Four tips to build your confidence before interview

We all need our confidence boosted from time to time. Job interviews can rattle the most secure of people. Before putting yourself through the challenge of facing an interview panel, you need to make sure your confidence is intact,writes SABINA TRENCH, CAREER COACH, SLI NUA CAREERS.

Here are four simple tips that might help.

Positive thoughts

Firstly, if you have been called for interview, there is no reason why you shouldn’t get the job.

Don’t buy into negative thoughts like ‘I’m only making up the numbers’ or ‘they have someone in mind already’. Maybe you are, and maybe they do, but the opposite could equally be true.

So start as you mean to go on. ‘There is no reason why I can’t get this job’. Your positive attitude on the day will come across in the interview, so as long as you stay the right side of arrogant you’ll be okay.

If you’re trying to change sector, think positively about your transferrable skills: for example, able to work on your own initiative, hardworking, multi-tasking, dealing with customers, understanding profit margins and finance. These skills transfer smoothly from sector to sector.

When we reflect on our careers to date, we find a great deal more there than we might have realised – look at your past positively and get the benefit it offers.

Prepare, prepare, prepare

Before you attend for interview, invest whatever time you have to prepare yourself. Start with the job specification. Generally, everything they want is in there, so be absolutely clear about their needs and whatever problem they want you to solve. Write down the five most important things they are looking for in this job.

Now, pick up your CV and see where you fit the bill - think relevant not recent. Then link the two. If they are looking for someone who can manage several tasks at once, tell them about the time you ran your own business and you were responsible for everything from sales to marketing, invoicing and accounts.

Find out as much as you can about the company. Why is this position free? What do they do? You won’t necessarily be asked to repeat all this back, but if you can dot some of this information among your answers, it will impress and shows that you did your research.

Practice, but don’t learn anything off by heart

Now that you know what they are looking for (e.g. good communication skills, ability to work under pressure, willing to work as part of a team ), and you have the examples from your career to date to show you match these requirements, it is time to practice your answers. Get used to talking about what you have done and what you will do for them in the future.

Presentation

Present yourself as a professional candidate. In general, a suit is best for both men and women, but a formal dress with fitted jacket is suitable for female candidates. In both cases, keep jewellery to a minimum and hang back on the perfume or aftershave. Remember, you are looking for a job, not a date.

And finally, a quote that might help ‘Trust yourself. You know more than you think you do’.

Sli Nua Careers (www.SliNuaCareers.com ) have offices in Galway (Patricia Maloney, 091 528883 ), Mayo (Ballinrobe, Claremorris and Westport ), Dublin, Limerick, Sligo and Athlone. Their services include CV preparation, interview training, job-searching strategies and career direction. For more details, visit www.slinuacareers.com/galway

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