Confidence during job interviews

In spite of all the excitement, small tricks can help you appear confident and open in job interviews.

Three to six pairs of eyes are looking at you. They register every movement but don't let on what they are thinking. Job interviews are most certainly not an everyday experience. Where else is so much attention focused on you? When else do you have to convince a group of people that you are exactly the right person on a personal and professional level?

In spite of all the stress in these unsettling discussion situations, you must appear authentic. Job applicants should come across as friendly and confident. But how? Experts provide some specific tips. It all begins with the introduction. If you want to appear confident and a hands-on type of person, you should not begin this important interview with a limp handshake while staring at the floor. A strong handshake and good eye contact make an impression on the other person—but they must be brief and natural.

Eye contact during the interview is also important. When you are answering a question, look at the person who asked the question and make eye contact with the others in the room from time to time. After all, you may be starting a relationship with your future manager or colleagues. Smiles open doors and an occasional smile opens up hearts.

Convince with your (body) language

Openness is key—and is expressed in your body language. Crossing your arms is a definite no-no in the same way as tense crossed legs, picking at imaginary fluff and nervous back and forward movements. Instead: Take a deep breath, sit up straight and place your hands on your thighs or—if present—on the table. Do remember, however, to place your hands flat, don’t clench them or wring them. If you show obvious nervousness and insecurity, it suggests that you are unable to handle stress.

Language is also important. Experts advise that you should talk authentically but most definitely not in everyday slang Short, clear sentences suggest clear thoughts. On the other hand, procrastinating, endless sentences and qualifying empty phrases leave a confused, unprepared impression. If you just “possibly” want, “perhaps” can or “don't yet know,” you will not leave a lasting impression. Yet that’s exactly what you do want to do in a job interview!

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