Job interviews: 5 ways to boost your confidence
Learning how to be confident in a job interview can present a real challenge, especially for those who’ve already lost confidence at work.
Going into a job interview knowing you have to look and feel completely confident can feel like an almost impossible feat. Having to face a whole panel of interviewers who are there specifically to judge your abilities can be a terrifying thought.
Nobody likes being judged (except for those strange breed of masochists who enter X Factor competitions), and when your livelihood depends on it, it increases the pressure even more.
What kinds of people lose their confidence when it comes to job interviews?
Loss of confidence and self-esteem can strike anyone, but the following types of people can feel especially nervous when facing a job interview:
Often people who are getting older can feel especially judged for their advancing age, which can seem unfair, especially considering they often bring a wealth of experience to the role.
By the same token, younger people can worry that they won’t be taken seriously because of their lack of experience, despite having excellent qualifications.
Women can often feel as though they’re being passed over in favour of their male counterparts. In particular, women in male-dominated industries can feel intimidated and find it difficult to maintain a high level of confidence and self-esteem.
People with disabilities may feel patronised and invisible, and can often feel their skills and experience are overlooked.
Ethnic minorities have faced shocking discrimination that has remained unchanged for over 50 years according to recent studies.
People who have been away from the workplace for a while – for example mothers returning to work after raising children – can also suffer from low confidence and self esteem when it comes to job interviews.
Often the job interview can be an internal one, which means you may be faced with interviewers you already know. This can be sometimes be more of a hindrance than a help, especially if your relationship with them has been strained in the past and you feel they may be prejudiced against you in some way.
Any of these things can be on your mind as you prepare for your job interview – so no wonder it can be nerve wracking.
So here are 5 ways you can build up your confidence in preparation for an upcoming job interview:
1. Counselling for building confidence at a job interview
If you’ve noticed that you’ve lost confidence at work and you’re worried about an impending job interview, it really helps to talk about it to a trained professional such as a counsellor, coach, or CBT therapist.
Working through the problem with a neutral objective person in a safe confidential environment is one of the best ways to start to find solutions.
Many workplaces offer counselling for their employees, so it’s worthwhile asking to see if you can get any help with confidence boosting.
However, this kind of support may not always be offered in the workplace. And even if it is, you may feel worried about the repercussions of honestly expressing how you feel.
If you’d feel more comfortable keeping discussions about your loss of confidence away from the workplace there are plenty of options for private confidential counselling. Yes, it comes at a financial cost, but when you think about the positive effect it can have on your self esteem and your job prospects then you can look at it as a very worthwhile business investment.
But if private counselling just isn’t an option for you at the moment, perhaps you could speak to a trustworthy friend or colleague instead. Discuss the situation with them and brainstorm some possibilities for building your confidence. Perhaps they can help you practice and prepare for your interview.
2. Hypnosis for building confidence at a job interview
Hypnosis, or hypnotherapy, is an extremely effective way to boost confidence in a job interview, and in the workplace as a whole.
Hypnosis may seem a little out of the ordinary when compared to therapies such as counselling or CBT, but it can actually be one of the quickest and simplest ways to raise your self esteem and get you feeling confident.
How does hypnosis help with building confidence for a job interview?
During a hypnosis session you will discuss with the hypnotherapist what it is that’s causing your lack of confidence. Then the hypnotherapist will lead you into a pleasant relaxing state of trance, using powerful positive suggestions which help you transform any negative thought processes into positive empowering ones.
Hypnotherapy works at a different level than other talking therapies; accessing a deeper part of the mind and identifying all those unconscious belief systems that can lead us to behave in ways we don’t want to.
For instance, if the thoughts ‘I’m no good, I’ll never get this job’ are going around your mind you’re much more likely to go into the job interview with trembling hands and a shaking voice.
During hypnosis it’s surprising how quickly and effectively you can change your negative thoughts to positive ones, and in turn change your behavioural patterns. With the right guidance and support you can walk into that job interview with your head held high, brimming with confidence and self-belief.
3. Breathe deep
The thoughts may influence the body, but it works the other way around too. If your breathing is rapid and shallow then your mind can start to believe that you’re in a fight or flight situation.
This creates thoughts that are more conducive to emergency and survival, rather than sitting and calmly discussing with your prospective employers just how suitable you are for the job.
Breathing deeply into the abdominal area stimulates the vagus nerve, which can decrease stress responses and counteract those anxious feelings. This reassures your body that it isn’t walking into a lions’ den when you go into that job interview (even though it may sometimes feel like that).
4. Walk tall
Good posture sends the same kind of positive messages as the right kind of breathing. Walking with a straight back, head held up, and relaxed shoulders sends the right signals to your mind – and also to the people around you.
It’s very easy to pick up bad postural habits throughout our lives as we develop certain thoughts and feelings about ourselves. An adolescent girl may develop rounded shoulders because she’s self-conscious about her changing figure. A shy person may go to such lengths to avoid other peoples’ eyes that they fall into the habit of always walking with their head held down .
In fact to anyone in the know, our posture gives away a lot more about our personality and belief systems than we may realise.
So practice walking in a confident relaxed way whenever you get a chance. Eventually your mind will start to pick up the signals and you’ll feel better for it. Think of the most confident person you know – it could even be a movie star – and emulate their style of standing and walking. You know what they say – ‘fake it till you make it’. Soon it will become easier and easier so you can do it without thinking.
5. Be prepared
Being prepared can take a huge load off the stress that we can experience before a job interview. If you know what you want to say about yourself, and what you want to ask about the job, then it can make all the difference to your state of mind
So do some research on the company, familiarise yourself with what they do. Enlist a friend to help you practice answering any potential questions you may get. Practice in the mirror or video yourself on your phone until you feel really comfortable with your answers.
The more you go over it in a relaxing familiar ‘no pressure’ environment then the more you can train your mind to realise that it’s ok – you’ve got this.
Well I hope this has been helpful in calming your nerves before your job interview. If you’d like some more individual support in building your confidence and raising your self-esteem, get in touch using the form below, and book a one-to-one consultation with me.
If you’re not in the Glasgow area, no problem, we can work via telephone or Skype / Zoom.
And one more thing – BEST OF LUCK!
Lisa Murphy is a counsellor and hypnotherapist based in Glasgow who specialises in anxiety, anger management, and weight loss.