Job interviews. Let’s be honest…there are few of us who revel in the prospect of upcoming job interviews. It’s much akin to going to the dentist or public speaking, where all probing eyes are on you and the answers you provide.
But while you may feel anything but easy about facing these job interviews, mustering up some quiet confidence can sell you as a job candidate, and the reality is even those who exude self assurance probably fake it to some degree. Here are five tips to help you gain confidence and nail that job interview.
Know your content
If you’re lucky enough to land an interview, swot up on information about the company and what you’re likely to be doing day-to-day. If it’s working as a salesperson for a major retailer, spend some time at an alternate location taking note of the environment, what people do, what they wear and how they behave.
Carefully examine the job role as advertised and, if possible, talk to people who have similar jobs.
If you need to brush up on some skills, then do it – via a quick course, internet research or even by pretending to fit your sister for new jeans in the comfort of your home. The more you imagine and personify the role, the more comfortable you’ll feel discussing it and the attributes you can bring.
Know your skills
You don’t have to list years of experience in a similar role to bring essential skills to the job table. Instead, you need to bring applicable attributes like problem solving ability, interpersonal skills, and a team ethic.
Rather than taking the time to worry that you haven’t done this before, consider the relevant times in life when you have been a fast learner, have worked as part of a team or overcome a challenging situation and resolved it for the benefit of all involved.
Then think about how this relates to the job you’re interviewing for, and practise in your head how you’re going to link it in.
Practise makes perfect
Job interviews are like sporting performances – you need to get in the “zone”, so practise the interview in your head, or with family and friends. There are a host of great online resources that illustrate what type of questions you will be asked. Make yourself familiar with them and consider the answers you might provide.
And do practise saying your answers out loud…in the mirror, with friends, while imagining how you will walk, talk and the self assurance you will exude. There are many studies that indicate even if you mimic or fake assured body language it will actually give you confidence and display it to others.
Yes, it’s about you
Job interviews are 50% about the job and 50% about you, so be prepared to talk about yourself in a positive way.
Really take the time to nut out a list of positive personality attributes about yourself that may apply on the job front. Rehearse saying them and imagine you’re telling an interviewer.
The key thing here is to balance what they say and ask with the information you need to impart so also make sure you listen to the interviewer in the knowledge every question has a potentially positive outcome for you.
When you arrive, put your shoulders back, hold your head high, take a deep breath and know there’s a reason you have been selected for an interview, now you just need to make a final good impression.
Dress for success
How you dress for a job interview reflects how seriously you take the opportunity and how you view yourself, so take the time to consider your wardrobe choice.
Well groomed candidates stand out a mile from the crowd. That means ensuring your clothes are clean, ironed and fit you well. They do not have to be expensive but should be appropriate and professional. Your hair should be neat and tidy, and any makeup appropriate for daytime.
Find your outfit before the interview and try it on to make sure it fits well. If you need something more suited to the job environment borrow it from friends. Before the interview you may even have a practise run, dressing in the clothes you will wear, the makeup you will apply and running through the interview.
Our Mission Engage program works with young job seekers to provide confidence, interview skills and workplace training. You can find more information about our training programs and the professional bodies we work with here.