Research on interviewing has shown that many people reach a decision about an applicant within a matter of minutes after meeting the person. In other words, first impressions mean a great deal. Interviewers pay a great deal of attention to candidates’ clothing and communication skills, as well as how they carry themselves. In general, candidates with a great deal of confidence have a much better chance of landing the job.
How exactly can a candidate appear confident to interviewers? The first step is to relax. Admittedly, this is easier said than done. At the same time, individuals can set themselves up for success by arriving early with a few minutes to spare and taking time to breathe before meeting with the interviewer. When people start an interview with a clear head, they can keep their nerves in check more easily.
Body language is extremely important for displaying confidence. When candidates fidget, they come across as nervous. As much as possible, interviewees should sit still and pay close attention to any unconscious movements, from tapping their feet to twirling their hair with their fingers. Many of these actions happen before people even realize them, which makes it important to practice confidence. Mock interviews with friends and family are a great way to test the waters and obtain feedback about nervous habits.
In addition, people can display confidence through eye contact. Too much eye contact can seem aggressive, while no eye contact comes across as strange. People should aim for steady, natural eye contact that is not too intense. While looking away on occasion is fine, individuals should try to keep eye contact when speaking to the interviewer.
Many people tend to ramble when they become nervous. Sometimes, this habit grows out of a fear of silence. In an interview, candidates should be sure not to waste time with information that is unimportant. Interviewers will appreciate candidates who take time to pause and think about their responses before answering rather than using “um” as filler or rambling on about irrelevant or inappropriate experience. Speaking confidently means communicating sincerity and intention.