You've Got This! How to Be Confident in an Interview in 2020

The above is a picture of 2 men dressed professionally sitting at a table. One of the men is interviewing the other.

You've Got This! How to Be Confident in an Interview in 2020

Life is full of moments that require you to be courageous and attack the situation head-on in order to succeed.

One such situation is when you're going in for a job interview. Even the strongest of applicants get nervous as soon as they sit down to have open-ended questions fired at them.

If you have a disability, you may be concerned that it will affect the interview from the get-go. 

It's important to not let this get into your head. They've brought you in for a reason!

Here's how to be confident in an interview and get the job that you're looking for.

Preparation is Key

A best practice for giving yourself confidence in any high-stress situation is to load yourself up with as much knowledge as possible ahead of time.

There are several things you can do before an interview to do just that.

First off, familiarize yourself with the job description that the company posted when you applied for the position. What were the job requirements? How does your skill set make you the best candidate for their need?

Next, take a hard look at your resume. Now that you've seen the job description again, customize your resume's wording. Make the duties at your previous jobs line up with the skills your interviewer is looking for in their top candidates.

Hiring managers usually only spend less than a minute reviewing your resume. As such, you should make sure your top qualities are shown within the first two sentences of your resume.

Consistent Eye Contact

One of the biggest factors in exuding confidence for your interview is keeping direct eye contact as much as possible.

It shows that your answers are honest and transparent. You have nothing to hide and the moment isn't too tall for you. You're able to look straight into the eyes of your interviewer and give them insight into your skills.

No, this isn't meant to have a staring contest with your interviewer, but more of a guideline for you to follow.

Anytime that you catch yourself looking down or to the side, make an effort to make straight eye-to-eye contact. 

There's a healthy balance that needs to be found with this technique as looking into their eyes too much may intimidate the interviewer. However, they will all appreciate you answering their questions while looking them straight in the eye.

Of course those in our community with visual impairments and some on the Autism spectrum may not be able to have direct eye contact. One thing you can do is to try to look at least in the general area of the interviewer. Looking at their forehead or eyebrows instead of directly into their eyes may help.

Remember to Take a Deep Breath

Nothing's more intimidating that the immediate stress level you get when an interviewer says "have a seat" right before the interview begins.

When that happens, remember to take one last deep breath and clear your head.

You've got this! You received this interview for a reason. They saw something in you that fills a need they have; now you just have to solidify that vision they have for your talents.

Even if this interview doesn't work out, there are always more opportunities for employment.

This point of telling you to "take a deep breath" isn't a metaphor. It's a literal step that you should take before the interview begins.

In fact, taking a deep breath has been proven to slow your heartbeat and lower the stress that you're experiencing. Who wouldn't want more of those two factors right before diving into an interview?

Prioritize Your Body Language

Whether you realize it or not, there are several subliminal messages that you send during an in-person or Skype interview.

One such subliminal message is your body language. It shows the interviewer things such as your confidence level, interest level, and personality.

Be sure to maintain proper posture while you sit and make direct eye contact (discussed earlier) with the person you're meeting with. Avoid crossing your arms as much as possible.

Try to match the interviewer's body language as much as possible. The body language they send to you is more than likely the body language they're looking for out of someone else.

If they're sitting up straight as an arrow, do the same. If they're sitting back in their chair with one leg crossed, try to pull off a more professional version of that.

Of course I understand that there are brothers and sisters in our community who would have difficulty following this particular advice. If you believe your disability would preclude you from making direct eye contact or maintaining an upright posture, then you would need a plan prior to beginning the interview. Research some alternative methods.

For an example, if you cannot sit up straight because of a mobility or developmental condition maybe bringing a small lumbar pillow with you to the interview would help. With regards to having issues making eye contact, please see above. These are just two examples.

Smile as Much as Possible

Many interviewees make the mistake of getting too ingrossed in the answers they're giving. 

They place too much of a premium on how well they fit into the job description and forget to smile.

Smiling shows confident and passion: two key factors that any interviewer is searching for. They want to see how you'll fit with their current team members, and a guy or girl that smiles a lot is always a welcomed addition.

Be warned: pay close attention to what the situation calls for. For example, if you're talking about difficult employee-to-client situations you've dealt with before, it's probably not a good time to smile.

Firm Handshake

No interviewer wants to hire someone with a soft handshake. It comes off as non-committal and often squeamish. 

You can show confidence through everyone you meet in the building a firm handshake. A good, old-fashioned "put 'er there!" handshake will leave a positive impression on everyone.

Just make sure it's not too strong a handshake. Breaking your interviewer's fingers before or after the interview isn't a successful tactic.

How to Be Confident in an Interview: Stay True to Yourself

The best answer on how to be confident in an interview? Be yourself. Show them what you bring to the table!

Be sure to read this extensive phone interview guide for more tips on any upcoming phone interviews you may have during your job search.

For more inquiries, please reach out via our contact us page and we'll be happy to assist you further!