The MOST Important Trait to Bring to the Interview: Self-Confidence

How Do You Demonstrate Confidence?

As you read articles and books about interviewing, you will notice that most of the information focuses on "being prepared." When you look closely at the information provided , you will see that many of the tips given focus on the external preparation: what to wear, body language, handshakes, and strong examples. There is much less emphasis or information found on preparing internally for the interview.

Internal preparation begins with your feelings about yourself, as well as your feelings about searching for a job and interviewing. If you have been having a difficult time finding a job or have been laid off, your self-confidence may be running a little low. Your feelings about yourself and your self-esteem, or self-confidence, are fragile and can change from situation to situation. You can gauge your level of confidence or self-esteem by asking yourself the following question, “Are you prepared to go out and sell yourself, and feel good about what you are selling - YOU?” If your answer is, "No," then there is some work to do on the inside before you can sell on the outside.

If you ask any sales person, he or she will tell you that it is much easier to sell a product that you believe in than it is to go through the motions of being passionate about something you really don't like or trust. Individuals who do not believe in their own ability cannot possibly convince someone else that they are the "best" candidate for the job. Begin by believing in yourself in order to gain the confidence needed to influence someone else to "buy" what you are selling – you!

Low Self-Esteem Statement: I think I am pretty good when it comes to helping people with problems.


High Self-Esteem Statement: My strengths are my customer service skills and my ability to get to the root of a problem to help customers. I excel in these areas because…

When you use weak terms like, "pretty good," you send the message that you are not strong, just okay. Who would you hire? Someone who is "pretty good" at helping people with problems or someone who says his strengths are customer service and problem solving? Not much room for doubt there.

Only when you believe in yourself can you convince someone else that you are the best person for the job.

How Do You Develop Self-Confidence?

A good way to begin your internal preparation is with an inventory of your capabilities. That means getting in touch with your strengths as well as your weaknesses. You will find it very empowering to discover, and list out, what you have to offer. It is also a good idea to know what your short- and long-term goals are.

A simple exercise that will help you answer these questions will also help you take a look inside yourself and begin to think about what you want "more of" and what you want "less of" in your next job. People usually perform at a higher level if they are satisfied with the work they do and, as a result, are more motivated to give 100+% to their jobs.

Begin by making a list of the important tasks you completed at your current/last job. These would be the tasks that you were particularly proud of, or were energized by. In other words, when you were "turned on" by your job. Think about the last time you were so involved in a project or task that you lost track of time or woke up at night excited, thinking about how you could improve the situation. Write those experiences down and try to determine what the factors were that were satisfying for you. Be specific.


Let's say you were a "Project Leader." The tasks listed could read something like: "Led a team; coordinated and monitored project progress; assured the flow and completion of work on schedule; monitored expenditures and budget..." What were the stimulating tasks of this job? Was it the leadership aspect? Or, was it the challenge of coordinating the details and people? Was it completing the project on time or below budget? Were there customers involved (internal or external) and, if so, is that what you found most challenging or rewarding? What didn't you like and hope that you will do less of in your next job?

Create similar lists for previous jobs. If you recently graduated from college, use the classes that were most stimulating and interesting for you, or the projects you worked on with teams. By making lists of motivating experiences from your last two or three jobs, you will hopefully begin to see patterns of projects and tasks that stand out.


Look for these patterns and recurrences. Analyze your lists. Which tasks do you see listed more than once? Which ones left you feeling the most fulfilled? Which do you look forward to doing more of? What tasks would you like to develop your skills in? The answers to these questions will help you determine what you want and create possibilities for greater fulfillment in future jobs that have similar responsibilities. Knowing what you want will make you feel more confident about finding the right job.

Being clear on what you like to do, and what you are good at doing, will enable you to build your self-confidence and help you effectively sell your skills during an interview. By getting to know yourself better, you will also discover what makes you unique and what differentiates you from your competition. And that is one of the keys to successful interviewing – showing the employer that you are THE candidate for the job. Confident, motivated, you.


An Interview Coach can help you avoid fatal flaws that will make you fail the interview.  Win the interview with an interview coach
Call MVPSource today at 704-837-8203

Click here to find out what an Interview Coach can do for you.

Click here for Other Common  Interview Mistakes

Click here for our Charlotte Interview Coaching Services

Click here for Job Search Coach

Also know what to wear - read the Interview Dress Code

Click here for more Common Mock Interview Questions and Answers

Click here for Three most common interview Questions

Click here for more Mock Interview Prep

Click here for Mock Interview Services

Home   Services   Resources   Testimonials   Company   Locations  Partners  Outplacement   Contact us     Sitemap