Posted 11th August 2017 | By Nancy Powell, Deputy to the Online Quality Assurance Manager

“Nobody can go back and start a new beginning, but anyone can start today and make a new ending” Maria Robinson.

This has never been truer for me and, as one of the newest recruits to the ExtraMile Team, I wanted my first blog to reflect the change I have recently gone through.

This is something I felt people could relate to if they are considering a change of job or career and something to help build up some general self-confidence. From updating (or writing in my case!) your CV, to job interviews themselves, nothing about the process is easy and your confidence can take some severe knocks along the way. The following points have been put together to help you through that process as well as assist you in gaining self-confidence in everyday situations.

1. Research.

This goes without saying. If you don’t research not only the Company you are applying for but the industry you may be moving into, then your confidence will not stand a chance in an interview situation! Be thoroughly prepped by reading up on the Company and its vision within the industry, common interview questions with appropriate answers, presentation skills and questions to ask the interviewer. All of this will allow you to walk out with your head held high knowing that you couldn’t have worked any harder to get the job you really want.

2. Memories.

During your preparation for the interview, research yourself. I don’t mean do a google search, but go through your own archives and draw on memories where you felt confident in your achievements. By recalling these moments and letting the feeling you had back then reflect in the now, you will start to believe more in your own endeavours and give yourself the confidence that you need.

3. Research your journey.

Prepare for your journey and investigate where you can park in advance. If your journey involves going on the motorway, ensure you check the travel updates and leave in plenty of time. If you haven’t been provided with instructions on where to park, then investigate street parking or paid car parks nearby. You do not want to arrive late and flustered because of poor journey planning; this will not reflect well on you and your confidence will suffer as a result.

4. Body language is key.

It is widely recognised that body language affects how others see us. But did you know that it also impacts the way we feel about ourselves? Amy Cuddy conducted a TED talk on this subject (This is one of the most watched TED talks ever with over 39 million views!) and discusses a number of “power poses” that have been designed to instil confidence in yourself. By holding some of these poses for just 2 minutes, your testosterone levels can rise and your cortisol levels will lower. This fluctuation in hormones allows you to be better equipped for stressful situations. Before you leave for the interview, try to run through a couple of these poses and you will feel a difference. 

5. Master a firm handshake.

You don’t want to break your interviewers hand, you just need to make sure you are administering the correct level of pressure to show you are assertive, forthright and confident. Practice makes perfect, so find a willing volunteer to assist you!

6. Make eye contact.

When you are being interviewed, try to hold eye contact wherever possible. This applies when you are talking to them and when they are talking to you. You will appear as though you are confident, decisive and trustworthy, all qualities that are desirable not just in an interview situation but across all walks of life.

7. Speak clearly and slowly.

Make sure you take your time when answering questions. Consider your answer carefully and don’t rush through all of your thoughts before delivering a response. When speaking, enunciate your words clearly; studies have shown that experts in their field speak at a slower pace to ensure that listeners are genuinely able to absorb every word delivered.

8. Ask questions.

If you have done your homework, you should know where the company is heading. Where does the role you have applied for fit with growth and development, what is the long-term vision for the successful candidate and how will you be assisted with learning within the role to develop your skills? An interview goes both ways and by asking relevant questions, you will not only show your interest and desire for the role, but you will also establish if you want to work for them! This step is vital to showing your confidence as not asking pertinent questions could mean you fade into obscurity with other, more enthusiastic candidates standing out ahead of you.

Hopefully by following the above, you will master the art of the interview and create the impression of being a self-confident individual who can offer the best of themselves to the company they are applying to work for. If you are unsuccessful in your interview, don’t take this personally. Speak to the HR Department and gain feedback so you have something to work on for the next interview. Focus on the positives and remember, this job wasn’t for you - the right one is waiting just around the corner.