November 27, 2014

5 Confidence-Boosting Mindsets for Any Job Interview

Good news: you landed a job interview. Maybe you even feel confident in your ability to do well in this position and, as an added bonus, it happens to be with a company you LOVE.

The interview should be a breeze, right?

Ideally, yes. But for most people, the thought of being drilled for a good 30 to 45 minutes with prodding questions under the scrutinizing gaze of employers (okay, most are friendlier) can make even the most confident person feel like they’re about to have a nervous breakdown.

Aside from the rigorous research, practice, and preparation that should go into any successful interview, here are 5 Confidence-Boosting Mindsets that will help you overcome interview anxiety and present yourself in the best light.

1) You’ve got nothing to lose.

It might seem like a huge blow to the ego to go through an interview and not get the job. But think about it: that’s the worst that can happen. You either get the job, or you don’t.  So you might as well TRY. Wayne Gretzky makes a great point in saying, “You miss 100% of the shots you don’t take.”

No matter what, you’re always going to gain something. Even if you don’t get the job, you’re gaining practice with interviews. The more you do them, the better you get at them–so next time the perfect opportunity shows up, you’ll be ready. You’ll figure out how to improve. Or maybe it’s as simple as deriving satisfaction from knowing that you’re landing interviews at all, a far cry from where you thought you’d be a year ago. Take comfort in the fact that you’ve got nothing to lose.

2) You’re more qualified than you think. 

Many first-time job seekers feel completely unqualified and suffer from the “impostor syndrome”: they attribute their achievements to luck rather than skill or hard work, afraid that it’ll just be a matter of time before employers figure out how inadequate they actually are.

But remember: employers wouldn’t have bothered calling you if you weren’t worth their time in the first place. Period. You were called because you have POTENTIAL. Take that as a confidence booster: the fact that your application was selected over a whole bunch of others says something about you. Be proud!

3) Humility is not presenting yourself as less qualified than you are. 

I once believed ‘humility’ meant watering down what I was actually capable of to avoid looking self-righteous, cocky, or intimidating. I grew up believing that it was ‘bad’ to draw too much attention to myself. So if you’re like me, interviews can feel counter-intuitive or at least very uncomfortable.

But realize that humility does NOT mean depreciating yourself. It’s valuing yourself and what you’ve got to offer without thinking you’re better than everyone else. Only the latter makes you cocky.

It’s important to express your skills and achievements in job interviews—not because you’re BS-ing, but because you’re being truthful. If you want to be of service, and if you want to help other people or organizations, you need to do this. There’s no way around it. Revise your definition of humility.

4) Fake it till you make it.      

This insightful TED Talk by Amy Cuddy shows how sometimes “faking it till you make it” is the recipe to actually becoming it. Even if you don’t feel confident from the onset, by doing certain ‘power poses’–body language exhibited by confident people–you can actually trick your mind into feeling more empowered.

I actually tried this technique once. Two minutes prior to the interview I practiced these poses on transit (inconspicuously, of course). It worked; never had I walked into an interview feeling so calm. It’s worth trying. Your mind might actually believe what your body tells it.

5) Nerves are natural.              

Here’s the truth: nervousness will never go away completely. Don’t wait for the nervousness to subside before leaping into a job interview, or any opportunity for the matter. While you might be able to lessen your nerves, it’ll always be part of the process. Accept it. “Feel the fear and do it anyway.”

Nervousness simply indicates that what you’re about to do is something important to you. You’re nervous because it matters. That’s a good thing! If you always avoided situations that made you nervous, your life would be far less colorful and exciting than it could’ve been.

So that’s it for the 5 mindsets! Never underestimate the how powerful they can be for improving outcomes or simply helping you feel better about yourself. Best of luck in your future interview endeavours!

For more practical ways to prepare for interviews, SFU’s OLC blog is a great resource.

Agree or disagree? Got anything to add? Leave your comments below and I’ll be sure to reply! 

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Recultured Team
Recultured Team
This is where you'll find the blog posts that the team has contributed to collectively! What team? Wildcats! -Nope, wrong team. Recultured!

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