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Having Confidence in Yourself in Interviews

Having Confidence in Yourself in Interviews

By MarkD

“It’s ever so important to believe in what you do, trust your ability to create and show yourself worthy.  Never sell yourself short.” – Simon Zingerman

Never sell yourself short.

You hear that phrase a lot.  This is a two-edged sword, and you might be doing BOTH in an interview, potentially costing you a job.  You can sell yourself short by not highlighting your accomplishments and the things you do know.  You can also sell yourself short by highlighting the things you DON’T know.  Let’s talk about how to have confidence in yourself in job interviews.

According to jazzhr.com, 76% of respondents to a survey of 500 hiring professionals across the country said they would reject a candidate if they appeared arrogant in an interview.  Showing a lack of self-confidence, even if you know you are perfect for the job, can be just as costly.  Here are four quick tips to boost your own confidence in job interviews.

1. Give honest answers

If you are applying for a position as an Acumatica ERP Implementation Consultant position, you might be asked to talk about your experience with Acumatica.  If you have never worked with Acumatica before, the way you answer this question could make or break your interview.

You could simply answer, “I don’t have any experience with Acumatica.”

Their reply will most likely be, “Thank you for your time.”

Or you could answer, “While I don’t have any direct experience with Acumatica, I’d like to tell you about my experience doing an implementation with Sage 500 ERP at XYZ Corporation.  I know that Consultants who have worked with Sage 500 have a very easy time transitioning to Acumatica, and I know that this company’s industry is very similar to yours.”

What a powerful answer! You know how to do the job.  You know about the product (even if you’ve never worked with it before).  You have researched the company.  You are immediately relating a scenario the interviewer can easily apply to his or her own company and start judging the value you could add.

Another common question is in regards to your work tenure.  If you’ve worked at three different companies in the last three years, they are definitely going to want to know why.  Again, be honest in your answers, but just address the question at hand.  They are simply trying to assess your potential as a long-term investment or whether you are a flight risk.  One thing you want to stay away from is bad-mouthing your former employer.  

2. Do your research

What does this job entail, what do you know about this company and why would YOU be the best fit for this position? Just confidently knowing the answers to those three basic questions will dictate your answers to any other questions your interviewer might throw your way.  

You will most likely be asked, “Why do you want to work here?”

I’ll tell you right now, the answers they are not looking for are, “That’s quite a handsome salary you’re offering” or “It’s close to where I live and I don’t want to relocate.”

Here’s what they ARE looking for: “I looked online and I like your company’s philosophy.  It’s in line with my work ethic.  I also found the reviews your customers as well as your employees have left about your company.”  According to CMD Recruitment, 4 out of 5 job seekers research company’s online reviews and rating when deciding whether to apply for a job.

3. Know who you are

You’ve done your research.  You know why you are perfect for this ROLE, but your interviewer wants to know why YOU are perfect for this role.  This is where you really shine and stand out from the rest of the applicants.  Load up the arrows in your quiver and be armed with stats and examples.

“I was able to increase sales by 20% in six months by recognizing this opportunity and enacting this solution.”

“I was able to decrease the number of client issues by 25% by creating this educational tool.”

“I recognized a client’s need during the implementation, recommended the solution, and we were able to gain that additional business because of my observation.”

Remember, talking about your accomplishments and how they benefited your customers and your own business will help the interviewer to see how your same efforts will affect their customers and their business.

4. Practice

You might feel silly, but you should sit in front of your laptop or computer and rehearse answers out loud.  Get a friend or significant other to help you by playing the role of the interviewer.  Give them a list of sample questions you would most likely be asked in your upcoming interview.  It’s okay if they throw in a few curve balls as well.  Employers like to see you think on your feet and will sometimes ask you something that doesn’t seem related to the job itself.  

It’s not uncommon for an employer to give you a logic problem to solve, or ask you about your hobbies in your spare time.  This is a good thing.  They are most likely trying to get a good feel for your ability to think outside the box or to get to know your personality.  According to a report by G2.com, 75% of companies will use behavioral interview questions to assess your soft skills.

The list of tips and tricks to help improve your self-confidence in interviews could go on and on.  Books have been written on this topic alone.  While these four areas are just the tip of the iceberg, they are a great place to start.  If you master these four, the rest of them fall into place and you’ll nail that interview and get that job . . . because you were the right fit and you didn’t sell yourself short.

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