Everyone gets a little nervous during an interview – it’s just natural. Sometimes, you can pull yourself together and find your confidence. However, it’s easy to overcompensate and appear arrogant or overconfident. So, how can you find the perfect balance? Here are some tips for not appearing overconfident in an interview:
1. Do A Mock Interview
“Maintaining confidence without being arrogant is a difficult line to walk,” says Debra Wheatman of Careers Done Write. “It might be beneficial to conduct some mock interviewing with a trained career expert to prepare you for your interviews. One thing to remember is that the interview is an opportunity for you to learn about the company and its culture – you are interviewing them too!”
2. Evaluate Yourself
“It’s important to evaluate yourself post-interview,” say Mary Sherwood Sevinsky of Injured Worker Help Desk. “While it sounds as if you have done so you may be having trouble applying what you have learned! Try focusing on the clues and triggers that lead to you exhibiting ‘arrogant’ behaviors, phrases, or body language. Often, interviewees just don’t listen closely enough – could this be the case for you?”
3. Ask More Questions
“The thing about behaviors is it’s not so much that you eliminate them, but to find more suitable behavior substitutes,” Dorothy Tannahill-Moran of Next Chapter New Life says.
For example, if you’re talking too much about yourself, learn to ask more questions.
“We all love to be asked because it shows you’re interested,” she says.
“[An interview] is one of the only times you’re truly supposed to talk about yourself and your accomplishments,” says Ben Eubanks of Upstart HR. “So, it’s naturally going to feel like you’re being pushy and overconfident when you spend 30 minutes talking about the things you’ve done in your career.”
Eubanks suggests balancing your responses with thoughtful, insightful questions about the position, company, team, and supervisor.
4. Talk About Your Mentors
“Confidence can help you to land the job, but too much of a good thing might backfire,” says Kristin Johnson of Profession Direction.
To avoid that, Johnson suggests mentioning the mentors and support you’ve gotten in the past.
“Give credit to those who have taught you, and talk about what you’d like to learn in your next opportunity,” she says. “State that you are open to learning their ways of doing things and have respect for their expertise. Asking questions about their preferences and how they have built success will also help show some humility. Practicing with a coach always helps, too.”
5. Find Your Self-Confidence
“You’re acting arrogant because you’re over compensating for your lack of confidence, and this is a big part of what contributes to your nervousness,” says career coach Jessica Simko.
Recognize the importance of having authentic self-confidence and spend some time learning how to to develop it, she suggests. That way, when you need to have it, it shows up without any effort on your part.
“Most people have a problem in this area, but so few people ever do something about it,” Simko says. “I cannot express in words how important this is – not only for your interviews, but also throughout your career and your life.”