I sat down with a friend last night who said that she feels her lack of confidence around her weight is impacting on her job interviews. She felt that employers were judging her as soon as she walked into the room which made her feel even more nervous which in turn affected how she answered the questions. Whether or not this is true, the fact that my friend even thinks this means she is very likely projecting that lack of confidence and it could be affecting her chances of getting a job.

Why is confidence so important in a job interview? Think about when you meet someone for the first time, before you even speak to them you’ve immediately summed them up based on how they look, their expression and their posture. This is what employers do, consciously or unconsciously. Whether or not this impression stays depends on how you behave afterwards and confidence has a lot to do with this. Remember, confidence is simply ‘a feeling or belief that you can do something well or succeed at something’. No more, no less. You’ve been asked to the interview because the employer believes you can do the job well and succeed, otherwise you wouldn’t even be there. How then can you affirm this and project confidence to make them want to hire you?

  • Prepare! This is the most important thing and it’s a no brainer. You need to do your research and practice your answers. Look back at some of our other blogs for tips on this.
  • Think about your body language and how you talk. This is something my friend hadn’t even considered and they are key for projecting confidence, even if you’re still really nervous if you can achieve some of the behaviours listed below you’re well on your way to receiving a job offer.

I found the following table on this site and I like that it lists and contrasts some of the behaviours that can improve the way you come across to employers which in turn will project confidence:

Habits and mannerisms that damage credibility and portray weakness Habits and mannerisms that build self-assurance and portray strength
  1. Stooped posture.
  2. Closed stance/fisted palms.
  3. Taking up little space.
  4. Chin down or head tilted.
  5. Poor eye contact.
  6. Unpleasant facial expression.
  7. Weak, limp or wet handshake.
  8. Fidgeting, swaying, shuffling feet, touching face or hair.
  9. Weak voice or poor voice projection.
  10. Hesitant speech patterns. Voice going up at the end of statements.
  11. Speaking too quickly and frequently using filler words (um, ah, etc.).
  12. Ineffective pauses (darting eyes, filler words/noises).
  1. Erect and balanced posture.
  2. Open stance/open palms.
  3. Taking up more space.
  4. Head up facing others.
  5. Direct eye contact (60% of the time).
  6. Pleasant facial expression (relaxed, calm, in a good mood).
  7. Firm handshake (extend first).
  8. Relaxed and competent manner. (i.e. not fidgeting, swaying, shuffling feet, etc.).
  9. Full voice projection (not shouting).
  10. Clear firm speech patterns. Voice level or going down at end of statements.
  11. Speaking at slower, more deliberate pace without filler words.
  12. Effective pauses (solid eye contact, clearly intentional).

If you’re still not getting that job offer do make sure you ask for feedback. It’s important to know is it something you can improve or was it simply beyond your control (which can happen). Good luck!

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Career advice, Interview


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