It’s All in the Mind: 3 Long- term Confidence Boosters to Equip you for that Interview

25 May

Check out the job openings at Infor Manila.

Having fits of nervousness is something all too familiar to us. Be it getting up on stage to talk to a crowd of people or just walking into the interview hall with the HR head staring at you from the other end of the room. Even seasoned public speakers still have their shaky moments right before a big speech.

Where does this lack of confidence come from?

We are born of confidence. Remember when you were a kid, you couldn’t care less if you dance around in your underwear or belt out a Whitney Houston song even if you were completely out of tune. When we were younger, we are not plagued by previous mistakes or reminded of our past failures.

As we grow older, we carry this bag of second-guessing. We gain doubts as we progress. This in return, could have fatal repercussions to us, especially when subjected to high-pressure situations such as a job interview.

Other than the demands we set for ourselves, another factor that contributes to self-doubt is the phenomenon called Fresh Graduate Anxiety. Feeling incompetent, fresh graduates tend to sell themselves short in hopes to make up for their lack of experience and skills. Humility is a great trait; however the excess of it gives off a negative impression on the interviewee.

The 4-minute Window

It takes 7 seconds to make a first impression. For an interviewer to make a final decision about the applicant, four minutes. You might wonder how can it be possible for them to decide in that short span of time? Remember, your resume already did the its job of giving them a snippet of you—your employment background, affiliations, skills and even your hobbies.

In an interview, they are no longer interested in hearing that. Their evaluation will now rely on how you carry yourself, how you speak and look, the way you greeted the interviewer. All these point back to your level of self-confidence.

Lucky for you, self-confidence can be grown from trees. Here’s how:

“I am the best but I am not” paradox

We may rely on cues from the society to validate ourselves. We look from others to establish who we are and appraise our achievements. As cliché as it may sound, no one can tell that you’re not good enough except yourself.

Try this exercise, every morning right after you wake up, tell yourself that you are the best. You may feel a little weird at first, but this repetitive action will soon diminish your doubts and lead you to believe that, yes, I am good enough and no one dictate what I can and cannot do.

But just like any other things, this must be done in balance. This is where the paradox comes in—you are good, you are fit for the job, but you are not perfect.

This can be applied not only in job interviews but on your perception in life: you can never be the best if you are not constantly learning and changing yourself. Remember the Buddhist teaching, “You cannot fill a cup that is already full”. So while you fill yourself up with confidence, leave a hole at the bottom to drain out mistakes, and make space for new ideas.

Know the “Power Pose”

The basic premise of the power pose is that the more space you take in, the more “powerful” the posture is. An example of this may be raising your elbows, fists clenched behind your head and your legs resting on top of a desk; another would be standing up, feet astride with your hands on your hips.

This may look very rude and intimidating to others, but studies show that in effect, the “power pose” increases testosterone levels—a hormone linked to power and dominance; and cortisol, the hormone that controls our stress levels. Another study by Amy Cuddy and her colleagues from Harvard Business School claimed that students who spent time, two minutes to be exact, in power pose before an interview performed better and gave striking speeches.

Action Speaks Louder than Words

If someone talks to you and cannot look straight into your eyes, or is constantly fiddling with something, wouldn’t you feel a little suspicious? He might be hiding something, or worse, lying about it. Now let us reverse the roles, you walk in with your shoulders slouched, chin tucked in and arms around your body—what would the interviewers think?

The interview does not begin the moment you shake hands with your interviewer, it starts soon as you walk in. The way you walk, carry yourself in an air of confidence, your smile, where and how your eyes are fixated—they all say a lot more about yourself than you can put into words.

People also tend to forget that during an interview, it is humans they are talking to and not robots. Be it a phone, video call, or a personal interview, there is a human on the other side and with this, connecting with them goes a long way.

You are engaging in a conversation thus you should also make them feel that you are interested. Crossing your arms or legs is a closed body language that shows disinterest. Instead, you could lean forward, angle your torso towards the person and maintain direct eye contact. Nodding and tilting your head is also a nonverbal way of participating.

You are the Primary cause of everything. British psychologist, Richard Wiseman calls this the “As If” principle —if you act as if you were calm, confident and happy then it’s likely that you will actually start to feel calm, confident and happy.

The mind is much more powerful than we perceive. More than it controls our actions, it can alter our mood, perception of ourselves and our ability to do things. It then turns into a vicious cycle: our body language affects our body chemistry which then affects how we carry ourselves, our level of comfort and confidence.

In the end, it all boils down on how you see yourself. If you think you’re small and incompetent, your body and the people around you will pick up on that and believe it, however if you think you are capable then you will be.

Quoting Franklin D. Roosevelt, “Men and women are not prisoners of fate, but only prisoners of their own mind.”

So how do gain confidence? Easy, start believing that you already are.

Now that you’re ready for your job interview,
check out the
job openings at Infor Manila.

Image from Free Digital, edited using Canva



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