Landing Internships and Your First Job: Self-Confidence

By Jerome Wong
16 March 2019 ♦ 2 Minute Read ♦

Self-confidence is one of the top traits hiring managers cite as a reason they find candidates attractive.

People tend to trust those they view as confident, so it is important to be able to convey this characteristic to hiring managers. Confidence is communicated by the content of your statements, but even more importantly, by your tone and demeanor when delivering that content.

One of the biggest ways both first-time job seekers and seasoned professionals inadvertently demonstrate a lack of self-confidence is by hedging their comments and suggestions by saying things like, “I could be wrong, but…” or “I’m not sure, but….” Or they deliver statements with a rising inflection as if they were asking questions rather than supporting an idea or viewpoint, needing someone else to validate their contribution.

Hedging your answers in interviews in either manner is a bad idea (even when done unconsciously, which it typically is) because it is a total lose-lose strategy. Even if your answer is correct or your idea is good, you won’t receive much credit for it because you made it obvious that you were unsure. So why do so many people do this? My theory is that people don’t want to be associated with wrong answers, so they try to appear non-committal. When you answer confidently, you will position yourself to get credit for being right. When you don’t, you are negotiating against yourself, and that will show up as a lack of confidence.

During interviews, anxiety levels increase and students will appear less confident in the face of uncertainty. This especially happens when they feel they have not prepared sufficiently for the interview. The solution is simple: Make the effort to prepare as thoroughly as you can, and you will naturally feel more assured going in.

About the Author

Jeremy Wong has established successful careers in finance, and technology, working for companies from Silicon Valley to Wall Street. After graduating from Columbia Business School, Jerome began his career in finance in the nascent area of credit derivatives at Chemical Bank in 1996. He is currently an adjunct instructor at the Fordham University Gabelli School of Business and an instructor in NYIF’s Investment Banking Certification.

To learn more about NYIF courses, click here to view our newly launched Investment Banking Certification.

About The New York Institute of Finance

 The New York Institute of Finance (NYIF) is a global leader in professional training for financial services and related industries. NYIF courses cover everything from investment banking, asset pricing, insurance and market structure to financial modeling, treasury operations, and accounting. The New York Institute of Finance has a faculty of industry leaders and offers a range of program delivery options, including self-study, online courses, and in-person classes. Founded by the New York Stock Exchange in 1922, NYIF has trained over 250,000 professionals online and in-class, in over 120 countries.

See all of NYIF’s training and qualifications here.

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