How do we approach a job interview with confidence?
Interview anxiety is very real. It’s intimidating to walk into a room of people who are there to judge our qualifications. And so we tend to think that our level of confidence is tied to our preparation, like how much we know about the company or how qualified we are for the role.
The reality is, a job interview is less about qualifications than it is about fit. The biggest misconception about succeeding in an interview is that you have to know everything. That simply isn’t the case. “Preparedness” should not be our measure for confidence or success.
Sure, you need to have the required skill set, but you wouldn’t have made it this far if you weren’t qualified. By the second or third-round interview, your potential employer wants to know if you’ll fit into their culture.
Knowing this, your goals going into the interview change. You (1) focus on the value you can provide, rather than feeling defensive or fearful about what you don’t know, and (2) showcase your personality.
How to Interview with Confidence: Be Honest About What You Don’t Know
The last thing we want is to give the impression that we don’t have the skills or experience. When we’re caught off guard by a question we don’t know how to answer, or realize we don’t have experience with a particular type of project, we’re tempted to fudge the truth or artfully beat around the bush.
Lying is a fear-based reaction. We want to learn how to break those patterns of behavior and visualize new outcomes. Stretching the truth will only make you look the fool when you can’t do what you said you could. But when you’re honest about what you don’t know, you build trust.
Rather than lying about a lack of experience, simply say, “I haven’t done that before, but I’m willing to learn. Would you support me in learning?”
This kind of response shows your potential team that you have a willingness to learn. It’s also evidence that you have a positive attitude, humility, and a desire to grow in the role. As an employer myself, I can attest that I’d hire for attitude over skill any day.
Showcase Your Personality
Interviewing is not simply about reviewing your resume but about getting to know you. You are a flesh-and-blood person with a unique personality. An interview gives you the opportunity to pull back the curtain to learn more about the company, the team, and the culture.
Rather than feeling pressured to defend your qualifications, showcase your personality and be honest about what you don’t know. This is how you interview with confidence.
Want to boost your confidence in your next job interview? Feel free to reach out so I can coach you through your interview anxiety.