The Real World / Public Speaking  / Interviewing 101- Speaking with Confidence

Interviewing 101- Speaking with Confidence

Confidence is a collection of things. It’s about the way you present yourself, your demeanor, gestures, movements, eye contact, and more. But we often forget about the importance of confidence in what you say and how you say it. While confidence can quickly appear strong based on someone’s appearance, it can just as easily vanish if one speaks without it. I’ve learned this firsthand in my work as a sales representative at The Selling Factory. When you’re calling someone on the phone, you only have a few seconds to capture their attention. That means all of your confidence is reliant on the way you communicate. Over the phone, I’m reliant on my voice to sell a product. This has taught me the importance of speaking with confidence. Hesitation and doubt can be easily evoked by the tone of your voice. Being convincing doesn’t always mean saying the most logical things; instead, confidence can come from speaking clearly, strongly, and with ease. Answering interview questions with confidence shows security and truth.I’ve been on both sides of the table, being the interviewee and the interviewer. Here are my takeaways from my experience with interviews.

  • Research the company you are applying to beforehand so you can find a reason why you want to work there that is SPECIFIC TO THE COMPANY. If your reason can be used interchangeably in interviews, you have the wrong reason. Make sure you find something unique to the company and relate it to your personal values, interests, goals, etc. This shows the company that you care enough about them to take the time to learn about them.
  • How do you fit in? What makes you a good candidate? Apply your skills to the job description to show the interviewer how your skills are relevant to the job. You can be a hard worker but not have the experience/skills needed for the job so make sure when you showcase your strengths, you relate it back to the position you’re applying to. Speak with confidence even if you have to fake it. Forget the doubt.
  • Always ask questions. Avoid asking general questions that could have easily been found with a quick Google search because it shows that you didn’t do prior research on the company/position. A default question can regard asking about the interviewer’s experience at the company. 
  • If the interview is in person, come prepared with your resume and/or cover letter printed. 
  • Show up early. If your interview is online, be on the call in advance and check your computer to reduce the chances of technical issues. If the interview is in person, wait outside before your appointment. When I interview people, I give them less than a 5-minute window to show up or else they are no longer considered as an applicant.
  • Read your resume! Make sure there are no grammatical issues and events are listed in chronological order with any present position at the top. No resume should be more than one page. Each bullet point should start with a verb. Don’t forget to quantify your tasks. (ex. Organizing 50 online orders daily by….) 
  • Dress professionally. Clean yourself up. I recommend business professional attire unless directed otherwise. 
  • If you’re worried about the questions asked, see if you can find people who have interviewed for the position and network with them to see if they have any tips. Additionally, some websites have past interview questions from companies. For example, my university, UF, has a website for students called HireWarrington that shows past interview questions students had at various companies. 
  • Linkedin. One word. One very life-changing word. I cannot express my love for Linkedin enough. Having a professional and updated profile can work in your favor. Not only can you use it to showcase yourself, but you can connect to people who already work at the company you want to. Network. You can also use Linkedin to research your interviewer.
  • Follow up with a thank you email within 24 hours of the interview expressing your interest and why you feel like you are a good fit for the position. Including parts of your conversation in the email shows that you were paying attention during the interview.
  • Relax. There are always other jobs. Rejection is redirection. 

Good luck! 

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