Assessment centres are extremely nerve wracking experiences. You’re up for a job you really really want, you’re directly pitted against your impressive competitors, and there’s a lot of pressure to perform. Yet not only do you have to conquer your nerves, you’ve got to appear confident, in control, and the best of the bunch. Here’s how to do that.
It's not all about peacocking
1. Smile at a stranger
The key here is to practise being extroverted. Whether that’s on the day of the assessment centre, or in the run up, try to smile at a stranger or strike up a conversation, or attempt another bold social action you would otherwise consider extroverted madness.
2. Imitate a friend
We all know people who are effortlessly confident, who have no trouble walking into a crowded room, glad-handing strangers or taking the mic. Try to observe their behaviour, and imitate it yourself. It’s not just a matter of copying their confident speech patterns, try to act the part of them. It’s all about imagining yourself as a confident person - how would your friend greet an interviewer?
3. What if?
It’s easy to fall into the subduction of worrying about what will happen if you fail. Instead, ask yourself what if you succeed? Picture succeeding and imagine the happy consequences to follow: job offers, pride, a celebratory pint. Usain Bolt does not kneel at the startline and imagine himself falling over a shoelace, missing the gun or failing to dip at the line. He takes himself through every metre in his imagination exactly how he will in real life when he executes a win.
4. Fail to prepare…
…Prepare to fail. It’s an old adage, but a good one. The easiest thing to build your confidence is to prepare fully for the interview. If you know you’ll be nervous, the last thing you need is to be sat in an interview grasping for examples of your team-working skills, industry insights or creative ideas.
5. Your interviewer is a friend
In your everyday life you’re a confident person. You’re not nervous when talking to friends, so replicate that feeling with your interviewer. Before you go through the door of the interview room, imagine your friends are just on the other side, looking forward to seeing you. Treat the interviewer like an old friend, and you’ll appear much more confident.
As the great Maya Angelou said, “at the end of the day people won’t remember what you said or did, they will remember how you made them feel.” If you show an active interest in what your competitors and interviewers have to say, make them feel good about themselves and leave an impression of a confident, capable person, if it’s a job worth having, you’ll get it.