Job interviews can be nerve-wracking even for the most talented and accomplished professionals. It looks like so much is at stake, doesn’t it? One hour of your life can lead to your dream job, a fulfilling career, and financial abundance or… rejection.
You have a limited window of time to prove you are the best candidate of all. How do you know you are the best? You can’t possibly know. You don’t know who else is applying and you don’t know what the institution is really looking for, beyond what they advertised in the job description. The bottom line is: you don’t have control over the outcome. That thought will hurt your confidence if you are giving it any attention.
Seeing the recruiting process as something frightening and unfair will make the whole experience painful and you will be less likely to be selected because your own discomfort will be palpable, making you a less desirable new hire.
If you are looking to get a new job, it is critical to work on your self-confidence even before you start updating your resume. Your confidence level will determine how you present yourself, what positions you choose to apply for, as well as how impressive or compelling your application will be.
Here Are 5 Steps to Boosting Your Self-Confidence
#1. Get clear on your own strengths, values and standards.
If you don’t know your own strengths, values and standards, you risk feeling inadequate when comparing yourself to something that is irrelevant. Imagine evaluating a fish on its ability to climb a tree? See what I mean? It would be misguided and absolutely pointless.
Take time to reflect on what you do best, what is important to you, and where you set the bar. Look at your past accomplishments as well as the way you handle situations. Give yourself some credit and pay attention to what drives your decision-making process and behavior. Get to know yourself better. Appreciate yourself more.
#2. Imagine you are the interviewer, not the interviewee.
Carefully review the description of the position you want. Imagine being the interviewer rather than the interviewee. In your own opinion, what would make someone a good candidate for this position? What would you want to see this person do once they got the job? How would you know if they were doing a good job?
The point here is to get crystal clear on what you believe matters, so that what is important to you can become your standards, and you can let go of all other thoughts. Here is why:
You may think the goal is to look like what the institution is seeking but in reality, the goal is to show your best self and let the hiring committee decide if you are the right fit. If you are not the right fit, trust me, you don’t want that job.
#3. Seek the right fit.
If being selected for a job means having to pretend to be someone else or compromising your values, it is simply not worth it. Having to repress a part of you and not being able to speak your truth is no way to live. Always remember that.
If you let the illusion of scarcity drive your choices, you will have to pay the price.
You deserve to work somewhere where you can be appreciated, you can express yourself, and feel empowered to do your work in alignment with your values and preferences. That is why self-awareness is key.
Feel how your emotions shift when you change your perspective from “I don’t know how well I meet their expectations” to “I know my worth and I am excited to find a college or university that will appreciate it.”
It is no longer about acceptance or rejection. It’s more like pieces of a puzzle; you put together what fits rather than reshape yourself to try to match where you will be going.
#4. Focus on what you can control.
Now you see the process as an exploration of possibilities, feeling excited about being seen for who you truly are and what you have to offer. You trust you will be invited to join an organization where you will do fulfilling work. Paint a picture of success in your mind. Guide your thoughts toward what you want to see happen and what you can do to make it happen. Take action from a place of trust and inspiration.
That means customizing your resume and cover letter and preparing to go to the interview holding nothing but positive thoughts. Know that the process will either lead to a job offer or a redirection to something else that is even better for you. Either way, you are making progress.
Do not waste a second thinking about what you don’t know and can’t control, such as whether the institution already has someone in mind or who else is applying for the job. Don’t compare yourself to anyone else. Don’t think about painful moments from the past. Any thought that makes you feel powerless is unwelcome.
#5. Put yourself in peak state.
Your self-talk determines how you feel. If you indulge in old thinking patterns that create doubt and irrational fear, you get in your own way! Realize nobody is doing this to you. You are doing this to yourself and can choose to stop immediately.
Focus on what you want to see happen instead of the opposite. Choose any tools you like to help you feel confident, such as affirmations, list of professional qualities, list of past accomplishments, thoughts on praise and compliments you received repeatedly, thoughts about the contributions you want to make to the organization, etc. Build yourself up!
Listen to music that energizes you, move your body, shake off any residual doubts or fears. Pay attention to your posture and body language. It’s go time. You get to show your best self and give the hiring committee a chance to see the real you and make the best choice possible. There will be no regrets.
Create a story in your mind about the interview. See it as a pleasurable event and it will be one!
Try the 5 steps and please comment below on how you felt and how your perspective changed.
If you are struggling with feelings of inadequacy, there could be a deeper issue with self-worth that needs to be addressed. You may want to work with a coach one-on-one to clear it up once and for good.
If you have a tendency to self-sabotage, it might be because of inner-conflict (e.g. fear of rejection, fear of failure, fear of success, fear of change, fear of having more responsibilities, fear of having less free time, and so on…) That too can be resolved with a coach.
Don’t let your past determine your future. Contact me if you would like to speak with me about your career goals and how to reach them.