Articles From the Team
How to appear confident but not arrogant or cocky in an interview
Confidence is all fine and dandy when approaching an interview but your confidence can boil over and become something twisted and unrecognisable (even by yourself). It is imperative to remain humble and not overpower an interviewer with your pre-conceived sense of worth.
In the words of someone greater than I: “Only the penitent man/woman shall pass….”
Quite frankly I’m going to abuse the English language in order to highlight a point and use an Indiana Jones quote. With that in mind, please find some choice definitions/derivations of words that will help me get to the end goal!
Definition of penitence: a form of religious expression of sorrowness for your sins. Displaying a sense of humility before god.
Definition of God: a superhuman being or spirit worshipped as having power over nature or human fortunes and oversight of all acts.
Etymology of Boss: early 19th century (originally US): from Dutch baas ‘master’ or ‘overseer’.
So from the above (told you it was tenuous) we can ascertain that you must display a sense of humility before your boss or you should prepare thyself for their unholy wrath. There is never a time where this is more applicable than when you are meeting your future employer for the first time, usually within an interview setting. So how do you appear confident but not arrogant or cocky?
Experience Have the belief in what you have done in the past, those hours, days and years you have spent learning and researching to become an expert within your field mean that you don’t have to fake it. Talk to the interviewer about what you have done in the past using cold hard facts, not opinion (“I'm a great lawyer!”).
Self-aware Retain your self awareness; don’t over embellish, don’t take the credit for someone else’s work and don’t make something up if you don’t know the answer. Nobody, precisely nobody, knows everything about everything. Acknowledge your weaknesses; it is ok to be vulnerable.
Preparation Be prepared with questions based on research on the company, even if you know the industry backwards, every business is different so respect the differences and find something of relevance to discuss with your interviewers. This will show you are not a seen it all got the t-shirt type character that won’t be willing to learn your new business’ method of doing things.
So those are my top tips, I wish I could count on one hand the number of times one of my candidates, who is a complete CV match for the role, blew an interview based on arrogant or overbearing behaviour but it is sadly not the case. Believe in yourself and believe that you can do the job but don’t let cockiness get your head chopped whilst on the path to the Holy Grail.