3 Steps to Feel Confident & Impress the Hiring Manager

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3 Steps to Feel Confident & Impress the Hiring Manager

You’re in the interview room, all eyes on you. Your palms are sweaty, voice is quivering, and your face is flushed. Your heart is racing. Maybe you’re talking too fast and muddling your words.. Or your mind is completely blank. You’re nervous. And because of that, you sabotage. You’re not able to convey to the interviewer who you really are and everything you can contribute to the role and company. This is why it’s so important to develop interview confidence’. Learning to manage your nerves is essential to be able to perform well in an interview, but there are also a number of other elements which are important to be aware of and actively manage so you can be your most confident self and impress the hiring manager. In this article I’m going to share with you 3 steps to performing well in an interview to make sure you’re presenting yourself in the most confident way which will increase your chances of impressing the interviewer and securing the role. It’s entirely normal to feel nervous before and during a job interview. It might come from the fact that you really want the job and that you know you have to perform under pressure, or you might be someone who’s an introvert and naturally shy… which makes it even more challenging. Here are three of my favorite tips to help next time you’re in a position to present yourself confidently for a new job or opportunity at work.

Step 1. Be aware of what you’re telling yourself beforehand. How you perform on interview day is largely linked to what you’re telling yourself before the interview. Are you telling yourself that you’re not good enough? That you don’t have what it takes? That you’ll say something silly that will mess up the whole thing? Maybe that you’ll be asked something you won’t be able to answer? Imposter syndrome, self-doubt, lack of confidence…whatever you want to call it, it has to stop. These thought processes influence your neurochemistry which impacts how you feel. How you feel then influences how you show up, and will shape your outcome. So you need to back yourself 100%. Tell yourself you’ve got this. That you’ll present yourself exceptionally well. You’ll be confident and project the best version of you. It starts with your mindset and the thoughts mulling around in your head. One useful hack here is before you go into the interview, prime your mind by focusing on positive thoughts – take some time to recall when in the past you’ve created a successful outcome in a situation at work. Remember what that felt like and embody that emotion of satisfaction in your ability to deliver. Research (Tod, Hardy & Oliver, 2011) published in the Journal of Sport and Exercise Psychology found that athletes who used positive and motivational self-talk actually performed better than those who didn’t. And another study (Hatzigeorgiadis, Zourbanos,Mpoumpaki & Theodorakis, 2009) found that positive self-talk improved self-confidence.

Step 2. Use the ‘Expert Approach’. In my years working as a strategy consultant both in-house and consulting a range of companies in different industries, I became very used to the experience of being in a new environment with a new client, where I had to figure out what they needed and what their pain points were, and then pitch my recommendations and how I could deliver what they were after. So what I recommend is for you to visualize yourself as the expert. You have the skills and requirements that they need to help them with what they’re looking to achieve – and don’t worry if you’re missing some of what’s in the job description requirements you can learn whatever else you need to on the job using your skills of flexibility and adaptability. But when you go into the interview, picture yourself as the expert, with the hiring manager or interviewer being like a new client you’re exploring. You want to line up your skills and strengths and articulate how these links to what the ‘client’ is looking for. So what you want to do is actually share what you could do for them. What you would change or what recommendations would you make for how they could improve their processes or how they run their business? Essentially, share how you would add value based on your skills and expertise. When you embrace your ‘expert’ self, articulate what you can do for the company, and speak with absolutely confidence, you’ll position yourself as the best suited person for the role or opportunity. Your confidence and credibility will shine through.

Step 3: Use the Power of Pre-suasion. In his book Pre-suasion, Dr. Robert Cialdinishares more about this concept and how to use it for your benefit when trying to influence someone. And it’s a brilliant tip when it comes to interviews. What we’ve been conditioned to think we should say in an interview as soon as it starts is, “Thank you so much for inviting me and for the opportunity to be here. I’m really looking forward to answering your questions.” But here’s what Robert Cialdini would recommend from a standpoint of persuasive orientation. He’d recommend to say that ‘if’ it feels natural, to add, “Before we begin I wonder if you can answer a question… why did you invite me to the interview today? What was it about my application that stood out and is attractive to you and the company?” I know it may seem very non-conventional, but it’s really powerful because what you’re doing is using something called ‘pre-suasion ‘to prompt the interviewer to focus their thinking on the features of your resume and application that’s most attractive to them. So, you’ve shifted their thinking to focus on your positive aspects and what makes you the ideal candidate even before the interview has even really started.

                              I have a bonus tip for you too. A really common mistake a lot of people make during interviews to focus so much on them. But an interview is not really about you – it’s about what the company you’re interviewing for wants in you. So your focus should be on what the companies looking for and how you meet that. It’s also good practice to have some questions up your sleeve to ask the interviewer and then allow the conversation to evolve based on what they say. This will make it seem more organic. Finally, make sure you view it as an opportunity to ‘interview’ them about whether it’s a place you want to actually want to work at. You can ask them about the company culture, what they enjoy most, their challenges, and anything else important to you. Remember: you’re scoping them out just as much as they’re scoping you out. You want to make sure it’s the right fit for you where you’ll actually be happy.

Performing well in interviews is an art, but it all starts with changing your mindset. I’ve had so many clients get results just from changing their mindset and applying the three steps above to their interview approach.

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