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10. Preparing for a job interview: How to be confident?

Preparing for a job interview involves many different aspects. Today we are going to look at how, by preparing for a job interview, you can boost your confidence.

The areas in which confidence is needed are many. For example, the ability to feel confident when you talk about yourself, the ability to feel relaxed when you describe your strengths, and the ability to overcome self-doubt when explaining the benefits you bring to the organisation, are all important

If you lack confidence in job interviews you are not alone! When I am coaching for interviews it is clear that many people have a lack of confidence in promoting and talking about themselves. This is to their detriment. 

Developing the skills of self-promotion needs to be included when preparing for a job interview.

Preparing for a job interview: Prepare thoroughly

One day a frustrated manager called me and said, "I’ve just interviewed a member of staff from my department. She’s an excellent team player and has superb technical skills and should have won the job. Unfortunately, she had such a lack of confidence she interviewed dreadfully and we can't give it to her. She needs coaching for interviews, please could you train her so next time so she doesn't miss out."

Another person misses out on a job she or he deserves. Not because she or he isn't capable or qualified but because of a lack of confidence and not preparing for a job interview adequately. 

Why forfeit a job for which you are clearly well qualified, simply because your confidence is low and you haven't given enough time to preparing for the job interview? Instead, learn the skills you need to provide top interview answers to the questions the panel gives you. Prepare thoroughly!

Preparing for a job interview: Get interview coaching

Fortunately, this woman did come to me to receive coaching for interviews. She was talented but seriously unskilled when it came to explaining her strengths, or providing interview answers that included good examples of her competencies at work.

We set about preparing for her next job interview by:

  • Working through each of the essential and desireable criteria and determining her relevant experiences and strengths for each one.
  • Identifying her ten work-based strengths and making them specific, so that she could include a description of these in any of her interview answers. This is a pivotal aspect of preparing for a job interview if you want to be confident. I always include this aspect in my coaching for interviews because few people do it well without coaching.
  • Developing a strong behavioural example that provided proof of each strength in the workplace so that she could expand on her interview answers as required. When preparing for a job interview don't just prepare set interview answers, also make sure you have evidence to back them up with powerful examples.
  • Practising giving interview answers about her strengths, until she sounded convincing. When you are preparing for a job interview don't just prepare written answers; always practise them out loud.
  • Working out the specific benefits she would bring to the organisation so that she could weave these into her interview answers whenever possible. When preparing for a job interview you need to focus on the organisation that is interviewing you and the value that you will bring to them. It is not just about you. Once you have worked out how you could benefit this organisation your own confidence may increase.
  • Detailing specific small factors in her life experience that could differentiate her from the other applicants. Even if the interview panel doesn't ask you for the small details, when you are preparing for a job interview, always work out what they are so that you can mention them in your interview answers, if at all possible.
  • Practising saying all these aspects out loud, until she became really used to hearing herself talking about herself. Most people fail to do this and they practise their answers in writing, so they still lack confidence when they have to speak them. When I am coaching for interviews I am always surprised at how few people do actually practise their answers out loud and instead come to the coaching session with a list of written answers that they've never spoken. A job interview is a verbal process not a written one! Always practise your interview answers out loud when you are preparing for a job interview.
  • Teaching her some anti-anxiety techniques such as loving-kindness meditation, and mindfulness of breathing, so that she could calm herself down beforehand. Preparing for a job interview is not just about preparing the content, it is also about preparing yourself and your state of mind.

The good news is that this lady went for a second interview and got the job.

Yes, preparing for a job interview and doing it thoroughly can make all the difference. It only took a caring manager and a two hour session of coaching for interviews to make the difference and overcome her lack of confidence and skill.

Work through our job interview self-coaching guide and boost your confidence now.

Preparing for a job interview: The key to confidence is skill

The key here is that confidence does not come from sitting at home or in an office hoping that it will. Confidence, in job interviews, comes from learning the skills that you need, and preparing for a job interview thoroughly so you know how to describe your strengths and experiences and relate them to the job requirements. 

When you're in an interview do you let a lack of confidence undermine your credibility and lead you to give weak interview answers? Prepare for the job interview so that this doesn't happen. If you don't, you'll be missing out on jobs you deserve.

Preparing for a job interview involves many facets including building your confidence. Let your confidence and success soar so that your interview answers secure you the job.

Work through our job interview self-coaching guide and boost your confidence now.