That interview – why you’re going to win

job interview, recruitment, diversity

By Bernardo Moya

Cracking that interview so you really shine and show why you’re the right person for the job can be easy.

You just need to settle your nerves, boost your confidence, build instant rapport and make a lasting (positive!) impression. Here’s how:

Settle Your Nerves

Your number one technique for settling your nerves is to breathe right. Most people breathe from the chest, but all this does is mimic shallow “stress breathing”. Take your time to allow your breath to go deep into your tummy for a relaxed inhale, then let the air out in its own time. Do this three times, and continue while concentrating on the tip of your nose. This meditative breathing calms the mind.

Next, notice if you’ve got butterflies in your tummy. Notice the direction they seem to flutter – are they rising, turning? Whatever way they’re moving, imagine reversing the movement. Imagine, too, giving the movement a colour you associate with calm and relaxation. You’ll be amazed how this reduces your nerves.

Finally, notice your internal monologue. Are you speaking to yourself nervously and telling yourself you’ll fail. Silence that voice and tell yourself the opposite inside.

Boost Your Confidence

With that nervous inner voice silenced, create your own inner monologue, telling yourself you’re going to do well. Use a calm, confident inner voice and take on board what you’re saying.

Do the same when you visualise. So many people imagine the interview going badly – and all this does is rehearse failure. Instead, see yourself doing well. Notice how you walk and talk, how brilliant you are in that interview, how scintillating and on the money you are. Imagine yourself looking out of your own eyes with that super-confident you. You’re great!

Remind yourself why you’re the right person for the job. So many people have impostor syndrome, believing the interviewer will see right through them and know they’re not right for the job. But remember, interviewers are looking for someone who will fit in the team. They don’t expect you to have all the exact experience immediately, otherwise you’d already be in the job and they wouldn’t be looking to fill the post.  You need to make the right impression, so they know they can trust you to take on board the roles and skills you’ll need. That means the real you, not some ideal, perfectly programmed individual.

Make a positive impression!

There are lots of ways to make a positive impression – there’s look, there’s confidence and there’s track record. These things are self-evident. So bring in your portfolio and show what you can do. But it’s not only about you. Read up on the business you’re about to join. Study where they’re going, work out how your values align. Talk with knowledge around the subject and show enthusiasm for what they do. They’ll be impressed that you know about them and are keen.

Build Rapport

There is a skill to rapport building. Part of it comes from being confident and enjoying what you’re doing so the real you shines through. Some of it is to notice how your interviewer speaks and use similar language to them. Do they have a particular rhythm they talk at? If they are slower speakers then will speaking at gabble-speed (thanks to your nerves), put them off.

Be aware of their interesting and unusual uses of vocabulary and incorporate them into your replies. By showing similar choices in language you are also showing you are on a wavelength.

Notice, too, their body language, and work out how yours fits with it. Don’t mirror directly, as this can be extremely annoying, but notice whether they are relaxed or attentive and alert, and use some of that general setting in your body language, so you are on the same wavelength. Notice the language they use and give it back to them. Seek to strike agreement where you can, and if you are shaking hands, don’t put them off with a weak handshake, but something that says you are reliable.

Beyond all this, be authentic. Of course, it’s possible to pretend to be someone else, but you want them to buy into you. So your rapport building is also about showing who you are, in the best possible way, not that you are someone else!

A few extra things:

Once you have read the above, visualise the whole process in your mind… “See: the whole process, visualise yourself, “see what you would see”, “hear what you would hear”, “feel what you would feel”…

Maybe also ask yourself these empowering questions:

  • How can I become even more confident for this meeting?
  • How amazing will I feel when I have “nailed it”?
  • How exciting will it be when I get the dream job?

Finally,  enjoy the interview. It’s an exciting prospect ahead, and that’s what you’re there to communicate: that you really are committed to a future with this fabulous team of people!

Bernardo MoyaAbout the author

Bernardo Moya is a leading personal development coach, founder of The Best You and author of The Question: Find Your True Purpose, which is published by Wiley, priced at £10.99, and is available now from

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