Confidence: The Key Ingredient in Job Hunting and Career Success

One of the most crucial aspects of job hunting is a person’s confidence. Never underestimate its importance because a lack of self-confidence might eventually sabotage your career. If you yourself can’t believe in your capabilities and expertise, how else can you convince a potential employer – who is a total stranger – to hire you for the job?

In the purest sense, confidence means a person knows what skills and capabilities they have and are good at. It’s a type of self-assurance of power, so a person who is confident knows they have the power to get things done. Confidence should be treated in contrast to arrogance, which basically implies that a person is better than everyone else, or a low self-esteem which equates to the lack of self-value and worth.

There are people who find it easy to distinguish and know whether a person is confident or has self-doubt, which is why recruiters almost always already know that a candidate has what it takes right from the first few minutes of interaction. Confidence acts as a magnet that attracts positive energy. In fact, a study by the International Journal of Cosmetic Science has found that simply using a cologne improves male’s confidence, enough to make them more attractive in photographs. Additionally, it was also found that something as simple as a confident, direct smile from a woman was enough to catch the attention of their potential date.

Why do jobseekers usually lose confidence during a job search?

When looking for a job, especially right before an interview, there may be a number of thoughts running inside a jobseeker’s mind. Thoughts that, if given the chance to permeate, can be the source of self-doubt and negative beliefs in your capabilities and your value as a professional. These factors can be attributed to:

  • Shame in losing your previous job
  • Thinking too much about previous failures
  • Desperation
  • Habit of failure

If you recently lost a job offer, probably even after a second or a final interview, the person who got hired most likely displayed his qualifications with more confidence, has a more persuasive tone in highlighting his value, and was more assertive in closing the deal by reassuring the recruiter and potential employers that they were the better candidate for the job. To prevent this from happening in the future, you should pinpoint first why your confidence is suffering.

How do jobseekers overcome issues about self-confidence during a job search?

Think positively

The power of positivity and how it can spread among your peers is commonly talked about especially in self-improvement conferences. Unfortunately, this goes the same for negative thoughts and self-doubt. If you have a weak disposition, these thoughts can overcome your mindset and affect how you compose yourself during an interview. When negative thoughts start kicking in while you wait for your turn to be interviewed by a recruiter, think about what they saw in your profile that made them ask you for an interview. A positive mindset is all it takes to feel calmer and create a positive aura that could help you land a job.

Explain something that you understand well

One of the best ways to show your mastery is by talking about something you know well. If you’re knowledgeable in a certain system or process that is somehow related to the position you’re trying to land, then take control of the conversation and seize this opportunity to show your expertise. However, to play this card well and increase your chances of getting hired, make sure you’re well-versed in industry jargon and you can back yourself up.

Make a substantial connection

During an interview, a job seeker may come across as overconfident to hide their underlying fears. While it’s understood that you’re trying to impress your potential employer, don’t try too hard. Instead, you should shift your attention in making a personal connection with whoever is interviewing you. In fact, it might even help if you don’t think of it as an ‘interview’ and treat it instead as a simple chat where you and your potential employer are trying to get to know one another. Create a stimulating conversation that will make your charming personality take centre stage. It might also help to talk about things that you are passionate about and even strike luck if your interviewer has the same interests, which will eventually push them to look beyond your qualifications and convince them that you are, indeed, the right candidate they are looking for.

What if you didn’t get the job?

Don’t give yourself a hard time should you fail to get the job. Depending on your industry, competition can sometimes get intense that you may have to endure more rejections before getting the right one. Whenever you get rejected, try to think of it as a training activity for your next job interview. You might also want to try and ask your interviewer for constructive feedback that should help you move forward.  Remember, every single experience is a learning opportunity, and that your next job is just always an interview away.