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The Job Hunters: confidence building

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X-Ray production team X-Ray production team | 17:08 UK time, Monday, 8 November 2010

Justine Swainson

Justine Swainson

This week we followed Gemma, Alan, Tim and Gareth on a confidence building session with expert Justine Swainson, who's been coaching and mentoring people for fifteen years.

Our job hunters found it to be a useful experience, so we asked Justine to share her advice on how people can stay motivated while looking for a job.

Justine says, "Imagine you’re trying to find work, you’ve applied for a few different jobs and you may even have had one or two interviews, but still no job offers. It’s an all-too-familiar story - so how do you stay positive even when things just don’t seem to be going right?

If your job search isn't going to plan you may be feeling a bit useless. But don’t lose sight of all the reasons you have to be proud of yourself as a person. Remind yourself what you’re good at in life – you might think you’re just a stay-at-home Mum, but how many different tasks do you have to juggle in a typical day? Multi-tasking is a very useful skill to a prospective employer!

If you already have some work experience, think of the things you did well in that job and the reasons why your previous employer may have selected you above other candidates. Keep a list of things you’re proud of and boost your self-esteem by taking a look at it when you’re feeling down.

There will be times during your job-hunting when you hear that you haven’t made the shortlist or didn’t get the job. Or, even worse, when you hear nothing at all after making an application or having an interview. It’s easy to convince yourself that you did something wrong or that it’s not worth applying for any more jobs.

My advice is, don’t take it personally, there could be a million reasons why you haven’t been contacted, shortlisted or selected - and yes, one of them is that there was someone else better than you. Try not to get angry or upset by these setbacks and don't let it dent your confidence. Focus on moving forward and on making an even better impression next time.

Think of a person whose confidence you really admire and try to pinpoint some of their behaviours or actions that convey that confidence. Then, just for fun, have a go at behaving or acting like that yourself! Try something simple like phoning a friend, buying some stamps or booking an appointment at the dentist with the most confidence you can muster! It may be hard to believe, but practising confidence really can help you to achieve the real thing.

Finally, when you do get a call to an interview, make sure you find out about the company and what exactly the job entails. Think about the sorts of questions they might ask you, from the "get-to-know-you" questions like, "Tell us a bit about yourself", to the "chance-to-sell-yourself" questions like "Why do you think you’re the right person for this job?" These are pretty standard interview questions, so make sure you have an answer prepared.

Spend some time getting yourself into the right frame of mind for an interview. You want to be confident but not over-confident, as this can come across as arrogance. Each interview you get is a new opportunity, so leave your worries about past interviews at home - this could be the job with YOUR name on it!

So in summary:

- Stay positive

- Remember what you’re good at

- Believe in yourself

- Put your best self forward at each new opportunity - and good luck!


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