Sneaky tricks to seem more confident at interview

No-one really enjoys interviews!

Most people will feel very anxious and on edge. So how is it some people seem to breeze in with full confidence, charming the interviewers and seeming relaxed and at ease?


If you’re not someone who can do this naturally, there are a few tricks.

  1. Businessmen shaking handsRemember to smile. People who smile will seem more confident (people don’t tend to smile when they are anxious, worried or massively out of their comfort zone).
  2. Take control where you can, whether it is initiating a handshake as you enter the room or asking if you may have a glass of water. It will show that you aren’t afraid to take the first step and help you feel more in charge of the situation.
  3. Use humour in a natural way, as you would in normal conversation. If there is an element of your answer where you are explained how you learnt something you can be self-deprecating, acknowledging any difficulties with the process. With humour less is more; you’re not there to entertain but you are there to show them who you are. Our humour is often a key part of who we are, and a good way to break down interpersonal barriers.
  4. Try to see an interview as a two-way exchange. The interviewers may be in the driving seat but you do hold some cards; they want to find good candidates and they want to learn what you have to offer. They are there to hear what you have to say, even if it can feel like an interrogation.
  5. It may help to realise that interviewers can sometimes be nervous too. They may be new to the process or interviewing with someone more senior to themselves and keen to do it right. Don’t assume they will be finding easy either.
  6. Make sure there is nothing additional that will add to your stress levels. It will seem much harder to seem cool as a cucumber if you arrive flustered having lost your wallet/ been unable to park/ got stuck in traffic etc.
  7. It can be uncomfortable not to know what to expect so do your homework to anticipate what sort of questions you might come up against.
  8. Stick to safe subjects, because this is where you will naturally feel most confident. Have some examples of things you have done in the past that you are proud of or where you have been successful. This should be easy to speak about providing you understand what level of detail to go into.
  9. Be aware of your body language. We can all tell if someone is anxious, it’s obvious from how they look and hold themselves. Control your breathing to calm your nerves down. Think about muscles such as your shoulders or in your legs and deliberately send a mental message to those areas to relax and release the tension you are holding. This will help you to stop fidgeting in your chair!
  10. Nervous woman at job interviewNervous interviewees will often speak in a monotone, as if they are so conscious of getting the words out correctly they lose the ability to speak about the subject in a lively or engaging way. You need to show enthusiasm and an easy-going manner. Keeping your tone conversational will work wonders at putting your interviewers at ease and helping them stay focused on what you are trying to get across.


Use the Pass Your Firefighter Interview eBook to learn important strategies for top-notch answers that will get you’re your new job.

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FRS Team

Our team of experts have the many years of Fire Service experience and are up to date with the latest selection news.

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