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Boosting Your Confidence For An Interview
Confidence is one of the top five traits that employers look for in job candidates, which is ironic considering how nervous we all get before interviews! Overcoming your anxiety and projecting confidence during your interview might just be the key to getting the job, but it’s not easy. You’ll have to shift your mindset in a major way if you want to conquer your nerves.
Instead of worrying about things you can’t control, like the competition you’ll be up against, try to focus on yourself. In the days and moments leading up to your interview, do the things that will help you look and feel your best. Taking extra good care of yourself will boost your confidence and reduce your stress so you can handle a challenging job interview.
Here are some things you can do before your interview to feel confident and prepared.
Plan a Winning Interview Outfit
Did you know that wearing a professional outfit can actually improve your cognition? A recent study showed that wearing formal business attire causes you to think more creatively. Wearing something you look and feel good in can also boost your confidence, so don’t throw an outfit together at the last minute. Take the time to find clothes that you’re excited to wear to your interview to increase your chances of success.
Choose clothes that you look and feel good in. Looking good is important. Wearing a coordinated, professional outfit that fits you well will help you make a great first impression on your interviewer. But don’t wear something just because it looks good on you. If you wear an outfit you don’t personally like or feel confident in, it will show in the way you carry yourself.
Treat yourself to a haircut or new outfit. If you’re excited to style your hair or wear your new power suit on the day of your interview, it can help distract you from your nerves. Rocking a new look can also give you a confidence boost, which will come across in your interview and help you land the job.
Match the company culture. Getting to the office and realizing you’re way overdressed can make you feel out of place and throw you off your game. Do your research before the interview and find out what people at the company normally wear. Look for photos of employees on social media or the website to get a sense of the company culture and dress code. You can also ask the interviewer if there is a company dress code. Then try to pick an outfit that blends in.
Dress professionally. Professional dress means something a little different at every office. Some companies require their employees to wear suits and ties, while others have more relaxed dress codes. No matter where you’re interviewing, however, you should wear clean clothes that suit your proportions.
Wearing clothes that are clean, pressed, tailored, and in good condition shows that you take pride in your appearance. If you dress professionally and look the part of the perfect candidate, you’ll feel that way too.
Wear something comfortable. Your favorite pair of pumps may make you feel powerful and confident, but if they pinch your toes, you should leave them at home. Feeling uncomfortable can take your focus off the questions you’re being asked and hurt your performance. Don’t wear itchy fabrics, dangly jewelry, or anything else that will distract you or your interviewer.
Add some personal touches to your outfit. Injecting some of your personal style into your outfit can make you feel more confident. Adding a pop of color or interesting accessory to your outfit will also help you stand out fashionably, which is important if you’re trying to land a job in a creative industry like graphic design or public relations. If your industry is more conservative, your personal touches don’t have to be bold or draw attention. Try wearing something with sentimental value, like a watch your loved one gave you. Glancing down at it might make you feel more comfortable during your interview.
Reduce Stress Before the Big Day
Picking out a great outfit is only part of the equation. If you’re feeling stressed, anxious, or unprepared, even the best power suit can’t change that. In the days and hours leading up to the interview, try to reduce your stress as much as possible by following the tips below. If you’re feeling cool and calm, you’ll be able to nail your interview.
Get your interview prep out of the way early. There’s nothing more stressful than trying to cram for an interview the night before. Starting early can help you feel more prepared and relaxed going into your interview.
Give yourself enough time to thoroughly research the company and formulate good answers to common interview questions. Be ready to talk about the skills and experience listed on your resume and why you’re a good fit for the role too.
Talk to your cheerleaders. If you’re feeling nervous about your interview in the day or two leading up to it, call a trusted friend or mentor. Their support and advice will get you in a better headspace.
Iron your outfit the night before. There’s nothing worse than realizing your favorite dress shirt is completely wrinkled just minutes before you have to run out the door! To avoid this nightmare scenario, make sure you iron your clothes and lay them out the night before. Give them one last check for stains, holes, and rips too.
Pack a briefcase with all the essentials. Forgetting something important like your phone charger can throw off your whole day. To prevent this from happening, pack up your briefcase the night before.
Bring some extra copies of your resume and a notebook and pen so you can jot things down during the interview. It’s also a good idea to bring some grooming products in case of an outfit emergency. You might need things like a hairbrush, dental floss, mouthwash, makeup, deodorant, or a stain remover pen.
Figure out where you’re going. Make sure you know where you’re going and how long it will take to get there the night before your interview. Write down the address of the office and any other info you might need, like building codes or parking instructions. Having it handy will make your morning less stressful.
Do something relaxing. You’ve prepared for your interview, figured out where you’re going, and gotten all packed. You’ve done everything you can do, so now it’s time to relax. Take a bubble bath or watch some mindless television to calm your nerves and unwind.
Get enough sleep. Coffee is no substitute for a good night’s sleep. Make sure you get into bed early so you wake up looking and feeling refreshed.
Eat breakfast. You won’t be able to focus during your interview if your stomach is rumbling the whole time. Even if you don’t normally have breakfast, consider eating something light or bringing a snack with you that you can munch on during your commute.
Leave home early. Running late to a job interview is one of the worst feelings! Don’t put yourself through that stress. Leave home early and give yourself plenty of time to get there.
Take One Last Look in the Mirror Before Your Interview
You probably have about ten or fifteen minutes before your interview starts. Take advantage of this time by heading into the bathroom to give your appearance one final check. While you’re in front of the mirror, do some relaxation exercises to get your head in the game and make sure you feel as good as you look.
Fix your hair. On the way over, your hair probably got a little frizzy. Smooth your hair down with your hands or that hairbrush you packed to make sure it looks professional for your interview.
Touch up your makeup. If you wear makeup, you should make sure it’s still looking fresh before you go in. Touch up any oily spots on your face with a bit of powder and check your teeth for lipstick stains.
Check your teeth. If you had something like an everything bagel or spinach omelette for breakfast, you might have something stuck in your teeth. Get up close to the mirror and make sure your pearly whites are still looking clean and fresh. If not, break out your emergency floss and mouthwash.
Inspect your outfit for stains. If you had a coffee or snack on the way over, check your outfit for stray stains. Use your stain remover pen on any coffee dribbles you find.
Visualize your success. It sounds corny but close your eyes and imagine that you’re absolutely crushing your interview. You’re coming up with answers easily and quickly, smiling confidently, and receiving great feedback from your interviewer. This visualization exercise will put you in a positive frame of mind and help you perform better when it comes time for your real interview.
Give yourself a pep talk. A pep talk doesn’t have to be long or profound to be effective. Even repeating a simple phrase like “I can do this” over and over can encourage you and calm your nerves.
Do what you have to do to feel ready to tackle your interview. Repeat a favorite mantra or quote in your head, quietly hum an eighties pump up song, or stretch a little to loosen up. Just make sure no one else is in the bathroom when you do it!
Do some breathing exercises. Sometimes you just need to calm yourself down, not psych yourself out, before an interview. Try taking some deep, relaxing breaths. Breathe in for a count of four, hold your breath for a count of two, and breathe out for another count of four. Do this at least a few times to get a better handle on your nerves.
The only thing left to do now is nail that interview! With your relaxed, confident mindset, you should have no trouble impressing your interviewer.
Remember that they’re not looking for perfection — just a capable candidate they can have a good conversation with. Even if you stumble a little or mess up one of your answers, don’t panic. It’s unlikely that a small mistake will ruin your chances, so just keep going.
Do you do anything special before your interviews that helps you feel relaxed and prepared? Let us know in the comments section below!
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Written by Joy Smith