Confidence is essential to interviewing. In an effort to portray yourself as poised and powerful, you can overstep into arrogance. True confidence enables humility. When you are secure in your skills, you can be honest about the things that fall outside your experience. Here are three ways humility is an asset in an interview:
1. Avoid false advertising. Some candidates will inflate their résumé in an effort to land an interview. In a job search, you are trying to sell yourself. Overselling yourself, however, is a fatal error. Interviewers will quickly suss out if you claim skills or experience that you don’t actually have.
2. Show teachability. Whether it’s the stock question “what is your greatest weakness?” or some variation, interviewers routinely ask about failure. Humility allows you to be honest about your shortcomings, while discussing the process you used to reflect and adjust. Arrogance makes us defensive. Humility enables us to adapt and grow.
3. Demonstrate collaboration. Arrogance is caustic to teams. As you discuss experiences from your career, acknowledge and celebrate the contributions of others. Employers need cohesive and productive teams. If you appear to be a Lone Ranger who creates chaos, potential employers will quickly move on.
One of the best ways to hone your tone, ensuring it strikes the right note of confidence and humility, is through practice. Ask a trusted colleague to conduct a mock interview with you and seek honest feedback on your demeanor. There’s no better way to practice thoughtful humility than receiving their constructive criticism well and recognizing it as a tool for growth.