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  1. #1
    Honor Thy Inferior Such Irony's Avatar
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    Default How Do I Appear More Confident and Still Be Honest About Myself?

    Does that sound pathetic or what? To not be confident about your own confidence level?

    So I got turned down for yet another job. When I asked for feedback on what I could do better, one of the things mentioned was that I need to appear more confident. Well it's pretty hard to be confident when you keep getting rejected! I think my job search goals are pretty realistic. I won't apply for any positions that I don't meet the qualifications for. Some are a little bit of a stretch but I know I could handle it. I would take extra courses or study to get up to speed. So that does suggest some confidence yet I'm told I don't appear confident.

    For one thing, I come across better on paper than in person. I can write a mean resume and job application. Yet in person, I hesitate and say ummm alot. Maybe its because I'm an introvert and I naturally gravitate more towards written communication.

    I'm also honest about my abilities and modest. I won't claim to be able to do things that are beyond my skill level. I will instead admit that I don't have a whole lot of experience in that area but am willing to practice more to get up to speed and I will give it my best shot. Besides, how can anyone be totally sure they will succeed? People mistake my honesty for low confidence whereas I see it as a healthy dose of realism mixed in with enough introspection to know what my strengths and weaknesses are.

    I am willing to take on new challenges and do things that are a bit of a stretch but I also like to warn people that I'm taking on something that's new to me so they don't have unreasonable expectations. Besides I don't want to promise something I can't deliver.

    So how can I appear more confident while still being honest about myself?

    I've asked the interviewer and she said things like self-talk and to visualize a positive outcome which I already do regularly.

    Anyone else relate to this? Anyone got some good tips?
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  2. #2
    mod love baby... Lady_X's Avatar
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    I can't offer any advice but. I very painfully relate. I can be 100% confident one day and a total mess the next. I don't know how or why... I walk into a room and it just happens... It's like beyond my control and it sucks immensely. It's just some vibe I can't help but respond to... Ugh it's the worst. I hope I can just stay with my company until I no longer need someone to employ me because I just hate interviewing to death.
    There can’t be any large-scale revolution until there’s a personal revolution, on an individual level. It’s got to happen inside first.
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  3. #3
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    Develop self-efficacy in areas you actually are good in. This will build your self confidence. You set tangible goals for yourself and accomplish them, or achieve at things that are in tune with your natural strengths, you WILL be more confident in yourself without having to exaggerate or pretend or appearing to have no confidence in your abilities.

    Rejection is your core issue here, so you have to find ways you can succeed according to your strengths which may not be necessarily in the job interview world. Use your skills in some other way to complete a personal project, do volunteer work, or whatever you can think of. It will help your self-esteem tremendously and you can talk about that in interviews.

    Never put yourself down in an interview. You can be modest and humble without downplaying yourself.

    I'm the opposite. I always "sell" myself, when it comes to jobs and money, even when I was a teenager. On the other hand, I do relate to having low confidence in an area I wish I were more confident.

  4. #4
    Senior Member EvidenceOfRedemption's Avatar
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    They don't want you to be more confident, they want to feel more confident that you'll be a valuable person to hire and if you come off as too wrapped up in yourself to help that makes you less attractive as an applicant.

    The whole "confidence sells" advice is a byproduct of our consumer-market driven culture. Marketing experts know what people want so a pattern of making things seem that way to push the buttons of consumers (whether what their selling is really that or not) has emerged and many people have forgotten the origins were based on actual value and not "market yourself" hype.

    Don't try to be more confident, you are confident because you actually meet the requirements and you know it. You're just getting wrapped up in others' perception of you and it's diminishing the natural appeal you already have.

  5. #5
    Iron Maiden fidelia's Avatar
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    Remember that you are selling a product to people. A product that you believe in and that they should believe in to. Then just tell them why. I understand where you are coming from, because I am not a salesperson either, but I think that if you truly believe you have something they need and you are excited about the work, it will be perceived as confidence.

    Secondly, you have to feel competent enough in the interview that you have extra attention left over to lavish on your audience. Instead of wondering what they think of you, you are interviewing them to see if they and you are a good fit. That means you will be curious about the company, pay attention to small details, ask them questions and generally put them at ease. I've found in performing that I need to not just reach a level where I can play the material well, but to polish it to the point where if I lose a couple of notches of greatness during the performance, it will still be at the level that I was originally aiming from. In short that means that you need margin - extra confidence, extra practice being interviewed, practiced speech and body language to avoid hesitancy and so on, so that even if you panic, auto pilot sort of takes over.

    I don't think any of this means you have to veer off from being who you are or that you should lie. On the other hand, look at it like a first date. On a first date, your only job is deciding whether you like the other person and if you do, making sure that there is a second date. It is not the time to roll out hesitancy, insecurities, unsureness or expose your weaknesses. An interview is the same.

