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How to Show Confidence at an Interview

Job interviews are stressful.  You have to navigate tough questions and figure out how to position your skills and experience in a way that is attractive to employers.  Many candidates freeze up and are not able to effectively communicate what they can do.  Confidence is key.  If it's apparent that you know that you can do the job well, you will be a much more attractive candidate.  If you're nervous, the good news is that you can fake it!  Here are a few strategies that will help you project confidence:

Manage your body language.  As human beings, we communicate so much without even saying a word.  You can communicate confidence through your body language by making good eye contact, by sitting confidently, and by limiting your fidgeting.  If you make yourself look confident, you may start to feel confident too.     

Relax.  Try to enjoy the interview as much as you can.  Interviews are always stressful but take it as an opportunity to learn about a company, to build up your network, and to practice selling your skills.  Smile and get to know the people who will be interviewing you.  If you can stay present in the moment, you will perform better.   

Practice.  Just reading about the position isn't enough to prepare you for the interview.  You need to practice actually answering common interview questions.  The employer will be expecting a detailed answer with specific examples from your work experience.  If you have practiced answering these questions ahead of time, it will be much easier for you to come up with strong answers in the moment.     

Take it slow.  If you are feeling a lot of pressure to answer the questions quickly, you are more likely to get stuck.  Try your best to breathe and to relax your body.  It's not a race; you aren't going to make a better impression by speeding through the answer.  Take the time to listen to and understand the question and don't be afraid to take a moment to think about it. 

Don't be desperate to please them.  This is not the last opportunity that will ever come your way.  If this job doesn't work out, something else will.  You want to make a good impression but you also need to determine whether or not this is a job that you actually want.  You are not begging for a job; you are meeting the employer to decide if this position is a good fit for you.    

When it comes down to it, while you may wish that you had a lot more experience and skills that are relevant to the job, you can only be who you are.  If you feel that you have given the employer an accurate perspective of what you can do, then you should consider your interview a success. 

(Written by Karen Bivand, Image by