- Everyone isn’t asked for an interview, so, when you are, know that your potential employer already believes something about you fits the position. The hiring process costs time and money, and interviewers generally want you to do well; they are checking you out to see if you live up to their “on paper” expectations, such as your resume, reference letters and portfolio. Yes, they want to discuss what you would bring to the job professionally, but they also want to see how you think on your feet and personally fit into their company culture. They’re looking for confidence to back up your qualifications.
- Prepare for your interview. Research the company online, including its culture -- often found under About Us, Mission or Vision on its website -- and a key product. Ask the hiring manager with whom you’ll be interviewing; in some cases, you may interview with a panel or more than one person in different positions back-to-back, so you don’t want to be shocked if you are in either situation and rattle your confidence. Match the job description to your resume, prepare examples and practice common questions. The more you’re prepared, the stronger your arsenal for questions and answers, but be flexible; listen to the questions and take time to consider each one before reciting a scripted answer. It’s OK to pause and think before responding; in fact, many interviewers appreciate the thoughtfulness because it reveals your personality. And confidence.
- First, don’t apply for jobs for which you are not qualified or interested. Hiring managers and recruiters can tell when you’re wasting their time and don’t appreciate it; you won’t get called for an interview in these cases, and that is not a confidence booster. Don’t be a pest or show your desperation; yes, follow-up, but keep it short, to the point and no more than two points of contact -- one via email preferably. Anything more teeters on desperation and weakness. The opposite of confidence.
- An interview request is a coup in today’s job market, so embrace it, and use it to build your confidence. But don’t stop there; stay fresh. If your job search extends to months or longer, keep your skills and accomplishments honed and current. Use social media to your advantage; notify those in your professional and personal networks when you have new accomplishments -- volunteer or otherwise -- and seek the advice of professionals. Today, recruiting and career professionals have blogs and social media accounts that are free, so use them. Be open to advice and -- by all means-- be true to yourself because that will reveal confidence.