Jobs confidence trick

In an interview, it’s your job to make the interviewer feel confident that whatever is thrown at you, you will find a way to conquer it. It’s a pretty safe bet that he or she wants to hear neither what you think you can’t do nor that you think you can do it all.

Because both make you look incompetent. Somewhere between Bridget Jones and Kanye West is the person he or she wants to hire.

Here are a few confidence tricks:

Be prepared. That’s the only antidote to worrying about what you’re going to be asked. Work out when and where to be proud and when and where to be humble. Yes, you do need to be both.
When you get near the building where your interview is being held, find a bin and dump all your negative thoughts. You don’t hate your old job, your old boss, clients who reject your work…You don’t even hate Justin Bieber or the fact that you’re losing your hair.
Now that you’re negativity-free, throw out all your buzzwords too. You’re not a “thought leader”. You don’t live by, “No regrets, no excuses, just do it!” You’re not going to “disrupt” things. And nothing your interviewer tells you is “dope”.
70% of his/her decision (more or less, depending on which source you’re citing) is made during the “prologue”. The chat at the beginning of your interview is not an interrogation, it’s social interaction (or as your interviewer calls it, the foundation of business). So interact – you’ve known how to do that since you were two.
How you handle an interview says a lot about how you’re going to handle a client meeting, a presentation and a new business pitch. Aim for cool, calm and collected. In other words, sit comfortably, don’t fidget and smile.
Speak slowly, keep looking at your interviewer…and edit. Say as much as you need to answer questions fully, but keep the unexpurgated editions to yourself. Bridget Jones babbles and Kanye rants.

1. Stay away from negativity and bring on the positivity

This is the time to really evaluate your inner circle, including friends and family. This is a tough one, but it’s time to seriously consider getting away from those individuals who put you down and shred your confidence. Even a temporary break from Debbie Downer can make a huge difference and help you make strides toward more self-confidence.

Be positive, even if you’re not feeling it quite yet. Put some positive enthusiasm into your interactions with others and hit the ground running, excited to begin your next project. Stop focusing on the problems in your life and instead begin to focus on solutions and making positive changes.

2. Change your body language and image

This is where posture, smiling, eye contact, and speech slowly come into play. Just the simple act of pulling your shoulders back gives others the impression that you are a confident person. Smiling will not only make you feel better, but will make others feel more comfortable around you. Imagine a person with good posture and a smile and you’ll be envisioning someone who is self-confident.

Look at the person you are speaking to, not at your shoes–keeping eye contact shows confidence. Last, speak slowly. Research has proved that those who take the time to speak slowly and clearly feel more self-confidence and appear more self-confident to others. The added bonus is they will actually be able to understand what you are saying.

Go the extra mile and style your hair, give yourself a clean shave, and dress nicely. Not only will this make you feel better about yourself, but others are more likely to perceive you as successful and self-confident as well. A great tip: When you purchase a new outfit, practice wearing it at home first to get past any wardrobe malfunctions before heading out.

3. Don’t accept failure and get rid of the negative voices in your head

Never give up. Never accept failure. There is a solution to everything, so why would you want to throw in the towel? Make this your new mantra. Succeeding through great adversity is a huge confidence booster.

Low self-confidence is often caused by the negative thoughts running through our minds on an endless track. If you are constantly bashing yourself and saying you’re not good enough, aren’t attractive enough, aren’t smart enough or athletic enough, and on and on, you are creating a self-fulfilling prophecy. You are becoming what you are preaching inside your head, and that’s not good. The next time you hear that negativity in your head, switch it immediately to a positive affirmation and keep it up until it hits the caliber of a self-confidence boost.

4. Be prepared

Learn everything there is to know about your field, job, presentation–whatever is next on your “to conquer” list. If you are prepared, and have the knowledge to back it up, your self-confidence will soar.

