How to Interview with Confidence
Congratulations! You’ve secured a job interview.
Oftentimes, the initial excitement of making it to this step in the hiring process wears off quickly, replaced by anxiety over how the interview will go.
If you are feeling nervous, fear not. You made it to the interview process, so the recruiter has seen something in your application that they believe could be an asset to their company.
Before interview day, make sure you spend time reviewing the job posting and preparing to align some of the points with your skillset and abilities. Remember, they wouldn’t be bringing you in if they didn’t think you were a solid candidate. You can relax knowing you do not need to have all the skills listed in the job posting, but be sure to take the time to research any terms, tools, or software not familiar to you.
The following tips will help boost your confidence to showcase your unique skillsets, increasing your chances of landing the job.
Showcase professional skills confidently.
Showcasing professional confidence means displaying healthy self-promotion. You do this by discussing your work-based skills and experience in a relaxed yet self-assured manner.
Preparation and practice are crucial to success, but there is a difference between being prepared and sounding rehearsed. Striking a balance is key. If you don’t have a partner to practice with you, then record yourself, view it, and refine your responses from there.
Here is an exercise to try before your next interview to confidently demonstrate professional skills.
Answer the question: “How do you make a peanut butter and jelly sandwich?” Talk through the detailed steps of how you’d make this sandwich. When preparing for your interview, use that same tone and confidence to discuss your professional skills and experience.
Discuss personal skills.
This might seem counterintuitive. However, being able to intertwine your life experiences with your professional abilities serves as a key differentiator from other candidates. By bringing your whole self to your interview, you will build a genuine connection with the interviewer and show a wider scope of your skills. This will surely set you apart from the competition!
For example, if you’re asked about your programming experience, your initial response might be, “I don’t have any.”
However, if you consider the question from a broader perspective, you might respond differently. Here’s another way to answer: “While I don’t have direct programming skills, programming is all about problem solving. I have problem solved many times in my life. Here’s how I’ll bring that skill to your organization…”
The more you can humanize yourself with direct examples from your life, the higher chance you’ll land the job. And keep reminding yourself, they’re interested in you for a reason. Bring that confidence to the job.
Answer interview questions confidently.
Below are basic guidelines to keep in mind to ensure you appear poised during a job interview.
- Pause before answering the question. It’s human nature to want to respond immediately to eliminate awkward silences. Before jumping into an answer, take a deep breath and then formulate a response in your mind. And, remember, it is okay to ask your interviewer to reword the question if you didn’t quite understand it.
- Be an active listener. Write down questions. Then, consider what your interviewer might want to hear. You don’t always need to respond literally.
For example, don’t say that you got angry at a rude customer and then kicked them out of your restaurant. Instead, discuss how you resolved a conflict at work.
- Never answer “No.” Always say, “No, and,” or, “No, but.” For example, if you are interviewing for a financial job and you are asked whether you have industry experience, you might respond, “No, but I’m very interested in finance.”
- Use the STAR method. The STAR method helps structure responses to scenario-based or behavioral interview questions by showing how you approach problems, think critically, and work to achieve a positive result. Use the following steps:
- Situation: Set the scene and give the necessary details.
- Task: Describe what your responsibility was in that situation.
- Action: Explain exactly what steps you took to address it.
- Result: Share what outcomes your actions achieved.
You hold the key to job interview confidence
Drawing from your personal and professional experiences will improve your chances of securing a job offer.
Keep reminding yourself that you deserve to be there. Interviewers want to understand the unique skills and experience you would bring to the job and the organization as a whole. It’s up to you to shine a light on them.
Interviewing with confidence takes practice and preparation, and YUPRO Placement is here to help. Join us for Weekly Virtual Office Hours on Wednesdays to learn more about how we can help. Register at https://bit.ly/YUPROOfficeHours.