placement as a Faculty Business Development Intern within the Business Solutions Centre team based on the University of Wolverhampton Science Park.