Think you need confidence to ace an interview?
Well, you’d be wrong. Gasps!
Having confidence is not a prerequisite to doing well in an interview and, in fact, trying to have it may actually be a hindrance.
So if you don’t have the confidence you need right now, you’re in a pretty good spot (and in good company, no pun intended.)
After all, you’re selling what you do and have to offer, not yourself.
And that, my friends, makes all the difference. You don’t need confidence for that.
We spoke to Australia-based business coach Anthony English, who explained why this is 100% true.
“Waiting till you feel confident can be a trap. It puts too much focus on yourself. You’re really there to figure out if they can solve a problem they have. How you feel is secondary,” English said.
The “why” question
Make sure the company knows what they’re trying to do (that’s the only way you can convince them you can help) by asking them a lot of questions.
Many interview candidates have been taught to “hold their breath and not talk much” during an interview, which is another reason they might be failing at getting that job.
“You can become too defensive, waiting for the next question and hoping you don’t get trapped by it,” English said.
Breathe easy, instead. After all, you have nothing to lose, and you don’t need any confidence anymore.
Instead, find out where your “target company” is trying to go. What are their pain points? Why are they looking to bring someone (you) on? What problems are they hoping you’ll help them solve?
Only then will you truly be able to interview well. After all, you’ll then be the master with all the bargaining chips.
The tables will have turned from you to the employer.
If you’re going to sell yourself, sell yourself out of the job
Selling yourself hard in an interview is not as attractive as you’ve been led to believe, and may be the reason you haven’t been seeing any traction.
Logically, this makes a lot of sense. Nobody wants to buy anything that is being pushed on them. They want to buy things because they look shiny.
And yet we keep doing it – over and over again.
What to do instead? Sell yourself out of the job.
“Instead of trying to prove that you’re the best person to tow them across the river, why not ask why they’re crossing the river in the first place?” English explained.
If you don’t specialize in something they want, tell them that and recommend someone who does. This greatly increases the trust factor and makes the company realize you have their best interest in mind, not yours.
The secret to selling is that it’s about your customer, not about you. The same goes for an employer-potential employee relationship.
This is about their job search. You’re both seeing how you might fit into their puzzle.
Show them what you’ll change
Your potential employer will need to know where they’re going (or trying to go) first.
So, ask them where they’re going.
Come prepared with a list of pain points you’ve already noticed because a) you’re aware of everyone in their industry’s pain points, b) you did your research and know their pain points, and c) you searched their name in the news and read about their pain points.
Show them exactly how you will address their pain points using similar examples from the past (extra points if it’s a similar company.)
They will be much more interested in actual solutions than hiring another talking head. We promise.
Don’t put all your eggs in one basket
Remember all those times you learned the lesson not to put all your eggs in one basket? Well, it applies to job searches, too.
You can’t put all your eggs in the same basket. I repeat: you cannot put all your eggs in the same basket.
Putting all your eggs in the same basket lowers your confidence for the current basket that you want and really, for all the baskets.
You need to put all your eggs in many different baskets to succeed. Your skills can be applied to many different organizations and there is no one organization that deserves to have all of your eggs.
Some organizations deserve more eggs than others but not one deserves them all.
Perhaps most importantly, don’t stop looking, even if you feel you’ve finally aced that interview.
“Many job hunters stop looking at this point and put all their eggs in one basket assuming that the interview means that they have the job. Many are disappointed and end having a longer job search than necessary,” writes the Huffington Post.
Now go out there and use all those eggs to make an omelet!