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How to Fake Confidence For an Interview

By Kat Boogaard

You’re heading into a job interview for a position you’re incredibly excited about. You know you meet all of the requirements and are certain you’d be a perfect fit. But, your sweaty palms and shaky knees? Well, they tell a completely different story.

Let’s face it—everybody knows that job interviews can be incredibly nerve-wracking. And, it’s not always so easy to disguise those nerves and nausea as confidence and professionalism.

Luckily, while your insides might be swimming, there are a few things you can do to stifle your anxiety and present yourself as polished and impressive. Give these tips a try, and you’re sure to appear calm, cool, and collected—sweaty palms and all!

1. Do Your Research

Job interviews are anxiety-inducing to begin with. But, strolling into that meeting room feeling like you need to totally wing it? That’ll only make you more panicked.

Adequate preparation is key to being able to approach your interview with as much confidence as possible. So, make sure that you leave plenty of time to research the company, rehearse your answers to common interview questions, and generally ensure that you’re ready to tackle that interview head on.

Not feeling like you need to fly by the seat of your pants? That’s a surefire way to feel a little more self-assured as soon as you walk through that door.

2. Remember Body Language

As you already know, your nonverbal cues can often say a lot more than the words that are actually coming out of your mouth. No matter how polished your sentences and responses, they won’t have the same impact if you say them while fidgeting and staring at the ground.

Start the interview with a firm, friendly handshake. Maintain eye contact with the interviewer. Make gestures away from your body and be conscious of any obnoxious fidgeting. Smile when appropriate.

And, most importantly, remember to breathe between sentences. Sounding like you just ran a marathon while explaining a time when you solved a complex problem will be enough to make everybody in the room feel nervous.

3. Ask Questions

When preparing for an interview, you’ll undoubtedly place a lot of your emphasis on how you’ll answer questions. But, asking great questions can be just as important.

Not only does this show that you’re actively engaged in the process (and eager to actually land the position!), it can also help to take a little of the pressure off your shoulders by shifting the spotlight and prompting the interviewer to talk for a while (giving you an often much-needed break).

So, come armed with a few intelligent questions you can ask when appropriate (meaning, you don’t want to ask about the vacation policy). Maybe you want to know the hiring manager’s favorite thing about the company. Or, perhaps you want to know one key thing they’d like the person in this position to accomplish.

There are tons of different questions you can ask—and doing so will give you a chance to regain your composure while also making you look engaged and interested. It’s a win-win for you!

4. Give Yourself a Friendly Reminder

If you’re anything like most people, you likely picture a scene just like this before heading into a job interview: An incredibly intimidating looking person sitting across a long table, shining a light in your eyes while asking impossible-to-answer questions.

But, remember, a job interview isn’t an interrogation. And, giving yourself this friendly reminder can help you knock that job interview out of the park.

While it might not always feel like it, that hiring manager or interviewer is really on your team. His or her goal is to find the very best fit for that open position—and he or she is definitely hoping that’s you!

So, don’t get bent out of shape thinking that the people in your interview are out to get you. Believe me, they’re really rooting for you.

Unfortunately, there’s no magic pill or special formula that will make job interviews less nerve-wracking. However, there are a few key tips you can implement to mask your nerves and present yourself as poised and polished.

Give these a try, and you’re sure to appear calm, cool, and collected. After all, nobody needs to know you feel like throwing up.

Kat Boogaard

Kat is a Wisconsin-based freelance writer covering topics related to careers, self-development, and entrepreneurship. Her byline has appeared in numerous outlets and publications, including Forbes, Fast Company, The Muse, QuickBooks, Business Insider, and more. Find out more about her on her website, or connect with her on Twitter.

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