We spend a lot of time talking to candidates. Recently, we were prepping a candidate for an interview and they shared something that caught us off guard: “I never assume that I know more than the people on-site.” It got us thinking – there IS a very fine line between being cocky and confident. Here are 5 ways you can ensure that you portray confidence during an interview without letting your ego take over.
Don’t interrupt or disregard what the interviewer is saying
When you’re interrupting, you come across as arrogant. Listen actively and wait to speak until the interviewer has finished. It may be hard to not be overly confident in a role that you feel like you’re perfect for. Maybe you’re a subject matter expert and are perfect for this job. This does NOT mean that you know more than the interviewer. Be humble, show respect, and your confidence will show.
Give facts and results
You don’t need to tell the interviewer how great you are by using fluffy adjectives to describe your work ethic. Use facts to support why you’re great for the role. For example; rather than saying “I am a great manager,” try using results: “I boosted my teams’ morale from 80% to 95% over the course of my career.” Stating facts will display WHY you’re a good fit and you’ll exude confidence at the same time by backing your experience up with factual evidence!
Don’t be afraid to admit mistakes
A lot of times, employers ask the tough question “what’s your biggest weakness?” or “Tell me about a time when you have failed.” Rather than answering the question with a cliche answer about how you can do no wrong, employers are looking for someone that is confident enough to admit when they have a weakness or have made a mistake in the past and learned from it. This gives you the perfect opportunity to show what you’ve done to overcome your weakness and how it’s made you even better.
Due diligence will go a long way
The more you research a company and the role you’re interviewing for, the more confident you’ll be. Knowing your skills and what the position entails will give you the tools you’ll need to explain why you’re a good fit.
Be sure to give credit where credit is due for your past successes. For example, if you led a sales team that was #1 in sales for two consecutive years, make sure to acknowledge those team members for playing their part in that achievement. Showing recognition for those that contributed to your successes shows that you’re a team-player and that you respect your colleagues.
You can have all the right skills and experience, but if you come across as arrogant or cocky during the interview, it can completely ruin your chances of getting the job. If you go into an interview assuming you have a lot to learn but exude confidence on why you’re a great fit, your chances of being hired increase exponentially.