The Secret to a Winning Interview: Self Confidence and Learning to Relax

During my career I have interviewed many people. The one thing I have seen that is the most common cause of interview failure is excessive nervousness and lack of self confidence. In an interview your goal is to show the employer that you are able to do the job better than any other candidate. If you are lacking self confidence the employer is going to wonder if you can handle the pressure of the job. When you portray yourself as confident, not arrogant, the employer begins to see your potential. I am not saying that you won’t be nervous, but that needs to remain inside. Like the old saying goes “never let them see you sweat.”

How Do You Stay Calm?

I know it is hard to think of staying calm when your whole future depends on this interview. One thing that will help you is if you show up early to the interview. I’m not saying show up an hour or more early. More like show up 10 to 15 minutes early. Most employers won’t be ready to take you if you are early and many won’t even take you right at your scheduled time. Don’t worry about having to wait, use the time to your advantage.

While you are sitting in the reception area listen to the activity of the business. Listen to the coworkers talking about their lunch plans or talking on the phone to clients. Begin to visualize yourself having similar conversations with your future coworkers. Daydream about what your workspace will look like, what pictures you will bring in to put on your desk. As you do this you will begin to relax and see yourself fitting in perfectly in this environment. Strike up a friendly conversation with the receptionist, he or she may be extra nice to you because they remember what it was like to be in your shoes.

These simple activities help you to tell yourself that you are the best person for this job and thus you begin to act the part. By the time the interview starts you will have begun to feel “at home” in your new job and in your mind you will have already landed the job! So relax and you will get the job!

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