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Can I Brag in My Job Interview?
Posted on 02/23 by Erin Helms
As you’re preparing for your interview, you might wonder whether giving yourself some pats on the back is OK. There’s a fine to walk between confidence and arrogance and, in an interview, it’s perfectly fine to talk yourself up! There’s an art to the humble brag or giving yourself credit for your hard work while still remaining humble enough not to sound arrogant or overly full of yourself. Here’s how to talk yourself up with a little bragging without sounding like a braggart.
Think about what you want to highlight
A little prep work before an interview is always a good idea. Think about what highlights, achievements and wins you’ll want to talk about, then write out or practice saying what you’ll tell the interviewer. Writing down a few will help you stay focused and it’ll allow you to be better prepared so you can have your answers ready and top-of-mind when the time comes.
Practice what you’ll say
If you've written down what you want to highlight, practice how you'll discuss these achievements or successes. You want to start each one with "I" in order to establish ownership of the achievement and to be confident, but you also want to give credit to others for their support. For example: "I implemented a new filing system that resulted in a 10% increase in efficiency, at my manager's request. They were impressed with the new system and sent an email to the team alerting them to the new system so we can all follow my concept."
Give other people a role in your story
If you were the lead on a team project, keep your team involved in the successful outcome. This shows leadership skills and the ability to bring people together toward a shared goal and can be a very impressive thing to hear, especially if the role you're applying for involves any kind of management responsibility. "The team I led brought my company 10 new clients this year, resulting in a 35% revenue growth from last year," as an example.
Give credit where it's due
Knowing that you'll inevitably be asked why you're looking to change jobs or why you want to leave your current company, you have an opportunity to talk about advancing and improving your career while also giving credit to the mentors, managers and other supervisors who helped you get where you are today. This is important because it shows you're able to actually be humble and grateful to people and acknowledge what you learned from someone. No one advances in life alone.
Be confident in your abilities
Ultimately, you want to know what you're good at, how far you've come and to trust in your abilities. When asked questions about your skills and achievements, speak directly and confidently without exaggerating. Simply state what you've been able to do, with enough detail to answer the question without rambling on. The more you practice, the better you'll be!
But avoid saying some things...
It's also important to know what NOT to say and what topics to avoid when talking yourself up during an interview. Don't go on about your personal toughness by saying you "don't take garbage" from anyone, as that tells the interviewer you're stubborn, unwilling to listen and might be quick to argue. Don't use too many corporate-sounding cliches unless you're willing and able to explain, in detail, how you were able to be an effective problem solver (complete with examples), or how you're a forward-thinking outside-the-box creative thinker if you can't provide a situation in which you brought something truly innovative to your team. Don't talk about being a perfectionist as a weakness; that's just a plain-old brag that sounds hollow and won't be taken with the seriousness you hope.
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Our recruiters are experts at both interview prep and finding jobs that fit not only your background and skills but your future career goals. They're eager to see you succeed! When you're ready to take the next step in your career, give LaborMax a call.
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