    In most interviews, they will ask what you perceive as your biggest weakness. Think about how you can spin that so called weakness into a strength, rather than looking for your soft spot and telling them where it is. This conveys to them that you have put thought into what you will say, you believe in your product, and that you have something valuable to offer them, which is absolutely the truth!

  6. #6
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    Interviews are exercises in applied bullshit. The interviewer asks why you want to work that the Burger Barn, even thought they know damn well that you just need some money. They expect you to say how you believe they have a good culture or some other nonsense, maybe throw in some language from their mission statement.

    Likewise, when they ask about your qualifications, they're not asking for an honest self evaluation; they're asking you to sell yourself. They know full well that you didn't invent bacon and that you probably won't act with godlike patience and grace in the face of front line customer service, but they still want an embellished version of your capabilities. They want this because it is tacitly understood by all parties that everyone else has done this, and they intend to hire whoever just gave the most believable story.

    Are there any days or times you're unavailable to work? Not at all, you wish there were cots in the back so you never have to leave. How do you deal with conflict? I confront it head on in a cool and rational manner, and it always ends well. Do you have experience dealing with difficult customers? I live and breathe customer service, and I believe that complaints are opportunities in disguise (note that this did not answer the question; if you dance around the issue you never have to admit that you don't know something).

    It sucks that interviews are designed this way. It puts the extremely honest at a disadvantage on par with that of the mildly retarded. You can either hold out for an employer to recognize your abilities even as you qualify and downplay them, or you accept the game for what it is.

    *awful fast food job examples used because most people have done that at least once

  7. #7
    Per Ardua Metamorphosis's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SuchIrony View Post
    When I asked for feedback on what I could do better, one of the things mentioned was that I need to appear more confident.
    Focus on voice and body language. You can pretty much say whatever kind of bullshit you want as long as it sounds confident. You'll look better saying, "I have no clue but I can find out," confidently than you will giving some fake selling-yourself pitch in a weak way. No one wants to hire someone they feel like they might have to babysit or feel uncomfortable giving criticism too.

    I'm also honest about my abilities and modest. I won't claim to be able to do things that are beyond my skill level. I will instead admit that I don't have a whole lot of experience in that area but am willing to practice more to get up to speed and I will give it my best shot. Besides, how can anyone be totally sure they will succeed? People mistake my honesty for low confidence whereas I see it as a healthy dose of realism mixed in with enough introspection to know what my strengths and weaknesses are.
    There is absolutely nothing wrong with this. I'm guessing that the problem (like I already said) is your delivery. You could tell them exactly that ^ with a confident voice and body language and you'll still give an impression of confidence. Really, it takes confidence to admit mistakes or shortcomings, and that shows, but if you say it in a weak way it's going to come across as insecurity - not an honest assessment.

    Also, the byproduct of appearing more confident is that it will genuinely make you feel more confident.
    "You will always be fond of me. I represent to you all the sins you never had the courage to commit."

    Reason is, and ought only to be the slave of the passions, and can never pretend to any other office
    than to serve and obey them. - David Hume

  8. #8
    Analytical Dreamer Coriolis's Avatar
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    @ the OP: a big part of the problem may be how you present yourself. Have you tried practicing with someone who can offer you knowledgeable critique, or even videotaping a practice session? Get some practice questions, or use questions you have been asked in real interviews; decide on the gist of your answer, and practice wording and delivery. It sounds like you need to work on showing confidence more than actually having it, at least when it comes to ability to do the job.
    I've been called a criminal, a terrorist, and a threat to the known universe. But everything you were told is a lie. The truth is, they've taken our freedom, our home, and our future. The time has come for all humanity to take a stand...

  9. #9
    Senior Member UniqueMixture's Avatar
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    I think they may be referring to body language. Sit straight not slouched head held high chest forward. When you talk about yourself mention your strengths and the assests you can provide without mentioning weaknesses. If they ask you what your biggest weakness is smile with charm and say something witty like "I'm a workaholic" or "I love the company I work for too much." Interview THEM (don't be an ass about it). When they mention their highlights furrow your brow like you're thinking or reviewing the many job offers you have on the table from that week. You want to make it seem like they're choosing you, but also that you are choosing them. Last, but definitely not least NEVER appear confident. Be confident
    For all that we have done, as a civilization, as individuals, the universe is not stable, and nor is any single thing within it. Stars consume themselves, the universe itself rushes apart, and we ourselves are composed of matter in constant flux. Colonies of cells in temporary alliance, replicating and decaying and housed within, an incandescent cloud of electrical impulses. This is reality, this is self knowledge, and the perception of it will, of course, make you dizzy.

  10. #10
    mod love baby... Lady_X's Avatar
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    I don't know if this will work for you but if you can manage to do something or spend time with people who make you feel confident just beforehand. It might help. I've never done that intentionally but I've noticed it seems to work. It's like my mood has been set already or something. I've noticed that sometimes I jut geek out if I haven't spoken to anyone all day haha.
    There can’t be any large-scale revolution until there’s a personal revolution, on an individual level. It’s got to happen inside first.
    -Jim Morrison

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