Your voice is shaky, your palms are sweaty, and you are covered in flop sweat. If this is you when preparing for an important video interview for a job, then spoiler alert: You won’t be getting the job! Employers look for job candidates that seem put together, relaxed, and above all, confident. If you can’t even handle the pressures of a job interview, they figure you won’t be able to handle the pressures of the actual job.
In fact, it’s turning out confidence might be even more important than originally thought for achieving interview success. According to a recent study from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln to be published in the Journal of Applied Social Psychology, narcissists might have a leg up on the interviewing competition. The study results show that narcissists score much higher than non-narcissists in simulated job interviews.
Now no one is advising that you need to develop a personality disorder to nab your dream job. Narcissists scored highly in this study because they tend to be better at promoting themselves and exuding confidence. In person or through online video interview, self-assurance sells.
To do well in your video job interview, you have to strike a balance between being Debbie Downer and one of the guys from Entourage. If you’re too self-deprecating, employers are not going to be impressed. After all if you don’t believe in yourself, why should the company? However if you lay the confidence on too thick, employers are liable to think you’re an arrogant know-it-all. Believe me, no one wants to work side-by-side with that guy.
Here are some simple tips for improving confidence so you nail your next video interview:
1. Practice Makes Confident
Job hunters should practice their interviewing skills like they would an instrument. You’re about to have the concert of your life, after all, and it’s called your video interview. Hit all the right notes and you’ll be playing in the orchestra in no time. Go flat and you’ll be playing on the streets.
Have friends and family give you sample interview questions and answer them like it’s the real deal. Then have your loved ones give you pointers on what you can improve and where you fell short. If you’re putting too many pauses in sentences or trailing off, they’ll notice these unconfident ticks. When you finally point your webcam you’ll feel assured that you’ve worked on your interviewing weaknesses, and that confidence will become an interviewing strength.
2. Appearance Matters
It’s a video interview so you don’t have to get all that dressed up, right? Wrong! Just because the employer is only seeing you from the top up doesn’t mean that your bottoms should be pajama pants. Dress as if you were going for a professional job interview in person. The way you dress shows employers how seriously you take the job interview and yourself.
Plus dressing well is a good way to give yourself confidence. In professional business attire, it’s much easier to feel like you are a confident, in-control professional. Let your confidence take a cue from your clothes.
3. Get Ready for Quicksand Questions
Nothing throws off hard-won confidence like an unexpected and difficult question. What is a quicksand question? It’s a question that can derail your whole interview and pull you down into the muck. When you get thrown off balance by a difficult question you can lose some of your mojo. Just because your interview is online, not in person, doesn’t mean the interviewer won’t notice.
Take a moment to collect your thoughts and gather an appropriate answer. You will seem thoughtful and mature instead of stumbling around, stuttering out an answer that doesn’t make sense. You can try to practice for “quicksand questions” but the nature of these puzzlers is their ability to throw you off your game. If you get one, take time and answer to the best of your ability. Most importantly, don’t let it drag your confidence down.
Imagine the interviewer in your mind’s eye and visualize how he or she will react to your answers. Body language accounts for 55 percent of all nonverbal communication and your webcam will be picking up every nervous gesture and twirl of your hair.
Stand in front of a mirror if necessary and note the behaviors that are undermining your confidence. Are you not making eye contact or fidgeting too much? The words that are coming out of your mouth might sound knowledgeable and confident but your behavior might be undercutting your message. Visualizing your own behavior is a great way to teach yourself to exude confidence and to curb the traits that undermine your greatness.
What are some ways you stay confident while a video interview? Share in the comments!
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