Woman in brown blazer seated beside table

When candidates are interviewing for a job, confidence is key. Employers want to see that you know your stuff and that your skills and qualifications are up to par. However, it can be hard to have confidence while under pressure.

Fortunately, there are some strategies and tips that can help you present a confident, collected demeanor, regardless of how you feel inside. Below, 11 members of Young Entrepreneur Council share how these methods work to help candidates perform better during interviews. 

Q. What’s one strategy a job candidate can use to exude confidence during an interview, even if they don’t feel confident? Why does this method work?

1. Maintain Eye Contact

Eye contact is not about staring at the other person to the point of distracting their attention; it is about projecting that you know what you are talking about and that you have the confidence in yourself necessary for any job. Sometimes if you are nervous it can be difficult to listen and maintain eye contact, so if you are not very good at this, you should practice. – Kevin Ryan Tao, NeuEve

2. Model a Mentor

If you are having an off day and do not feel your authentic self is good enough, and a self-pep talk is not doing the trick, consider modeling a mentor. It really does work for confidence. It distracts you from feelings of inadequacy or imposter syndrome. Embody someone you imagine getting the job, and go get it! – Matthew Capala, Alphametic

3. Minimize the Importance of the Interview in Your Mind

If you really want the job, you’ll have to play a mental game to convince yourself it’s not a big deal. One way to do this is to think of it as an exercise or practice session. Or, pretend you have 10 interviews lined up, even if there’s only one. This helps you to relax and not feel that your life depends on the outcome. – Kalin Kassabov, ProTexting

4. Speak Clearly and Slowly

The way we speak can dictate how we appear to others. If you want to show that you’re confident, speak clearly and slowly. This strategy works because it shows that you’re willing to take your time and discuss thoughts and ideas instead of rushing to the next topic. – John Brackett, Smash Balloon LLC

5. Get to Know the Company

Getting to know the company before the meeting can help make a job candidate more comfortable and confident during an interview. Finding out about the company history, products, and services can help make the conversation flow easier with the hiring manager. – Kristin Kimberly Marquet, Marquet Media, LLC

6. Occupy the Space You’re In

A simple thing that a job candidate can do is to occupy the space they’re in comfortably during the interview. By this I mean that you can adjust your chair slightly, sit up, and place your bag down or by your side with confidence. Many people create discomfort by being visibly awkward during the interview. Relax and use the space you have to appear more confident. – Syed Balkhi, WPBeginner

7. Plan a Few Jokes

It’s helpful for a candidate to plan a few jokes in advance. Being humorous and making a couple of appropriate jokes make you look comfortable. It also helps break the ice or ease any tensions during the interview process. Don’t worry about not appearing serious. Relate to your interviewers at a personal level with humorous jokes and you’ll make a positive impression. – Blair Williams, MemberPress

8. Pay Attention to Your Body Language

Paying attention to your body language is important during an interview. Your body language can make you seem either insecure or confident. A confident person has an open posture, uses hand gestures, and doesn’t avoid eye contact. On the other hand, unsure people tend to cross their legs and hide their hands in their pockets. Using the correct body language will make you seem more confident. – Benjamin Rojas, All in One SEO

9. Keep Your Breathing Controlled

Simply learning how to breathe properly can help to relax your nerves, ease your stress, and calm your shaky voice. Breathing techniques regulate your heart rate so you feel more comfortable and can perform better at your interview. – Stephanie Wells, Formidable Forms

10. Remember That You’re Interviewing Them, Too

Remind yourself that you’re interviewing them as much as they’re interviewing you. This allows you to take back some of the power and control during the interview, and it will instantly make you feel more confident. They need to impress you just as much as you need to impress them or you won’t take the job and they’ll lose the chance to get you on their team. – Jonathan Prichard, MattressInsider.com

11. Be Yourself

Just be you without the need to please the company or lie or overact. If you know this company fits you and this job is for you, it will be given to you. Yes, you should be confident, study the company, and be ready for the interview, but that doesn’t mean you have to do more things to be ready for it. Just be confidently you and get what’s meant for you. – Daisy Jing, Banish

These answers are provided by Young Entrepreneur Council (YEC), an invite-only organization comprised of the world’s most successful young entrepreneurs. YEC members represent nearly every industry, generate billions of dollars in revenue each year, and have created tens of thousands of jobs. Learn more at yec.co.

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