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The term “self-confidence” refers to believing and trusting oneself. It also means self-esteem, self-respect or self-belief. It is a key trait of a good personality. Self-confidence encourages you to get rid of doubts and fears. It promotes a healthy attitude towards everything in life. According to Samuel Johnson, “Self-confidence is the first requisite to great undertakings.” Self-confidence thus contributes towards a person’s better personal and professional life. It is the foundation upon which a strong character and a firm personality stand. Possessing self-confidence means having self-determination, self-­assurance and self-assertion.
Having emphasized the importance of this abstract ­psychological ­characteristic, the question that now arises is: “How should you ­inculcate it?” As has been repeatedly mentioned, this book is ­designed to help you to come out successful in an interview and not merely to tell you what an interview is and what is required of you. Let us now see how this important attribute of personality can be developed.

How to Develop Self-confidence?

Self-confidence is a trait that can be achieved by people. Although it cannot be achieved in a short span of time, yet these simple guidelines can help you achieve it:
  • The foremost thing to achieve self-confidence is to overcome fears. Fear just adds to tensions and robs the person of his ability to think logically. It only leads to failure. Courage and confidence can help you curb this problem. Therefore, remove fear from your personality. As Bertrand Russell puts it, “It is fear that holds men back … fear lest they should prove less worthy of respect than they have supposed themselves to be.”
  • “Self-confidence” and “will” are correlated. Success comes to you only through your will-power to succeed. Goethe has correctly said, “He who is of firm will moulds the world to himself.” Failure results when your will-power is not strong enough. Therefore, cultivate the habit of a strong will and depict self-confidence—then you are sure to win the battle. Victor Hugo has said, “People do not lack strength; they lack will.”
  • A positive attitude is required to become self-confident. The following sentences depict a self-confident personality:
   “I am sure, sir.”
    “I have every reason to believe so.”
    “Yes, I am willing to take the risk.”
   “I have full confidence in myself.”
  • Work on your mental make-up regarding fears. Develop such a kind of attitude that you have no fear and you can do it without any problem. If you have a positive attitude towards life, you can easily develop such feelings. It is the talisman for shunning fear and bringing self-confidence in you. Walter Dill Scot has rightly said, “No condition or set of circumstances is in itself a calamity to be feared. It is our reaction to it that makes it a ‘Waterloo’ or a field of triumph. Success or failure in business is caused more by mental attitudes than by mental capacities.”
  • Work on your shortcomings. In case a person suffers from complexes or feels shy, it can be overcome by developing ­opposite attitudes, i.e., by feeling courageous and confident and being social.
Depicting a Candidate’s Self-confidence
May I come in, madams?
Yes, Mr Sanjay Kumar. You may come in and take your seat.
(Takes the chair and says) Thank you, mad­am.

Note: Don’t keep quiet when asked to sit but say “Thank you”.


Well, Mr Sanjay Kumar, what is your feel­ing about achieving success in this interview?
Madam, I am sure to come out successful. (Note the positive attitude.)
How do you assess this?
Madam, I have never failed in the past in any pursuit and am sure to get through this test as well.
What will you do if you fail this time?
I have not yet thought on these lines, mad­am, because I have full confidence about my success.
Suppose we reject you now, will you take a second chance?
Madam, firstly I am sure this won’t happen. However, if it does happen, I will try again and again. I believe in the moral of the story “King Bruce and the Spider”, which I read when I was very young.
Suppose you exhaust all your chances and be­come overage by that time and are still unable to clear, then?
Then I shall explore other avenues. I may go in for an executive posi­tion or join a private company because by that time I would have gathered sufficient experience to do so.

Note: The answers of the candidate in the above model interview fully depict his self-confidence and determination. The chairwoman had tried her best to confuse the candidate and shatter his confidence, but the candidate did not fail and maintained his self-­confidence throughout. The last question put by one of the members was so terrifying that the candidate’s confidence could have been shattered, but he boldly faced the situation without showing any sign of lack of confidence. In fact, the entire conversation depicts the candidate’s positive attitude and self-confidence.


A real-life example of how self-confidence reduces chances of failure and promises success was witnessed in the 1992 Olympic Games held at Barcelona, Spain. The American athlete Gail Devers, in what possibly was the most hotly contested 100 m women’s event ever, defeated the rest of the crowd by a mere 6/100th of a second. This victory was, in fact, quite an achievement for Devers considering that she was suffering from Graves disease and was unable to even walk till February 1991. Doctors were contemplating amputation of both her legs but Devers’ self-confidence and will helped her to win the gold medal. After winning the gold medal, Devers said, “A year-and-a-half ago I was on my knees and couldn’t walk. Now I’ve got a gold medal. I think if you have faith, you can do anything.”

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