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Ace that job interview with practice and confidence

The job market may not look rosy, but that doesn't mean you should be pessimistic about your interview

What if I say something silly at the interview? What if they don't like me? What if I don't get the job?

Everyone suffers a crisis of confidence right before a job interview.

It is not a good time for the job market - there have been more layoffs and fewer companies are planning to increase their headcount this year.

Any job-seeker - fresh graduate or otherwise - will feel some insecurity now.

However, you need to straighten up and face reality. Rather than letting insecurities eat you up, build up your self-esteem. Take your future in your hands.

Here are some tips to boost your self-confidence.

Stay positive

Self-doubt comes from having negative thoughts.

It is like when you are wearing sunglasses - everything looks dark. But take them off and you will see everything in its true colours.

Rather than letting insecurities eat you up, build up your self-esteem. Take your future in your hands.

So don't let the "ifs" and "buts" cloud your mind - tell yourself that everything will be okay. You should balance idealism and realism, as long as it does not make you cynical and overly pessimistic.

Focus on your goal

Take time to reflect on what you really want to achieve in life.

Once you have decided on your goal, focus on tangible steps to make it come true.

Know your weaknesses

Sun Tzu says in his Art Of War: "Know the enemy and know yourself - hundred battles, hundred victories."

Understand your weaknesses - then fix them.

Recognise the reasons you lack confidence:

Do you lack knowledge of the job? Talk to people in the industry. Or read up on it.

Are you uncomfortable talking to strangers? Practise interviews with friends.

Find out what you lack and make changes to prepare yourself for that interview.

Keep practising

Self-assurance is generated, it doesn't appear from thin air. Sharpen your mind by writing cover letters and resumes or by rehearsing interviews.

Keep practising until your doubt vanishes and you feel confident about your answers.

Ask for help

If you think you cannot do it alone, seek help from friends and family. Ask them what they think about you, your achievements and abilities, your pluses and minuses, as well as their expectations for you.

You might believe that only you know who you really are.

But sometimes, by seeing things from another person's perspective, you can discover something new about yourself.

Article contributed by TBC HR Consulting (S) Pte Ltd (www.tbchr.com)

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