Top Ten Tips for Self-Confidence

Millions of people suffer from a lack of self-confidence and nervousness in interview situations. Here are our top tips to help give you the edge and bolster up your confidence for that all important interview.

By Jane Olsen

What is Self Confidence? One definition is that it's an attitude, which allows individuals to have positive yet realistic views of themselves and their situations. A candidate who trusts her own abilities, has a general sense of control in her life, and believes that, within reason, she will be able to do what she wishes, plans, and expects.

1. Know where you are going!
This may sound silly but if you are vague about how to get there this will only stress you out on the day of the interview and worse, could make you arrive late if you get lost. It is well worth planning, or perhaps even practising the journey before the day so that is one less thing to worry about. It is also helpful to be able to visualise where it is you are going when preparing for the interview as it takes away the pressure of 'the unknown'.

2. See yourself there
Prepare for the event in your mind. See yourself there and imagine yourself in the situation. If you are mentally prepared for all eventualities you will be more confident.

3. Know your CV
Your potential employer will be using your CV or application form as their base with which to quiz you. Make sure that you are familiar with everything on your CV from periods of employment to education etc., If you were out of work for any time think about why this was and also think about why you chose the routes you did regarding jobs and education. You will find that your answers will roll off the tongue and impress the interviewer with your communication skills, if you are questioned about these points. It will also help you be confident before entering - helping you appear more natural and confident - all essential attributes to a successful interview.

4. Take an Inventory
Writing down a personal inventory of all the positive and good things about yourself will increase your confidence. This isn't being boastful or egotistical, it's about acknowledging the truth.

5. Hold your Head Up
Confident people stand more erect with a straight spine and shoulders back, and smile when they greet you. If this isn't you, try changing your body posture which sends a signal to your subconscious mind and stand tall.

6. Smarten up and dress for the role you want
Make sure you are comfortable in you what have chosen to wear for your interview. Although it is essential to look smart, don't buy high heels, for example, if you have never worn them before. This will only make you look uncomfortable - which will not help your self-confidence or your potential employer's first impression. If you feel good about the way you look, you will feel good about yourself and this will show.

7. Think of someone you admire as being very confident
It could be someone who you have worked with before, a friend, or someone in the public eye. Notice how they talk, how they breathe? What's their body posture like? Act, talk and walk like him or her. Imagine you are they and you will begin to programme your brain to automatically be more confident.

8. Believe in yourself
You're a good human being with a strong sense of self-worth. Know that you have the right to be who you are and by the fact that you have been invited for an interview, you have a right to be there.

8. Avoid Caffeine
Tempting though it may be if your interview is scheduled for first thing in the morning, try to avoid coffee and tea as they can make you more nervous.

And, when you get to your interview

9. Introducing yourself

  • Meet them in the eye
    When we are shy or feeling nervous we tend to look down or to the left and right. To increase your confidence look directly in the eye of the person you are talking to and don't forget to smile!
  • Don't be a wet fish
    It's official! Several recent studies has proved that a firm handshake creates a good first impression whether you are a man or woman. People with a strong handshake are perceived as confident and outgoing - particularly when it is combined with direct eye contact (see above). And even more positively, a firm handshake has been linked to attractive personality traits for women, in particular.

    So, when introducing yourself, offer a firm handshake, call the interviewer by name and smile.

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