The Trick to Being Likeably Confident in an Interview
You’ve secured an interview! Congratulations!
But, uggg! Then comes that sinking feeling…
Sure, it’s a huge step forward knowing you’ve been selected for an interview. But knowing you’re going to have to show up and perform is often enough to make most people’s stomachs do a backwards flip.
If this is you, you’re not alone. Going for a job interview is probably in the top five most uncomfortable things to have to do.
At this point, you’ll have gone through the kinds of questions you’re going to be asked, and you will have some answers thought out in your head. You’ll also have done some research about the company you’re interviewing at. And even though this helps, it still isn’t quite enough to give you that personal edge when you get in the room.
And you’re reading this because you already know that. You’re aware that people relate to people, and the way you come across in the face-to-face meeting is going to have a huge affect on whether you get hired.
Your resume and qualifications have got you this far. Now it’s down to the interview.
It Would Be Useful to Have the Charisma of George Clooney…
You see, it’s a delicate balance you face from here on out.
You need to come across as confident: confident in your abilities, that you can do the job, that you’ll fit in with the culture, and confident enough that people will generally enjoy working with you. At the same time, you want to give arrogance a very wide berth.
In essence, what you’re shooting for is “likeably confident,” as this will tick all the boxes without pushing the wrong buttons.
The bad news is that learning a few tactics and handshakes isn’t going to cut it. Sure, techniques and body language know-how can help a bit, but if underneath it all you’re feeling inadequate, that’s going to leak through.
The problem you face is that overconfidence is in essence a compensation for an internal “lacking.” Arrogance only happens when people feel insecure and need to try to hammer home the point of how good they think they are on the surface.
The danger is that, even if you’re consciously trying not to come across as arrogant, you have to balance that with appearing too vulnerable and delicate. And when you’re trying to balance it consciously, in addition to remembering all those good points you’ve prepared and trying to build rapport, you’re setting yourself up for cognitive overload—giving your brain so much to think about that your responses slow down and you don’t come across as natural.
What’s the Alternative, Then?
Well, it sounds easy, but don’t let the simplicity fool you, because the exercise I’m about to share with you flat-out brings home the bacon. If you’re ready to really rock your interview with real inner confidence, keep reading. This is where we separate the doers and achievers from the “content skimmers.”
Real, inner confidence comes from internal self-esteem. It’s a place where you are really sure of yourself and happy with yourself to the point where you don’t have to artificially inflate yourself or try and put others down. This is a place where you’re comfortable to be around and people like being around you.
The only way to make this show up on the outside is by building it up on the inside.
Like “presence,” you either have it, or you don’t…Or do you?
What you’re about to learn is an exercise that will allow you to quickly make a shift in your level of self-esteem and inner confidence that will outshine any tooth whitener you’ve bought from the store specially for the interview.
What we’re going to learn is how to shortcut years of personal and professional development and fast-track your outer confidence quota to a level where you realize you’re so valuable inwardly that outwardly, you’ll have them at “hello.”
Your “Because I’m Worth It” Map
Take out a fresh piece of paper, and in the center, write down the words “reasons why I should get my dream job” and draw a bubble around it (like in the diagram below). For added motivation, write down specifically what that dream job is.
Next, you’re going to write down these reasons, shooting off into other bubbles which can be attached to the central bubble or to each other as your brain sees fit. You’re aiming to write down 200 reasons. (That’s right, 200. You’ll see why in a moment.)
Keep your reasons short—you want to get as many on the page as possible. And to get to the 200, go through all the different areas of your life, past and present. Look at everything, even if it’s a tenuous reason.
We’re trying to drill into your psyche the feeling that you are deserving. Eventually (somewhere between reasons 150 and 190), it just throws it hands up and says “Yes, I’m worth it!” and you feel a shift where those old thoughts of self-doubt and worry are overridden by your new sense of confidence.
So get as detailed as you can—you’re looking for as many reasons as possible to drill the notion into your mind that you actually do deserve to have whatever it is you’ve put in your center circle. The example below is what it should look like in the beginning, but you’re looking to build it up to 200 reasons, so you’re probably going to need another sheet of paper.
Remember, you’re looking for anything that will increase your feeling of worthiness and deserving. Go ahead now, grab a pen and paper and make a start!
To help you out, you can view an example here that one of my students has kindly agreed to share with you.
The Results May Amaze You
You’re rewiring your neurology in a new way. The more you can write down, the more powerful the result. You can always make a start and then add to your map later on.
I’ve had tons of emails from folks who have used this exercise to produce some astonishing results. For instance, one lady did this exercise and, within a week after some conversations in her workplace, she was cut into the business as a director. Previously, she had just been a hardworking, undervalued employee. You’ll see that when you value yourself, you allow others to see your true value, too.
Let’s Get You Started!
You’ve seen how to do it. Now it’s your turn to shine.
You can cultivate the inner confidence that will swing that interview in your direction. You just need to put in a little effort right now—which, in the scheme of things, is actually quite easy to do.
All you need is a pen, paper and a little time to apply your mind to make that shift and find out what you’re really capable of.
You owe it to yourself.
So let’s get you started: Leave a comment and share just three quick reasons why you deserve to land that job right now.
This post originally appeared on Career Attraction.