“Argue for your limitations, and sure enough, they are yours.”

– Richard Bach

There is nothing more crippling than losing your confidence.

Without confidence, everything gets harder. You struggle to concentrate. Tasks feel overwhelming. If you stay there, you’ll even find a more long-term emotional impact, where you become bogged down in indecision or even worse might fall into depression. Without confidence, you lose all forward progress.

In the auditing, investigation, and inspection business where interviewing is an essential function, confidence is imperative.  Over 60% of those that choose to be deceitful in interviews report that they eventually told the truth because of the confidence and credibility of the interviewer.  That is a very large percentage indicative of the fact that the confidence displayed caused the interviewee to decide that the interviewer already knew.  If we are tentative, unsure, wish-washy in the interview (lack of confidence) why would someone tell us the truth.

This is why it’s so important to reclaim your confidence after suffering a blow that has crippled it. For a fast boost to your confidence, try these eight power-ups.

Do What Makes You Uncomfortable

When you choose to take risks, you stretch yourself in surprising new ways. This is a powerful feeling. Why? It takes confidence to step outside your comfort zone. Trying something new forces you to act with confidence, whether you started out feeling it or not.

In interviewing, try a new technique, a new approach, additional rapport.  They may not feel comfortable at first, but with success they will build confidence and you will have new tools for your interviewing toolbox.

Find Your Purpose

Knowing what you’re destined to do is a fantastic feeling and fills a person with confidence. If you’re unsure why you’ve set a particular goal, or are questioning what you’re doing, you’re not likely to feel confident at all. If you haven’t set goals, the same problem exists. Solidifying the goal in your mind is a rapid boost to confidence and success.

After setting that goal, get started on accomplishing it which will further build your confidence.  There are so many places in investigations, auditing, and inspections where these goals can be set.

Keep Trying

It’s normal and expected to experience failure from time to time. This kind of disaster can easily destroy or at least shake your confidence. You regain this confidence when you get up and try again. It’s not one and done, its one and do it again.

In interviewing, I have had plenty of failures of interviews and techniques over the years, but none of these caused me to not get back in the interview room.  Focus on the failure, correct the action, and get back at it.  It has always been ten steps forward and one back in my interviewing, and that ultimately builds confidence.

Learn Things

Knowledge truly is power. When you really understand something inside out, you tend to be very confident (at least in that area). Continually learning new things expands your knowledge base. As a result, your confidence extends in new directions as well.

Interviewing has been a part of my repertoire for four decades and my desire to learn more about it has only increased.  Take training, understand why you do what you do, then try it out in the interview room.  Each of those steps grow learning and grow confidence.

Drop the Idea Things Have to be Perfect

When nothing is ever good enough, confidence falters. How are you supposed to feel sure of yourself when you’re feeling things are always unfinished or lacking somehow? By accepting things as they are, warts and all, you’ll find you relax more and even become more confident in what you’re doing because you’re telling yourself that what you have or are doing is exactly what you need.

In those four decades, I have done some awesome interviews, but none that couldn’t have been better.  That’s just the way it is.  I try to be a good communicator, but the more I learn about communication, the more I learn all I don’t know.  But that’s okay, because again I am learning.  Come to the point where you accept it, appreciate it, and move ahead.

Dress for Success

How we present ourselves to the world really can affect our mental state. Wearing what makes you feel good about yourself will restore confidence. A change in attitude is only a change in outfit away.  Invest in you if you aren’t feeling good about you.

When it comes to interviewing and feeling confident in the interview room, best practices suggest that you dress at or one step above the person you are interviewing.  The concept here is the development of commonality.  If you project a confident person that is received by the interviewee and results in commonality and growing trust.

Trust Yourself

When you doubt your instincts, you’re telling yourself you don’t really know what you’re doing. This is why it’s so important to ‘go with your gut’ when faced with a challenge. This kind of trust instills confidence in your ability to judge a situation or outcome.

Look Forward

Confidence has a hard time standing up to ghosts from the past. When you get caught up in your previous failures or uncertainties, confidence falters. Instead, look forward to positive emotions. When you recognize your potential, you start seeing just how amazing you are.

Learn from the past, operate in the present, and plan forward for the future.

Interviewing is a tedious and psychologically challenging activity.  Consequently, we must have the tools to do it well, but we also must have the confidence to be successful.  So today, we are talking about confidence and ways to keep it.  Understand that we are addressing confidence, not arrogance.  So, what’s standing in the way of having that confidence? 

Your confidence affects how you approach the issues and challenges you face. How you think about these matters affects everything you do, so it’s essential to remain positive.  How many times have you walked into an interaction or interview in an audit, investigation, or inspection with a bad attitude, negative demeanor, or lack of confidence?  Do you think that has no effect on the interview?  How quickly do people make those first impressions of you?  Have we handicapped ourselves for the rest of the interaction before we even start?

When it comes to displaying confidence and credibility have you considered if you are investing to strengthen these?  We must have the passion (I wrote about this a few months ago) to work to change and improve these.  With that confidence comes a plethora of improvements in so many diverse areas of your professional and personal life. It’s worth growing.

Anderson Investigative Associates is positioned to custom-tailor training to your specific needs.  If you have any questions or would like to discuss the issues of confidence and credibility, or any training need, please reach out.  Additional issues pertaining to interviewing, auditing, and investigations can be found in other blogs and videos that we have produced and are contained in most blocks of instruction that our company presents.

If you have additional questions, comments, or have an interviewing topic you would like me to address, give me a shout.  In the meantime, be well, stay safe out there, and get busy building that confidence and credibility for success.

Mark A. Anderson

Director of Training and Development

Anderson Investigative Associates, llc

114 Loucks Avenue

Scottdale, PA 15683