How to Appear Confident in a Job Interview

Job interviews can be stressful – and make you nervous. That’s natural, but  nervousness can make you look less than confident. Without confidence, you aren’t likely to look like the right candidate for the position. You probably can’t get rid of that nervous feeling when you go on a job interview, but there are some easy tricks you can use to portray confidence, even if you don’t feel it. It’s time to rock every interview and it won’t be long until you have the job of your dreams.


It sounds like a simple thing, but breathing the right way can make you look confident and help you keep calm during your interview. Before you even go into the interview, take a few deep breaths to help you center your focus and calm your nerves. You can also take a slow, deep breath through your nose during the interview if you feel your nerves getting the best of you.

Use Positive Self-Talk

Imagine that you are talking to a friend who is facing a big interview. What would you tell that friend? Those are the things you need to tell yourself. Remind yourself of your qualifications and expertise. Prep your brain by yourself how great you’re going to do in the interview. This positive self-talk puts you in the right frame of mind and ensures that you rock the interview.

Connect First, Impress Second

Yes, you want to make a good impression on your job interview, but if that’s the focus of your answers and behavior, you could be in trouble. Experts say that it’s better to make a connection with the employer and come across as likeable. Building a friendly rapport will make a good impression on its own and will make you seem more like the person the company is looking to hire. Focus on making that connection and you should be good to go.

Sit Still

Fidgeting will make it pretty obvious that you’re nervous and will be distracting to you and the person conducting the interview. Keep your hands and feet still and you’ll appear a whole lot more confident. Try clasping your hands together in your lap or on the table. You can prevent leg fidgeting by keeping your hands on your legs. Make a conscious effort not to twirl your hair, scratch your nose, or tap your feet and the interview is likely to go much better.


Smiling can make you feel more confident. When the interviewer smiles back, it helps you relax and that gives you a quick couple of seconds to calm your nerves and get into the frame of mind for the interview itself. You don’t want to sit there with a smile pasted on your face, but offering one up as you get started sets a confident tone for the rest of the interview.

Make Eye Contact

You won’t look confident if you don’t make eye contact with the interviewer. Natural, steady eye contact tells the person interviewing you that you know your stuff and are confident that you’re right for the job. Focus on a spot between the interviewer’s eyes and glance there often. Don’t stare, though, because that can be unnerving for the person you’re looking at. Take a few notes or look at your resume every so often.

Keep Your Answers Short and Focused

It can be hard not to go on and on in an interview as an effort to fill the conversation. However, most experts will tell you that this only sets you up for saying something that isn’t correct or that puts you in a bad light. Try to answer each question with one complete thought, then take a break. Imagine that you’re pressing pause. This gives you the chance to gather your thoughts and lets the interviewer ask for more info if he or she wants it.

Practice and Rehearse

Before you go to your interview, anticipate questions you’re likely to receive and practice how you’ll answer them.  Figure out how you’ll phrase your accomplishments and successes so you appear right for the job without coming across as arrogant. You can do this on your own, or ask a friend to help you out by pretending to interview you. You’ll be surprised at how much more confident you feel if you have practiced and are prepared.

Stay Positive

It’s easy to feel like you don’t have a chance at getting the job when you’re in an interview and you’re feeling really nervous. Remind yourself that you deserve to get the job. You wouldn’t have been called in for an interview if you weren’t worthy of the position. Stay calm, but remind yourself that you’re well qualified and that you can certainly get the job. That reminder will give you a boost of confidence that is sure to get you through the interview.

Imagine Success

Finally, imagine yourself getting the job and walking into the building every day. Think about the paycheck and how it will improve your life. Imagine yourself networking and moving up through the ranks. Think about the excitement of telling everyone you go the job. All of this will boost your confidence and help you do well at the interview.

Job interviews can be nerve wracking, but using these easy tips can help you come across as confident – and land your dream job. Remember to practice, research the company and send yourself positive thoughts. Pretty soon, you’ll be getting dressed and heading in for your very first day on the job. Good luck!

This post was contributed by William Grigsby, an HR expert at  You can follow him on Twitter @willgrgsb

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