Since I can only assume you aren't applying for jobs you aren't remotely qualified for, I would have to state that my advice is to increase your confidence.
Confidence can be expressed in several ways including personal appearance, posture, and even the subtleties of body language.
It can also be shown through the strength of your handshake, the loudness or tenor of your voice, and the way in which you respond under pressure.
Have you ever been introduced to someone obviously lacking in confidence: underdressed, slumped shoulders, a limp handshake?
Did they strike you as someone you could trust to get the job done or did talking to them make you feel a bit uneasy?
Probably the latter...
It doesn't mean that they weren't wonderful, interesting individuals but your first impression of them wasn’t stellar.
The people you remember are the ones that instantly have that "it" factor, and that factor is confidence.
There are several ways in which you can increase confidence (or at least the perception of being confident). I'm not saying to ‘fake it till you make it’.
I’m saying that you can increase your confidence naturally as well as show people the true you that positively shines.
Self-Confidence is having a realistic understanding of your own abilities or performance and believing that you can be successful.
People who are confident in their abilities tend to stand straighter, look you in the eye, feel secure in who they are, etc.
They understand that an interview is nothing more than a conversation!
A back and forth between two people of equal power.
You are there to make sure that the company is good enough for you too. It's not a one way street.
One of the simplest ways of boosting your self-confidence for an interview is to be prepared by researching the heck out of the company, the department, and the person/people who will be interviewing you. Walk in there knowing everything you possibly can.
Try these on for size before your next interview to increase your self-confidence:
Social Confidence is basically how you feel in social events.
Are you more comfortable talking to one or two people or do you get pumped up at the thought of giving a presentation to thousands?
If you have issues interacting with others in general the best thing for you is: practice.
Consider the following to help bolster your confidence when socializing with strangers:
- Try joining a group of likeminded people via Meetup or EventBrite
- Attend networking events
- Get more involved in situations where you'll be forced to socialize
Like all things, it gets easier the more you do it.
Professional Confidence comes from competence.
You don't necessarily have to be an expert in your field to be seen as competent.
That being said, don’t apply for a senior level position if you have barely any experience.
Knowing that you don't know everything, are willing and able to learn, and have an understanding of the basics can go a long way.
There’s no shame in saying "I don't know" during a job interview if you don't actually know something.
Personally, I’ve never told anyone I was an "expert" or "guru" at anything.
It's not necessarily because I don't think that I am, but their definition and my definition of “expert” might be completely different and I prefer not setting myself up for failure by coming across as cocky and not delivering.
Here are a few suggestions if you’re looking to improve your professional confidence:
- Read/research your subject on the internet to refresh your memory
- Take a class/get certification
- Find a mentor, volunteer, or Intern at an organization or with a small business and learn
Good luck out there!
If you'd like to learn more about how to find a career that brings you joy and fulfillment why not schedule a no-risk, no-obligation Strategy Session. (Don't worry, first one's on the house.)
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