5. For tough times, when all else fails: Create a great list

Life is full of challenges and there are times when it’s difficult to keep our self-confidence up. Sit down right now and make a list of all the things in your life that you are thankful for, and another list of all the things you are proud of accomplishing. Once your lists are complete, post them on your refrigerator door, on the wall by your desk, on your bathroom mirror–somewhere where you can easily be reminded of what an amazing life you have and what an amazing person you really are. If you feel your self-confidence dwindling, take a look at those lists and let yourself feel and be inspired all over again by you.

Build Self Confidence

Dress Sharp
Although clothes don’t make the man, they certainly affect the way he feels about himself. No one is more conscious of your physical appearance than you are. When you don’t look good, it changes the way you carry yourself and interact with other people. Use this to your advantage by taking care of your personal appearance. In most cases, significant improvements can be made by bathing and shaving frequently, wearing clean clothes, and being cognizant of the latest styles.

This doesn’t mean you need to spend a lot on clothes. One great rule to follow is “spend twice as much, buy half as much”. Rather than buying a bunch of cheap clothes, buy half as many select, high quality items. In long run this decreases spending because expensive clothes wear out less easily and stay in style longer than cheap clothes. Buying less also helps reduce the clutter in your closet.

Walk Faster
One of the easiest ways to tell how a person feels about herself is to examine her walk. Is it slow? tired? painful? Or is it energetic and purposeful? People with confidence walk quickly. They have places to go, people to see, and important work to do. Even if you aren’t in a hurry, you can increase your self confidence by putting some pep in your step. Walking 25% faster will make to you look and feel more important.

Good Posture
Similarly, the way a person carries herself tells a story. People with slumped shoulders and lethargic movements display a lack of self confidence. They aren’t enthusiastic about what they’re doing and they don’t consider themselves important. By practicing good posture, you’ll automatically feel more confident. Stand up straight, keep your head up, and make eye contact. You’ll make a positive impression on others and instantly feel more alert and empowered.

Personal Commercial
One of the best ways to build confidence is listening to a motivational speech. Unfortunately, opportunities to listen to a great speaker are few and far between. You can fill this need by creating a personal commercial. Write a 30-60 second speech that highlights your strengths and goals. Then recite it in front of the mirror aloud (or inside your head if you prefer) whenever you need a confidence boost.

Gratitude
When you focus too much on what you want, the mind creates reasons why you can’t have it. This leads you to dwell on your weaknesses. The best way to avoid this is consciously focusing on gratitude. Set aside time each day to mentally list everything you have to be grateful for. Recall your past successes, unique skills, loving relationships, and positive momentum. You’ll be amazed how much you have going for you and motivated to take that next step towards success.

Compliment other people
When we think negatively about ourselves, we often project that feeling on to others in the form of insults and gossip. To break this cycle of negativity, get in the habit of praising other people. Refuse to engage in backstabbing gossip and make an effort to compliment those around you. In the process, you’ll become well liked and build self confidence. By looking for the best in others, you indirectly bring out the best in yourself.

Sit in the front row
In schools, offices, and public assemblies around the world, people constantly strive to sit at the back of the room. Most people prefer the back because they’re afraid of being noticed. This reflects a lack of self confidence. By deciding to sit in the front row, you can get over this irrational fear and build your self confidence. You’ll also be more visible to the important people talking from the front of the room.

Speak up
During group discussions many people never speak up because they’re afraid that people will judge them for saying something stupid. This fear isn’t really justified. Generally, people are much more accepting than we imagine. In fact most people are dealing with the exact same fears. By making an effort to speak up at least once in every group discussion, you’ll become a better public speaker, more confident in your own thoughts, and recognized as a leader by your peers.

Work out
Along the same lines as personal appearance, physical fitness has a huge effect on self confidence. If you’re out of shape, you’ll feel insecure, unattractive, and less energetic. By working out, you improve your physcial appearance, energize yourself, and accomplish something positive. Having the discipline to work out not only makes you feel better, it creates positive momentum that you can build on the rest of the day.

