Applying for a new role, and going through the recruitment process can be a daunting task for even the most experienced finance professional.
Interview nerves affect most people, but they can make the recruitment process more stressful than it needs to be for you, the candidate.
Your next job might be the start of something amazing – so naturally, you will want to impress the hiring manager.
If you are preparing for an upcoming finance interview, we have created this guide to help you boost your confidence to help land you your next role.
1. Role Play Interview Practice
We all know that preparation is the key to success – and anyone who has ever had a job interview will have been told to practice their answers beforehand.
But very few candidates ever actually go to the lengths of practising a role-play style interview with someone, and yet doing this can help you significantly.
Practising your answers while you are alone, or even writing down specific answers or themes are great ways to prepare – but nothing beats a real-life run-through beforehand.
So get someone, a friend or a family member, to act as the interviewer and get them to ask role-specific or general interview questions – be prepared for both – and practice giving your answers.
You will not know until you rehearse in this way that you might want to add something into one of your answers, or that you need some extra practice when talking about a specific subject.
2. Boosting Your Confidence Before the Interview
Immediately before the interview is when candidates are at their most nervous.
So it is during this time that the most crucial confidence-boosting techniques are needed.
The following are great simple tips to help you in the hour up to the interview. Find somewhere private, either in your car or a private hallway to take a few minutes to practice the following:
Picture yourself succeeding – visualisation techniques are shown to be effective at helping reduce nerves and focus the mind.
Breathing techniques – take slow, deep breaths to help calm any nervous jitters you may be having.
Say some positive affirmations to yourself – saying ‘I will succeed’, ‘I deserve this job’ and ‘I am going to be successful in this interview’ will help you foster a positive mindset, which can significantly improve your confidence.
Once you are in the interview, let’s look at how some simple body language techniques can help you relax and be your most confident self.
3. Body Language During the Interview
The way you hold yourself will make you feel more confident so that you are able to give a better interview, plus it will also signal to the interviewer that you are relaxed and professional.
First impressions count, so smile when you say hello.
Try not to perch nervously on the edge of your seat – sit all the way back in your chair, with a straight back, not slouching.
When you give your answers, talk with your hands as this will allow you to communicate your ideas more effectively. But also be careful with the way you use your hands – don’t gesticulate too wildly, and when you are listening rather than talking, try not to fidget or keep touching your hair or your face, which people tend to do when they are nervous.
Remember to carry on breathing deeply, and always say yes to a glass of water – you can take a sip to compose yourself before you give your answers, or if you need a moment to pause.
Make eye contact with the interviewer, but not too much. And finally – smile during the interview - you want to look like you are happy to be there!
4. Be a Great Listener
There will be time during the interview when the interviewer is asking the questions or explaining about the company. During these times, remember to employ excellent listening skills.
A finance interview is about listening as much as it is about talking.
Nod when the interviewer is speaking and always make sure they have finished before you give your answer.
The interviewer will be looking for someone they can guarantee will get on with the rest of the team – so an overconfident candidate who spends the entire interview singing their own praises can be a turn-off.
Remember that not every answer you give has to be perfect – but listen to what the interviewer is asking, and you can always ask them to repeat themselves or clarify if you aren’t sure what they meant.
Interviewers are human, and they don’t always give perfect interview questions.
5. Look to Connect, Not Impress
And finally, a great tip to boost your confidence is to not think about the finance interview as an interview – but a conversation.
Aim to connect with the interview, not to flat-out impress them with everything you say.
Building rapport with an interviewer is a great way to be a memorable candidate, and striking a meaningful conversation rather than stressing while trying to appear superhuman will allow you to naturally ease into the interview and will make the whole experience much more enjoyable.
Confidence is about being honest and transparent; it is obvious when someone is trying to be somebody they’re not.
Are you preparing for an upcoming interview? Or maybe you’re not quite there yet, and you’re still looking for a new finance role.
If so, we can help.
We’re specialist finance recruiters, and we can help you will all aspects of your new job search, from CV help to arranging interviews, and of course – helping you prepare for your all-important interview.