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Build Confidence for Job Interviews by Having a Positive Mindset

By Gus Lawson

What will it take for you to feel more confident in your next interview? By developing the right mindset before your next interview, you can feel more confident walking in. This will help ease some of the jitters you may typically have.

Although people will respond differently, using a road map and taking positive steps will help you increase your confidence just as I was able to increase mine.

To strengthen my interview confidence, I developed the right mindset, prepared more thoroughly, adapted during interviews, and reflected about the interview. As a result, I felt more at ease walking into the interview.

For you, it could be one of a few steps that have helped others in these common situations. Yes – common. You’re not alone. Just as others have rebuilt their confidence, you can enhance yours.

We just need a road map. Let’s get to it!

There are two parts to the road map for enhancing your interviewing confidence.

  1. Develop the right mindset (this article).
  2. Really prepare for your interview, which includes how to apply your preparation to the interview and build on your successes.

In this article, we'll focus on developing the right mindset.

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Develop a Positive Mindset to Increase Job Interview Confidence

The right mindset for your job interview is a positive one, a frame of mind that will enable you to present your best self in your job interviews.

These are the elements of a positive mindset:

1. Believe in a growth mindset.

In other words, believe that with enough preparation, practice, and experience you can enhance your interviewing skills.

There may be some parts of interviewing that are new to you. That’s okay.

When we do new things, we get more tired because we’re using different parts of our brain. How much thought do you give to riding a bike or other skill-based hobbies? Learning to ride that bike took time, effort, and concentration. However, after mastering that skill, bike riding became easier to do.

The same is true for job interviewing.

If it’s hard for you to write about your accomplishments or look people in the eye, then having a growth mindset will allow you to believe that by practicing a little each day, you will improve.

  • What’s the cost to you if you believe you can’t improve?
  • What is the most challenging thing to you when it comes to interviewing?
  • What small steps can you take each day to overcome these challenges?

As we do new things repeatedly, they become habits. Habits take less time and effort to build, but once established, they become much easier to perform.

2. You are on equal footing.

Yes, you may really need the job. But, you also need to understand if you will like the job and the organization. So, you are interviewing them just as much as they are interviewing you.

When I first started a business and was running out of capital, I needed to find a position to provide for my family. My family was under stress and I took the first opportunity that came along. On my first day, there were signs the culture wasn’t right for me. I continued to test those assumptions and sure enough when my project was over, the company didn’t want to consider me for future opportunities.

Even though I was able to provide for my family for a short time, it wasn’t a good long-term fit. This is a common mistake many of us make at least once in our careers. So, ask questions to ensure the company is right for you.

[Read 45 Good Questions to Ask in Job Interviews for ideas.]

3. You can only control what you can control.

Let go of the rest.

You can’t make like the hiring manager like you. You can’t take back words you might have wanted to say differently. You can’t reverse time if you’re a few minutes late.

You can prepare your responses, treat each interview as a learning experience, and ensure you put your best game on (e.g. appearance, attitude, timeliness) because you control those aspects of the job interview.

4. Take credit for the good work you’ve done.

Don’t be bashful. What success stories are you not sharing because you don’t want to seem boastful? How will holding back information impact your interview?

Remember the skills that qualify you for the job. Be proud of your accomplishments that demonstrate you are qualified for the job. If you don't share those qualifications and accomplishments in the interview, the employer will never learn about them.

Bottom Line

By developing the right mindset before your next interview, you can feel more confident walking in and ease some of the jitters you may typically have. In part 2 of the roadmap, preparing for your job interview, learn how to assemble the elements of a successful job interview.

More About How to Build Confidence:


About the author...

Career and leadership coach Gus Lawson has helped himself and others regain their career confidence. Whether his clients have been unsure about what to do next, needed to recover from a toxic work environment, or wanted to strengthen their brand, he helps them develop a roadmap and take action to achieve success. A proud U.S. Navy veteran, MBA graduate, and certified executive coach, Gus has made several successful career transitions. Discover more confidence building insights at CareerFidence.com. Follow Gus on Twitter at @CareerFidence, and connect with him on LinkedIn.


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Guide to Build Confidence for Your Job Search:

Guides to Smarter Job Search

  • Guide to Successful Job Interviewing
    How to answer the top job interview questions, handle telephone and video interviews, interviews at lunch, plus sample thank you notes/email.
  • Guide to Personal SEO
    Learn how to identify the best keywords for you and use them appropriately in resumes, job applications, and LinkedIn Profile.
  • Guide to LinkedIn for Job Search
    Learn how to develop an effective Profile, leverage LinkedIn Groups, plus more tips for advancing your job search and your career using LinkedIn.
  • Guide to Effective Resumes and Cover Letters
    From the best resume format for you to sample resumes for a range of people (mothers returning to work, laid off, and more), plus cover letters.
  • Guide to Working with Recruiters
    These people represent the "buyers" so they are very important to you. Learn how to work with them effectively.

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