There have been recent headlines that remind women that certain people perceive them as being bad at job interviews.
Every woman has heard accusations like these from time to time. That doesn’t mean that they’re true. Everyone, regardless of their gender, has difficulty learning the best way to interview for a job.
The problem is particularly bad when you’re just climbing the career ladder. People apply to new jobs because they need more money. Maybe you’ve just had your first late credit card payment. Maybe you need money to get a better education. Maybe you want to get out of a living situation that isn’t the best.
No matter which one of these financial issues you most relate to, these have a way of killing confidence. That’s true of both men and women. When you find yourself sitting across the table from a recruiter, self-doubt tends to rear its ugly head. Because we live in a society that equates financial success with personal worth, we can feel at our worst and most insignificant during a job interview.
If you’re a woman who has heard people talk about how you’re inherently worse at job interviews than your male colleagues, this can be the time where you feel that pressure the most. However, it’s also the time when you can overcome that unconfidence. Here are some ways.
- Don’t Compensate For Things You Don’t Need to. If you go into an interview worried about your ability as a woman, you’ll be tempted to compensate and apologize for things you don’t need to. If you have an interview, you have qualifications and competence. You also have non-discrimination employment laws that protect you. You are a candidate just like any other. Keep this at the front of your mind and you’ll do fine.
- Rehearse the Right Things. It’s important to practice a calm presentation of your best career assets. Worry is a practice as well. If you are worried about your prospects in the interview room, make sure you rehearse a positive, confident presentation of yourself even more. When you are prepared, you will be confident. When you are confident, the interview will go better.
- Expect the Best, Prepare for the Worst. If an interviewer treats you discriminatorily based on your gender, know how you will react. A calm, confident answer is the best way to assert yourself in a situation where your professionalism is unjustly called into question. Hopefully this will not happen. It usually doesn’t, and it’s no reason to carry anxieties with you. However, if an interviewer does act unprofessionally, don’t be caught without a reply.
- Know What You’re Worth. As gender pay gaps still exist in some industries, it’s important for you to know what you are worth and to request this compensation with confidence. Don’t allow yourself to be undersold. Don’t accept a job that won’t recognize the value you offer.
It can be challenging to interview for a job with negative stereotypes ringing in your ears from internet news. Use cultural perceptions like these to strengthen your resolve to interview to the best of your ability. Preparation and confidence will take you a long way in your career ambitions.