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During a recent coaching session with a candidate vying for a coveted position, we explored the concept of the "Scale of Confidence." While this term might not be familiar, its idea won’t be new. The candidate expressed a strong desire to project confidence in their upcoming interview, aiming to strike the right balance between overly self-assurance and timidity. Previous interview feedback had indicated room for improvement in their confidence levels. As a result, they sought to ascend the Scale of Confidence to find their sweet spot.

A quick online search on "how to exude confidence in an interview" provides standard tips such as maintaining eye contact, speaking clearly, emphasising strengths, and displaying positive body language. While these are valuable strategies, we often coach candidates on, an essential aspect of attaining the desired confidence level centers on the words one chooses. Purposefully using strong language that authentically reflects your character and competencies can propel you up the Scale of Confidence without coming across as arrogant.

It's important to note that powerful language doesn't necessarily mean using complex words; some of the most impactful phrases are concise:

I can/am/will   instead of I try/aim to/will try
I do instead of I attempt to do/I think I do
I know instead of I believe/I think

These straightforward sentence starters effectively convey confidence in your skills, abilities, and judgement. It is very common to unconsciously dilute the impact of your words with the alternative modifiers above.

During your interview preparation, take time to assess what you genuinely "know," what you truly "aim" to achieve, and what you confidently "can do." Embracing and acknowledging your capabilities empowers you to employ strong language comfortably, ensuring your position on the Scale of Confidence.

While interview success hinges on various factors, including body language and communication skills, it's crucial not to underestimate the influence of language choice. The power of words can be transformational in establishing your confidence and credibility with interviewers. By strategically employing powerful language that authentically reflects your abilities, you can navigate the Scale of Confidence and make a lasting impression in your next interview.

Here are some key takeaways:

  • Balance is key: Projecting confidence in interviews requires striking a balance between assertiveness and humility.
  • The power of language: Your choice of words can significantly influence how confident you appear.
  • Potent sentence starters: Simple phrases like "I can" and "I will" can convey confidence effectively.
  • Beware of modifiers: Language modifiers like "I will try" may weaken your message.
  • Know your capabilities: Embrace and acknowledge your skills and abilities to use powerful language effectively.

If incorporating powerful language in your interview performance is not a strength for you the good news is that it is a skill you can acquire and improve. To help you build muscle in this area you can schedule an interview training package with a member of our team. Or if you believe you are tracking well and want to test your preparedness you can schedule a practice interview.

If you have any further questions, please email us at [email protected].

Further reading in the 'it is interview season' series