Trying to highlight the breadth of your experience and strengths without sounding like you’re boasting can be a bit of a challenge.
Your goal in an interview should be to convince the interviewer that you’re competent and that you’re the right person for the job. To do that, you can’t be afraid of showing off your strengths. However, being too boastful is also a big turnoff for employers.
How do you walk this delicate balance?
Stick With the Facts
If you increased your last company’s website traffic by 77%, stick to that fact. Talk about how you did it in a systematic way.
Leave out your personal opinions. Don’t tell them how nobody else could have done it or how your co-workers thought you were a hero.
If what you’ve done in the past is impressive, the facts will speak for themselves.
In fact, a person who achieves impressive results while being slightly self-deprecating is often more impressive than someone who’s full of themselves.
Be Assertive on Important Points, Back Off on the Rest
If your job is to increase website traffic, don’t be afraid to let your interviewers that you can’t program and can’t build websites.
Always be assertive on the most important points in your job description. For example, if your job is to improve manufacturing efficiency, that’s the one area where you simply can’t afford to be overly modest.
However, in any other area, don’t be afraid to back down and be a little more modest.
Nobody can be good at everything. Anyone who tries to sound like they’re great at everything is more likely to raise disbelief than garner respect.
Be Detailed in Your Weaknesses
One question that’s often asked in interviews is “What do you think are your 3 greatest strengths and your 3 greatest weaknesses?”
Many interviewees try to answer this question in a way that doesn’t really shed any light on their real weaknesses.
However, a much better approach to this question is to be very honest with your weaknesses. This allows you to in turn be very honest with your strengths.
If your job is to improve mechanical efficiency for example, you can “brag” a lot more about your strengths and your results if you’re not afraid that you have trouble managing larger teams of people.
Your strengths just seem more believable when offset by weaknesses. Again however, your weaknesses should be in areas that are not in the core job description of the job you’re applying for. Don’t say you can’t manage people if you’re interviewing for a project management position.
If you follow the tips in this article, you’ll be able to highlight your strengths and experiences much more powerfully without sounding overly boastful.