Being Yourself in Interviews
Exchanging Self-Doubt for Confidence in a World that Questions Our Competence

We all know that we should put our best foot forward when asking for a promotion or interviewing for a new job, but how do we go about presenting ourselves in a professional, positive light that is still authentic and reflective of our personality? As women, we’re often plagued with feelings of inadequacy and self-doubt, and it’s all too common to counteract those feelings by presenting shiny, but inaccurate, versions of ourselves. Here are some helpful tips for going into an interview feeling confident and competent without sacrificing your individuality!

1. Prepare thoroughly for your interview.

One of the best ways to alleviate anxiety is through careful preparation. Research the topic of discussion, position you’re applying for or company you hope to join. Look up common interview questions and practice your responses in a way that works well for you. The more prepared you are, the more confident you will feel during the interview.

2. Focus on your strengths.

You’re likely applying for a job opportunity that you feel capable of doing well. While it is all too easy to question our qualifications and competence, chances are that you’re applying for a job you truly believe you can thrive in. Focus on the strengths and qualities that you already possess that back up the belief that you are the best candidate for the job. If you believe it, the interviewer is more likely to believe it too.

3. Be yourself.

Presenting the best version of yourself during an interview is certainly important, but make sure that you’re still presenting you. It’s crucial to remember that employers are not only evaluating your skills but also assessing how you’ll fit into the workspace. Showing them an authentic version of yourself is key to establishing a strong connection to the interviewer. Instead of presenting the version of yourself you think they want to hire, try dressing in a way that is reflective of your personality, sharing your perspectives and embracing your individuality.

4. Challenge feelings of self-doubt or imposter syndrome by practicing positive self-talk.

During periods of growth and opportunity it is common to feel heightened stress, anxiety and self doubt. It’s easy to talk ourselves out of asking for that promotion or applying for a challenging new job out of a desire to stay in our comfort zone. Deep down, we know we’re capable and qualified, but we allow imposter syndrome and negative self-talk to cloud our judgment and steal our opportunities. To counteract feelings of self-doubt and insecurity, try practicing positive self-talk. 

For example, try writing or saying: “I am fully prepared for this interview. I know my strengths, have done my research and practiced my responses. I am qualified for this position, and my knowledge and experience make me a valuable candidate. I am capable of overcoming challenges and can handle anything that arises during this interview. I am a strong and talented individual who is fully deserving of this opportunity. I will present myself with authenticity and confidence because I believe in myself and my ability.” 

Positive self-talk is all about focusing on your strengths, believing in yourself and reinforcing your confidence! Even though it may feel cheesy, try customizing the self-talk to resonate with your own experiences and aspirations.

5. Seek support and feedback.

Don’t be afraid to reach out to friends, mentors or career counselors who can provide support and guidance during your interview process. Constructive feedback and encouragement from trusted individuals can help you improve your interview skills and boost your confidence. 

Remember, showcasing your authentic self during an interview is essential. By preparing thoroughly, reminding yourself of your strengths, challenging your doubts and seeking support, you can go into an interview with true courage and confidence.

About Author

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Corrie is the director of communications at Collider, an assistant floral designer and an independent photographer. In her spare time she enjoys reading, running, hiking and time spent with her friends, husband and dog, Lou.

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