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How to show confidence in 90 seconds

Confidence. It’s that intangible certainty. You can’t physically touch it, but you know it’s there when someone has it. Because those who do, tend to grab your attention. And then keep it. 

When meeting with a hiring manager, exuding confidence is key to ensuring he or she has confidence in your candidacy. Yet, convincing others that you’re trustworthy, reliable and capable of success is hard if you aren’t demonstrating the right qualities.

Thirty-three per cent of surveyed hiring managers admit to knowing within 90 seconds if they want to hire you.

Take these confidence tips into consideration to turn that minute and a half into a second interview.

Have good posture (in and out of the interview room)

Poor posture can be seen as a by-product of low self-esteem, but adopting a powerful, upright position can increase the interviewer’s perception of assurance. While waiting in reception, sit with both feet planted on the ground with your back against the chair; next, when you’re introduced to the hiring manager, ensure you’re standing straight with your shoulders back.


Facial expressions are a critical aspect to human interaction. Job interviews can have anyone on edge, but flashing your pearly whites every now and then helps put others at ease and conveys a sense of calm control. It will also demonstrate you’re friendly and open to new opportunities.

Thirty eight per cent of surveyed hiring managers admit to dismissing candidates who didn’t smile.

Give a good grip

Twenty six per cent of surveyed hiring managers admit to dismissing a candidate for a weak handshake. Interviewers are trying to uncover your strengths, and having a weak handshake isn’t a strong starting point. To a recruiter or hiring manager, it comes across as unimpressive, unenthusiastic and untrustworthy. So, show up with a firm, but not punishing, grip! 

Keep eye contact

When you’re looking the interviewer in the eye, it shows your interest in the meeting (and company), while also demonstrating your appreciation for their time.

When greeting a hiring manager, make sure you’re looking him or her in the eyes while you shake their hand. And during your interview, avoid staring at distractions. How can a hiring manager know you’re excited about the opportunity if you’re looking out the window?

Sixty-seven per cent of surveyed hiring managers will dismiss a candidate for lack of eye contact.

Dress the part

Are you interviewing at a start-up or a corporate company?  Put your best foot forward by knowing the company’s culture first. You don’t want to be too fashionable though, as 70% of surveyed hiring managers admit to dismissing a candidate before they even walked through the interview room door because they were dressed too trendy. Check the company website and social media profiles for an indication of the dress code, and then dress one notch above everyone else.  

Form a connection

After you’ve made it past the initial intake, it’s time to make a connection. It doesn’t have to be something big, just a little conversation starter that will help set the vibe.

For instance, the hiring manager will likely begin by making small talk about your commute into the office (it’s typical human behaviour). And this may uncover that you both live in the same area or take a similar route.  Isn’t construction the worst on King Street right now?!  

Or, your pre-interview research may have helped you uncover other commonalities, like LinkedIn showing that the hiring manager attended the same college or university as you…. GO GATORS! 

Be enthusiastic — Not desperate

There are fine lines in life and interviews: Being confident without appearing cocky, appearing relaxed vs. “too cool,” and demonstrating an eagerness for the role without seeming desperate for employment. Even if you really, like really, need the job, avoid verbally or non-verbally implying that fact. 

Use your personality

Robots (Applicant Tracking Systems) hold a place in the recruitment process, but they play no role in the interview stage, so don’t act like one during yours! Although you should display a professional demeanor, let your personality shine as you discuss your skills and experience; when you’re passionate about what’s being discussed, it’s impossible for others not to notice and want to be around your positivity.

Remember: Candidates who know their worth make it very easy for potential employers to recognize their value.

Are you working with a staffing agency to find your next great opportunity? 


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