Refocussing your thoughts to boost confidence at interviews


glasses being held out to viewerSo you’ve come this far, your CV has impressed the employer, the skills test went well, and now you’ve been invited for an interview. Sitting down and talking about yourself to two or more people you’ve never met before, can understandably make you nervous. You are expected to feel a mixture of emotions, as well as coming across as polite, friendly, personable and witty. It’s a tough mix, but one that if you manage to perfect could land you your dream job. Here are some top tips on how you can refocus your thoughts and boost confidence at interviews.

As with any important meeting, presentation or interview, planning ahead is imperative to being prepared for whatever challenges you might face. It also gives you a chance to practice for any scenario and can help to steady your nerves for the big day. We want to help you every step of the way.

Prior to the interview:


Practicing your answers to possible questions will help to ensure you answer them confidently and effectively. It will also mean you’re not left speechless on the day! It’s important to rehearse the questions you are likely to find most challenging to answer. Common challenging questions include: What are your strengths and weaknesses?  Why are you leaving your current role? What do you hope to achieve in the future?
Ensure that you are extremely familiar with the content of your CV, as the interviewers are likely to have a copy in front of them that they refer to. You must answer the questions confidently, making sure that your body language reflects your tone. Try to be clear on what you might say in response to questions, but don’t practice it word-for-word as scripted responses are less likely to sound genuine.

On the day:

Breathe and count to 10 in a foreign language

Nerves and anxiety come from anticipation of what could happen in the near or distant future. In this moment your heart is probably racing, you might be suffering from sweaty palms and your brain might be spinning thinking about all of the things that could go wrong. Simply focussing on your breathing and counting to 10 in another language can help you to concentrate on bringing you back to the present moment. The reason why you should use another language is because that needs more concentration than doing it in your mother tongue.

As an alternative, to help you feel confidence in interviews, you could do the following. In your head, make a list of 5 things you can hear, 4 things you can see, 3 things you can feel, 2 things you can smell and 1 thing you can taste. This will make you more aware of your surroundings, bring you back to the present moment and reduce the nerves you are feeling at that moment. This can also be helpful the night before your interview if you are having trouble sleeping.

These techniques could help you re-balance and reduce your heart rate to ensure you are able to think more clearly and demonstrate more confidence at interviews.

Use the nervous energy to your advantage

Some nervous energy is good, but high levels can be detrimental so you need to ensure there is a good level of nerves. One of the most common pieces of advice people offer is “Calm down”. Chemicals are released by your body when you are nervous, the same chemical runs around your body when you are enthusiastic and happy. Calming down would require a lot of effort and we don’t actually want to be too calm, this isn’t a good thing either. So instead think about how you could use this energy to show enthusiasm and passion through your answers rather than nerves and anxiety. Employ these tip and you will master confidence at interviews in no time.

Renovo is one of the UK’s leading providers of outplacement and career transition support. We work with both organisations and individuals to support all their career transition requirements. If you would like to understand how Renovo can help you please call 0800 612 2011 or email

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