6 Steps to Exude Confidence in a Job Interview

7 March 2023

Can you walk confidently into a job interview?

That takes a lot of courage!

Even when you know you're an excellent fit for the role, you can't guarantee they'll pick you over other candidates. Your anxiety can increase further if you're particularly excited about the position.

Of course, just because you don't feel confident doesn't mean you can't appear confident. Interviewers remember candidates who seem passionate, secure, and ready to handle anything.

The more courage and poise you show, the higher the likelihood you will stand out as the right person for the job.

So convey confidence even when you don't fully feel it?

Implement these six steps:

1. Make eye contact. Maintaining regular eye contact as you speak can be tricky. You want to maintain eye contact with your interviewer without looking weird or intense. How do you do that?

  • When it is an in-person interview, take glances at the material you brought along, like your resume, to break the stare. If there are other interviewers, try to look at each person equally. Never look at your watch or shoes, as that will make you seem timid or desperate to leave.
  • Virtual interviews look directly at your camera, not at the person's face on your screen. This may be hard at first because we are taught to look at a person when we speak. When you look at the camera, the person feels like you are looking at them. The best solution to this problem is to position your camera above the person on the screen.

2. Maintain good posture. The ideal posture should be professional but relaxed. You don't want to look like you're on edge; at the same time, you don't want to slouch. How do you maintain good posture?

  • Keep your spine straight. Imagine an invisible string pulling you up toward the sky from the top of your head. Avoid crossing your legs or folding your arms when you sit, as this can make you look guarded. And avoid fiddling with objects like pens or papers.

3. Learn to calm yourself. When anxious, blood flows away from the brain and into the muscles, putting us in "fight or flight" mode. The lack of blood in the brain makes it hard to think clearly. If you get very nervous during interviews, how can you calm down?

  • Take slow, deep breaths through your nose. Feel your stomach expand and exhale slowly through your mouth.

4. Practice. You have yet to determine precisely how the interview will go, but you'll have a basic idea of what questions managers may ask. How can you practice?

  • Put together some practice questions and have someone do a mock interview. Rehearse your responses and ask for feedback about how you appear and sound. Practice sessions can show you how to present yourself to make a better impression.

5. Dress the part. Dressing well gives you a natural air of confidence. It shows the hiring manager that you're taking the process seriously. How do you make the right impact with your dressing?

  • Pay attention to the attire people who work in that position wear. That will give you some insight into what you should wear. You'll feel more confident if you look good in an interview.

6. Stay positive. It can be hard to stay confident if your thoughts are doom and gloom. While it's dangerous to go in expecting to get the job, you shouldn't convince yourself that you're not worth it either. How do you stay positive?

  • Allow yourself to imagine what it would be like to get the job. At the same time, remember that it's not the end of the world. Plan something fun to do after the interview; that way, you'll have something to look forward to if it doesn't go well.

Job interviews are tricky. Present yourself as well as you can, but avoid giving yourself a hard time if things go badly. You wouldn't be the first person to mess up a job interview. Learn from your mistakes, then use those lessons to nail your next interview.