Look at what the job position was requiring, whether you saw it in a job posting, something a friend told you, or a help-wanted ad. Pick out those things that were mentioned in the article. If a friend told you about the job, call your friend and ask them. What sort of skills are these people using? Are they dealing a lot with the public, or is the work they do mostly by themselves?
From all this information you gather, pick out some things in your resume that reflect each of the desired characteristics. So for example, you are applying for a customer service position with a major bank. The ad will probably mention that they are looking for someone responsible, trustworthy, someone with great customer service skills, and someone with computer experience, and someone who is interested in pursuing accounting or some sort of financial career and who wishes to continue improving their skills through courses and workshops.
Now, you might not have bank-related experience for each one of those criteria, but that shouldn't stop you if you are genuinely interested in pursuing this type of career.
Pick out a job you have had in the past that illustrates how trustworthy and responsible you had to be. Were you in charge of a camp group...were you a lifeguard, or had some other experience like travel or volunteerism that shows this? Did you work in a shop where the owner left you alone or in charge a lot of the time? These are all things that are not bank-related experiences but are very valuable in showing your skills.
You can do the same for the rest of the requirements. Pick their ad apart and fill it with your own experiences so that you can have concrete examples of what they are looking for when they start asking you questions.
Being prepared will help you feel more confident. You will know that no matter what they ask you, you will have solid examples.
Also, re-read your resume before heading in there. Be familiar with your resume. You don't want to forget a job or an experience that they might ask you about.
Confidence will come from knowing how and what to answer. Look at your resume and praise yourself for all the experience you have gathered. You are your best salesperson. You want these people to buy you, to buy into your package. But you have a responsibility to yourself to make sure that package is the best it can be. That's why you need to prepare.
The second thing is to be positive. Whatever the experiences you have had in the past, whether you got fired, you had the job for two days, whatever, be positive about it. Your future employer will be looking for this. If they ask you a question like, "Well, Tim, we see here by resume that you worked for XYZ store as a buyer in September of 1997 and you left the job in October of 1997. What happened there?"
This is a potential red flag for employers. They are looking for someone who will stay on with them, especially if they invest a lot of time and money into training you. They are also looking for someone who learns from their experiences. How you will handle this question will determine if you sink or swim.
There are two ways you could answer this. One shows you didn't learn anything from your experience and basically, that you are bitter and cranky. The other shows you are positive and worthy of them investing time and money into training you.
Answer #1 - Aw, that job wasn't for me. It was terrible! They didn't train me very well, and I didn't know that I was doing and then they started blaming all the problems on me. I hate that company! I'm sure you guys will be different.
Answer #2 - I found that job very challenging and stimulating but I didn't feel this was the field for me. I wanted to make sure that the company had the best possible person doing that job for them, and I wanted to make sure I had fulfilling work that I enjoyed. For me, that meant finding work that was more along the lines of my experience. I stayed on until they found someone else to fill the position and helped train them. I am certain we were both happy with the results.
Now compare these answers. Both these answers say why you left. But look at the tone of each answer. I am 100 percent sure that had I been interviewing these two people, answer #2 would have been my choice answer. How can you argue with wanting the best for the company and for yourself?
As you can see, it's all in your persona, how you convey yourself to your potential employer.
If you have done your research, you will be confident. How can you not be? You have all the answers ready. Of course, they may ask you about other things that are not job related, things like personal experiences and your character. For those, speak from the heart. You are talking about your life and your experiences and no one knows those better than you. Feel free to push yourself and promote yourself.
If you are genuinely positive, how could they not like you? People like to be around happy people. It's contagious! The secret to succeeding at your interview is to strut your stuff and be a joy to be around. If they like you at your interview, they will love working with you. C'mon, let your charm out and you will succeed!