Focus on contribution
Too often we get caught up in our own desires. We focus too much on ourselves and not enough on the needs of other people. If you stop thinking about yourself and concentrate on the contribution you’re making to the rest of the world, you won’t worry as much about you own flaws. This will increase self confidence and allow you to contribute with maximum efficiency. The more you contribute to the world the more you’ll be rewarded with personal success and recognition.

Look confident
Just Breathe While waiting to be greeted by your interviewer, take a few moments to do some breathing. (Yes, like a pregnant woman in labor!) By doing this, you can redirect the troublesome emotion you’re experiencing (e.g., nervousness or fear) and be able to focus on something else (in this case, the amazing job that you’re hoping to land). Holistic health expert Andrew Weil, MD praises breathing exercises, saying, “Since breathing is something we can control and regulate, it is a useful tool for achieving a relaxed and clear state of mind.”

To do this most effectively, take a deep breath through your nose (really feel your stomach expand) and then slowly blow it out through your mouth. Repeat this three times, while concentrating on centering your thoughts. The best thing about this technique is that you can do it anywhere (and quite unnoticeably), so if you feel your nerves start to swell during the interview, simply take another breath.

Don’t Fidget
Nervous fidgeting is one of the most telltale signs that you’re nervous, so this is an incredibly important skill to master. My go-to trick is to keep my hands clasped together on the table or in my lap to avoid any subconscious table tapping, hair twirling, or otherwise noticeable squirming. I’m also a leg-shaker—but keeping my hands in my lap and applying a bit of pressure to my legs helps remind me to keep the shaking to a minimum.

If you think you don’t have any fidgety habits, you might want to think again—most people aren’t aware of their own nervous tendencies because they’re such an ingrained part of their natural behavior. To double check, try doing a few mock interviews with a friend who can call you out on any fidgeting. Once you know exactly what to avoid, you can practice controlling it.

Make Eye Contact
One of the best ways to fool a hiring manager into thinking you’re more confident than you feel is to keep steady, natural eye contact throughout the interview. Mary Griffin, a Human Resources Director for a national healthcare company says, “A key giveaway of a nervous Nellie is a lack of direct eye contact—looking down, looking away, and not looking the interviewer directly in the eyes. A more confident interviewee appears to be engaged with the interviewer.”

One way to remind yourself to make regular eye contact is to focus on a spot between the interviewer’s eyes. You can even imagine a colorful bulls-eye there—whatever it takes to keep your eyes from wandering too much.

On the flip side, you don’t want to stay so intensely focused on making eye contact that you end up sending out a creepy vibe! So remember to take natural breaks, like looking down at your resume every once in a while. It’s a balancing act, so just keep practicing until it feels comfortable.

Press Pause
Some of us (myself included!) tend to ramble when we’re nervous. This can be dangerous because once we start talking, it’s incredibly easy to veer off topic and say more than what’s needed—or worse, more than what’s appropriate.

To preempt any rambling, I try to answer each question with only one thought or idea at a time. For example, if you’re asked to describe a trait you disliked about a previous supervisor, you could say, “I found that her tendency to micromanage conflicted with my productivity.” Then stop. This will save you from unnecessary add-ons like “She was a total control freak whose inability to let me make my own decisions made me want to run down the hall screaming obscenities”—even if that may be the most honest answer.

The key to mastering this technique is to keep your tone sincere, so that even if your responses are brief, they don’t come off as curt or dismissive. It’s more about sticking to one main topic per question instead of going off a nervous tangent. And don’t worry—if the interviewer wants you to elaborate on a certain topic, she’ll ask.

Think Positively
Finally, calm your nerves by reminding yourself that you deserve to be there. Hey, you wouldn’t have been invited to interview if you weren’t being seriously considered as a candidate! Use this knowledge to your advantage to mentally pump yourself up before the interview. It can take the edge off enough to allow you to approach the situation with a burst of self-assurance and poise.

Most importantly, remember that while you certainly need to be calm, collected, and confident in order to score the job, an interview is not a life-or-death situation. Hiring managers are humans, too—and they’ll understand and forgive a few minor nervous blips.

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