How to gain interview confidence

What to do in the days leading up to the interview

Build up your self-confidence in all areas. Write a list of at least 20 great qualities and talents you have (things like having a great car don’t count). Enlist the help of a friend if you get stuck. Read the list every night before you go to bed. The more you read about what a great person you are, the more you’ll believe it and your self-confidence will begin to rise.

Identify your positive anchors. An anchor is a trigger that will change our emotional state. Much as the sound of a champagne cork popping gets us in the party mood, you will have many anchors in your life that help you access different emotions. Try and identify anchors from any of the five senses that make you feel fired up, confident and happy – the one I use is the theme tune for Starsky & Hutch! – and use them in the days leading up to your interview to help you build up those feelings. If a certain photograph reminds you of a time when you were at the top of your game, put it somewhere you can see it many times during the day.

What to do on the day before the interview

Relax. Make sure all your preparation for the interview is done well in advance of the evening before. This is the time to relax, trust that you’ve done enough, and be good to yourself. Do anything that will relax you and take you out of yourself; read, exercise, cook. Better still, seek out the company of people (or failing that, watch a film) that really makes you laugh – it’s the best way to alleviate stress and sets you up for a great night’s sleep.

Sleep well. If you’re having trouble sleeping the night before, don’t panic or force yourself; that will only make matters worse. Instead, breathe deeply and clench and relax your body three times. Tell yourself that it’s okay not to sleep, just resting is good enough. You’ll be off again sooner than you think.

What to do on the day of the interview

Set the day up right. On the day of the interview, it’s important to get the right mix of confidence and relaxation. While you’re getting ready for work, set yourself up for a great day by using all the postive anchors you’ve been working with on previous days, and only focus on being carefree and confident – you’re going to have a great day!

Keep breathing. Stand up straight and breathe deeply through your nose, concentrating only on your breath. Breathing deeply calms you down and centres you. If you like, imagine yourself as a tree – strong, majestic, unfazed.

Smile. Smiling is also a great stress-buster. Smile broadly at yourself in the mirror before you go in for the interview. If you’re really nervous, add a wink, or making a noise like ‘ting!’ will really break that nervous state by making you laugh!

Eye contact, firm handshake. First impressions really do count. People make their minds up about you in minutes, proving that it’s how you put yourself across and not actually what you say that matters in interview (55% is your physiology, and 38% your tonality – only 7% is content). With that in mind, when you enter the room, smile, reminding yourself it’s reducing your stress levels as well as making you look friendly and confident. Shake everybody’s hand firmly – a limp handshake is the biggest turn-off in the world – and make eye contact with everybody. Eye contact is another sign of confidence, as well as respect. It also helps if you are the type of person who feels intimidated by an interview panel. It reminds you that the panel is really made up of individuals, just like you.

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