How to Answer Interview Questions Confidently

Acing an interview is a crucial step towards landing your dream job. 

However, it’s not just about having the right qualifications; it’s also about how you present yourself during the interview. 

Confidence plays a pivotal role in making a lasting impression on potential employers. The ability to answer interview questions confidently can be the difference between securing your desired position and missing out on a golden opportunity. 

7 tips to help you answer interview questions confidently 

Fortunately, there are several strategies and techniques you can employ to boost your self-assurance. Here are seven things to keep in mind before your next interview.

1. Know the company and role.

Researching the company and the specific role you’re interviewing for is essential for building confidence. Understanding the company’s values, culture, products or services, and recent news can help you tailor your answers to align with their expectations. 

Moreover, a solid grasp of the job description will allow you to highlight your relevant skills and experiences, demonstrating your genuine interest and fit for the position. This knowledge not only boosts your confidence but also helps you ask insightful questions during the interview, showcasing your commitment and enthusiasm.

2. Outline your answers to popular interview questions.

Before the interview, take time to brainstorm and outline potential responses to common interview questions like:

Develop concise and well-structured answers that highlight your skills, experiences, and achievements. But remember: this isn’t a memorization exercise. Practice your responses, but don’t memorize them word for word. Your response should feel like a natural conversation with the interviewer.

3. Use the STAR method.

The STAR method is a powerful tool for answering behavioral interview questions. By structuring your responses around real-life situations or experiences, you provide concrete examples that illustrate your abilities. 

  • Situation: Describe the specific situation or task you were faced with.
  • Task: Explain the task or challenge that needed to be addressed within that situation.
  • Action: Detail the actions you took to address the task or overcome the challenge.
  • Result: Describe the positive results or outcomes.

Start by describing the situation or task, explain the actions you took, and conclude with the positive results or outcomes. This method helps you maintain clarity and organization in your answers, giving you the confidence to showcase your skills and accomplishments effectively.

4. Convey positivity with body language.

Non-verbal communication plays a significant role in projecting confidence during an interview. In fact, researchers estimate that 55% of all communication is non-verbal. This means how you present yourself may matter more than what you actually say.

  • Maintain good eye contact: Make direct but not intimidating eye contact with your interviewer to show your engagement and interest in the conversation.
  • Offer a firm handshake: Start and end the interview with a confident handshake, which demonstrates professionalism and assertiveness.
  • Sit up straight: Maintain an upright posture throughout the interview to convey attentiveness and confidence.
  • Avoid fidgeting: Refrain from nervous habits like tapping your foot, playing with your hair, or drumming your fingers, as these can detract from your confidence.
  • Smile appropriately: Smile genuinely to convey warmth and positivity, but avoid overdoing it, as it may come across as insincere.
  • Use open gestures: Employ open and relaxed hand gestures when speaking to appear more approachable and confident.
  • Mirror the interviewer’s body language: Subtly mimic the interviewer’s body language to establish rapport and demonstrate your ability to adapt.
  • Nod and use affirmative gestures: Show your understanding and agreement by nodding or using appropriate affirmative gestures during the conversation.

By paying attention to these body language cues, you can convey confidence, professionalism, and a positive attitude during your interview, leaving a lasting impression on your potential employer.

5. Speak with clarity and conviction.

Clear and confident communication is key to leaving a positive impression. Avoid filler words like “um” and “uh,” and speak slowly and deliberately. 

Take a moment to collect your thoughts before responding, and ensure that your answers are concise and directly address the question. Speaking with conviction demonstrates that you are sure of your abilities and qualifications, instilling confidence in the interviewer.

6. Prepare questions to ask.

Towards the end of the interview, you’ll likely have the opportunity to ask questions of your own.  Many candidates think about the questions they will be asked but fail to think about the questions that they should be asking

Prepare thoughtful and relevant questions that demonstrate your genuine interest in the company and the role.

Avoid questions that can be easily answered with a quick online search. Asking about things like the team dynamics, future projects, or the company’s long-term goals shows that you are invested in the opportunity. Being prepared with these questions not only helps you gain valuable insights but also reaffirms your confidence and interest in the position

7. Take time to calm your nerves before the interview.

Interviews can be nerve-wracking experiences, but excessive nervousness can hinder your performance and negatively impact your ability to convey your qualifications effectively. To combat these pre-interview nerves, allocate time before the interview to relax and regain your composure by:

  • Visualizing a good outcome
  • Practicing positive self-talk
  • Hydrating and eating a good meal 
  • Exercising, listening to music, or meditating

Incorporating these calming strategies into your interview preparation routine helps you present yourself confidently and allows you to approach the interview with a clear and focused mind, increasing your chances of success.

The bottom line

Whether you are a seasoned professional looking to advance your career or a recent graduate embarking on your job-seeking journey, these seven tips are invaluable in helping you shine during interviews. Take a deep breath— you got this!