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Job Interview Tips: 5 Ways to Increase Your Confidence

By: Pamela Watson

Careers Why do job interviews make you feel uncomfortable and stressed? Because interviews are designed to see if what you're selling is worth buying. Usually you're treated as if you're the product, an advertisement. No wonder most people feel uncomfortable and insecure during job interviews - - what if they don't buy what you're marketing or selling?

To increase your confidence in job interviews, it's important to make a direct, meaningful connection with the interviewer. Below I have provided 5 job interview tips that will help you minimize your anxiety and increase your confidence in the job interview.

1) Be aware of how you present yourself as soon as you walk in the door. The job interview begins as soon as you meet the front office staff (receptionists, secretaries, administrative assistants, etc.) Present a courteous and agreeable manner even if you had problems with finding the location, or if you're feeling nervous.

2) Recognize that the first impression is formed in the first few minutes of contact. This may seem unfair, however, this is still good information to know in advance. Your knowledge gives you power and a sense of control. The most important thing is to take a deep breath before you shake the interviewer's hand. Relax, look the interviewer squarely in the eye, and smile. Your muscle memory will now kick in and make a mental note that you're not in danger. The interviewer will be put at ease and your first impression will be professional and composed.

3) Check out your interviewer's surroundings so you can find helpful cues and signs. Even if the interviewer has brought you to a generic conference room for the interview, he or she will still provide cues or signs to help you connect. What is the interviewer wearing? If you're in the interviewer's office, what pictures are on the desk? What certificates are on the wall? Look around as you are seated so you can begin to make that human connection with this person. Your awareness of these physical cues will help you see that this interviewer is simply an individual who wants to share a conversation with you.

4) Stay a step ahead of the interviewer by analyzing their style. Every job interviewer will provide you with keys to succeeding within the interview. If you check out their voice and behavior you'll begin to see a pattern that emerges. They may pause before asking the tough questions - - or they may shoot them out quickly. They may keep the entire interview on a casual level - - or keep it very formal. Your role is to check out the patterns of their behavior and find a way to mirror what you see. You do not need to change your entire personality for an interview, but it is time to match the mood and tone. In this way, you begin to forge a connection.

5) Don't leave without asking some questions. I'd recommend taking mental notes of a few things that you hear during the interview so that you can bring up a related comment or question at the end. Yes, of course, you should have prepared a few questions to ask prior to arriving. But, be sure to double back to something the interviewer has said during the interview. In this way, you will be able to reinforce the connection which has been created.

Pamela Watson is offering a Free Interview Guide to all job seekers at http://www.beaconcareermgmt.com/InterviewSuccess.html. For 20 years, Pamela has provided career and job search advice to numerous professionals and college graduates. She has a Master's degree in HR Development (Columbia University), and is a member of Coachville, Association of Coaching & Consulting Professionals, and Electronic Recruiting Exchange Network.
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