This article is part 2 of 4 parts. You can read them stand-alone, but I recommend going back to Part I on Competence. You can find it here.
When it comes to interviewing, best-fit candidates are the ones who influence their interviewer to see them as such. You need to persuade your interviewer into thinking you’re the one candidate, above all others that has what it takes to do the job.
My brother Nick, or Dr. Aramovich to everyone else, is a Psychology Professor. Through an aggregate of models of other researchers, he built a simple yet elegant framework that describes the Four C’s of Influence in the context of group dynamics. They are Competence, Confidence, Commitment, and Connectedness. This article examines Confidence in interviewing.
Confidence in interviewing comes across as the assuredness and assertion of your experiences, opinions, and preferences. Confidence is conveyed verbally but more so by your body language. If I say, “I’m an excellent candidate for the job because I bring 15 years of experience to the table,” but I do so with slumped rounded shoulders, a meek vocal tone, and avoidant eye-contact, I’m not actually displaying confidence.
At the end of the day, humans are creatures that dial into energetic displays of strength to determine leadership potential. “Strength” in a professional context, means confidence. So, it becomes imperative that you lead with confidence or your interviewer may infer that you’re not competent.
Here are four tips that will increase your level of confidence:
- Prepare – About You. Have specific examples of your best work experiences queued up and practiced verbally. Create and prepare a personal brand and value proposition statement. Ideally, have someone (like me) mock interview you and receive corrective coaching on how to best phrase interview responses.
- Prepare – About Them. Understand the organization, its goals, and its strategy, and be able to speak intelligently on what they do. Dig into the requirements of the position during your recruiter call. Recruiters often have the inside scoop on why a role is vacant and the type of candidate that will excel in the position. Pick their brain as much as possible before your actual interview.
- Prepare – Culture and Questions. I once had a candidate perform well in an interview and when I asked him what questions he had for me, he said, “I don’t have any.” What do you mean you don’t have any questions?! This might be the place you work every day for the next 1-5 years! I was dumbstruck. I translated his lack of questions to apathy, and the meaning I made is that he didn’t really care that much about whether or not he got the job. That’s not someone I want on my team. Needless to say, he did not get the job. Don’t be that guy. Have questions prepared for your interviewer. Ensure you’re interviewing them as much as they are interviewing you, and ask yourself whether this is really the place to want to spend your waking hours year over year. Here are a few thoughtful questions to ask: 1. Describe the organizational culture. 2. What keeps you coming to work every day? 3. What is the most challenging aspect of working at this organization? 4. What does your ideal candidate’s background “look like”? 5. If I get this job, how will you know I was successful after the first year?
- Body Language is Everything. Sit tall, with good posture. Shoulders back. Smile. Take up space using hand gestures, which is particularly important for women, because women have a greater tendency to make themselves small. Your vocal tone should be deeper than higher on your natural spectrum of tonality. Slow your speech. Pause between sentences. Don’t rush. Articulate and annunciate your speech. All of these elements combined will translate as confidence.
Remember, preparation is key in your ability to display confidence, and displaying confidence is often what sets apart winning candidates from other equally qualified individuals. I offer a complimentary 15-minute interview coaching phone call where I can help you shift into fuller confidence. Sign-up here!