Being interviewed for a potential job opening can make you scared, nervous, and doubtful about your own abilities. And, to add to these feelings, you need to come across as cool, calm, and confident during the interview. Confidence during an interview is of critical importance. In fact, your confidence level may mean the difference between getting a job offer and returning to the help wanted ads.

Confidence is internal to people. That means that you have to believe in yourself in order for others to believe in you. During a job interview, which may last only an hour, you have to relay this impression to the interviewers and hope they see your true capabilities. Remaining calm and confident during a potentially tense situation is easier said than done. However, there are several ways that you can become the confident interviewee.

First, do your research. Job interviews do not typically “pop up” at the last minute. You have time to research the company, understand its mission, and know its target audience. Be sure to read materials related to the company and the industry. This will not only impress the interviewees, but it will put you at ease as you greatly understand their business.

Next, understand yourself. Expect that they will ask you about your strengths and weaknesses; prepare these answers ahead of time. Be sure you know your resume information; interviewers are bound to ask you questions directly related to your resume. Bring a copy of the resume to the interview. Even though it may not be necessary to have the additional copy, you will feel more confident knowing the information is there if it is needed.

Finally, practice. Practice your handshake, practice your answers to questions, and practice telling the interview team about yourself. The more you practice these answers, the better the interview will go. And, by practicing, you will be more confident with yourself and your answers.

Being confident is a state of mind for any part of your life. Be sure to exude this confidence during a job interview and you will be one step closer to landing your dream job.