HOW TO BE CONFIDENT IN INTERVIEWS: 3 STEPS
Updated: Aug 13, 2021
Combining my experience in employability, wellbeing, and passion for self-development, here is a step-to-step guide to support you in being your best self in a professional environment and succeed in any job interview! With the current times in place, many of us are looking to start new jobs, so perhaps it is valuable to read and incorporate the following.
First of all, please find below the most frequently asked questions in interviews:
Tell me about yourself and your professional background:
What is your understanding of the role you are applying for?
How do you think your skills apply to this role?
What were your reasons for applying for this position?
What do you know about our company?
How do you think you would be a good fit for our team?
Where do you see yourself within your career 2-5 years from now?
Give me a detailed example of a professional achievement you are proud of:
STEP 1: BEFORE INTERVIEW
A few days before, a day before, or a few hours before attending your interview, it is always good practice to sit down with a pen and fresh sheet of blank paper (or word document if you prefer to work on your laptop) and write a couple of answers to those questions and properly rehearse them out loud. This might seem unnecessary, but this will help you to be relaxed, pleasant and confident during your interview and enable you to be very clear about what your own skills are, your motivation, and why the employer would be lucky to have you on board. You want to match your skills as much as possible to the job description and highlight how you are the right fit. This all plays to your advantage and is an efficient interview prep. It can be fun and give you new understanding of yourself and what you have taken on so far from your professional and personal experiences. This can also prevent not having proper answers during the interview - as we are often a little stressed when being interviewed, by knowing some of your answers by heart, you eliminate the element of surprise and apprehension, you are in control and can plan how you want to come across. Do not hesitate to detail some of the questions and give proper answers that last at least 2-3 minutes (especially for competency or scenario-based questions), you have things to say, just find them beforehand.
STEP 2: DURING INTERVIEW
Make sure that during your interview your responses are clear, both in your mind, and in the way you express yourself (be mindful of speaking in a professional manner in terms of vocabulary and be comfortable with eye contact). Speak calmly and surely, not too fast, and know that you are bringing on skills and knowledge from your past work experiences and personal background – always highlight the fact that you can be an asset to your potential employer and that you are motivated to be part of the company’s team/project. You would not want your interviewer to leave the meeting feeling like you seemed not motivated enough; it is crucial to show that you are fully on board. You can also have a few examples prepared of how you achieved something you are proud of in a past role and what your work experience has revealed about you so far. You can research the company and study the job description and have a couple of relevant questions prepared – this shows that you are a proactive person and that you are taking an interest in them, which they will not fail to notice. People are always attracted to those that genuinely seem interested in them and what they are doing. Moreover, this will also help you to get a good understanding of the role, the company, and evaluate what you like about it and how it might positively align with your self-development and wellbeing.
STEP 3: AFTER INTERVIEW
The more you will do these interview preparations rigorously, the more natural it will become for you to know your skills, describe your profile, and know how to sell yourself to an employer intuitively - after a while you will be able to conduct any type of interview in a successful and pleasant manner. I would suggest that after any interview, you take a moment for yourself completely away from the phone/laptop and switch your brain to something else and let go for a moment - changing environment is great, going for a walk outdoors or engage in a physical activity is even better. As you are waiting to hear back, feel free to visualise yourself getting the positive response back, visualise yourself working there, how it will feel like on your first day, what your new colleagues might be like, and how the benefits of this new job could impact your life. If you get it, that is wonderful news and you can be proud of yourself; if you do not get it, be extra proud of yourself and give yourself kindness and praises for having conducted this interview to the best of your abilities and hop onto the next job application with a serene mind.