Interviewer Said I Was Arrogant. What Now?

Let me introduce you to Mr Know-It-All. At a look, he appears to have the whole lot you’d need in a brand new rent. He’s younger, bold and eminently certified by way of each training and expertise. Along with his spectacular resume, he will get loads of requires first interviews, however no job gives. Why isn’t he in a position to shut the deal?

“The interviewer mentioned I used to be conceited”, – he tells a good friend whereas sipping his Starbucks favourite. “Is it attainable that I’m not getting gives as a result of I’m overconfident?”

Know-It-All wasn’t all the time so brash. He was humble, even self-effacing in his early job searching forays, however as he superior in his profession, his wholesome confidence tilted towards vanity and self-esteem. After efficiently climbing the company ladder for the final a number of years, he was blindsided by a latest reorganization and mass layoffs at his agency. Now he’s in search of a brand new job for the primary time in years.

And he retains failing.

Interviewers don’t come throughout immodest and cocky candidates that usually. However after they do, it raises some critical crimson flags. 🚩🚩🚩The standard epilogue: the rejection letter.

On this article, we’ll:

  • clarify the distinction between self-confidence and vanity,
  • provide you with some real-life examples of vanity in interviews, and
  • present you how you can not be conceited the following time you sit throughout from an interviewer.


What Is the Distinction Between Confidence and Vanity?

The primary distinction between confidence and vanity is that confidence stems from self-assurance and understanding of your strengths, talents and qualities. This makes confidence one of the vital wanted gentle abilities in a job applicant.

Vanity, then again, originates from low vanity and entails an exaggerated thought of 1’s significance, talents, and qualities. Vanity is taken into account a poisonous trait that, until addressed, can harm your skilled life (it doesn’t matter what technical abilities you possess).

Let’s look at the distinction between confidence and vanity in additional element:

Confidence Vanity
A sense of belief in your personal qualities and talents. An extreme show of your personal qualities and talents.
Assured individuals are in a position to admit errors and maintain themselves accountable. Smug folks not often admit errors and blame different folks for failure.
Assured individuals are assertive, but humble. Smug individuals are aggressive and cocky.
Assured folks really feel no have to brag about their achievements. Smug folks have a powerful have to brag about their achievements.
Assured folks give credit score the place credit score is due. Smug folks take credit score for staff efforts and belittle different folks’s achievements.
Assured individuals are nice staff gamers and might turn out to be glorious leaders. Smug individuals are unlikeable and might negatively have an effect on staff spirit and collaboration.


Extra about confidence:
Some folks exude confidence and belief – they perceive that they’re certified for a place, however handle to be convincing and ship their solutions with heat and credibility. In interviews and at work, they’re agreeable and conscious that they don’t know the whole lot. They’re conscious of their weaknesses and are good energetic listeners.

Extra about vanity: With conceited folks, their overconfidence normally goes hand in hand with a condescending perspective, open show of superiority, denial of weaknesses, and bragging. They’re recognized to downplay the skills of others and exaggerate their very own. They’ll make others really feel inferior and barely come clean with their errors.

Earlier than you assume that your vanity can’t be cured and that you just’ll by no means ever get a job once more, cease for a second. Keep in mind that the foundation reason for vanity is low self-worth and your have to be accepted by folks.

You CAN flip your vanity into confidence, however earlier than we educate you the way to try this, are you able to assume again to your skilled life and job interviews for a second?

Are you responsible of the next behaviors?

Six Smug Behaviors to Keep away from in Interviews

A giant subject with vanity in interviews is that candidates will not be even conscious that they have been coming off as conceited (working example: this “cocky, judgy, self-proclaimed genius” who turned to Reddit for assist).

So should you’re questioning “How do I do know if I’m conceited in job interviews?”, listed here are your six indicators.

1. You ignore the interviewer’s questions and share irrelevant opinions

Think about you’re in the course of a technical interview for a Gross sales Growth Consultant function and the hiring supervisor asks you to call 5 firms you’ll contact for a demo based mostly on their ICP. As an alternative of answering the query, an conceited individual would say one thing like this:

“Your ideally suited buyer profile is unquestionably ill-conceived. I don’t know who labored on that, however… Additionally, the truth that you’re nonetheless sending chilly emails… After I get this job, I’m gonna shake issues up a bit…

What the interviewer is pondering:

As an alternative of answering the query, the candidate is concentrated on placing down the very firm they’re making use of for. They’re pretentious in that they already see themselves getting the job, and brash sufficient to counsel future adjustments. Such solutions will elevate concern with the interviewers and get you disqualified immediately.

2. You don’t give credit score to others

There are only a few victories that occur in a vacuum. Assume again at your achievements – likelihood is that they’re the results of collaboration and staff effort. Right here’s how one can damage your probabilities of getting a job by taking all of the credit score for a previous achievement:

“I single-handedly organized the final 3 team-building occasions in Firm X. Since I do know the whole lot about energetic holidays in our space, I didn’t want any assist from different HR staff members. It’s not like I worth their enter, anyway.”

What the interviewer is pondering:

The interviewer is rolling their eyes internally. Even when the candidate actually organized the whole lot on their very own, there are a lot better methods to ship that reply than boastful bragging and gloating. So the interviewer is pondering “It’s a no from me”, Simon Cowell model.

3. You speak over the interviewer

It is a main faux-pas – in life, at work, and particularly in a job interview the place you’ve solely simply met the individual. Confidence is about having the ability to hear and exhibiting respect to the opposite individual by letting them end, even should you’re enthusiastic to reply their query or have simply had an inspirational thought.

Smug individuals are self-centered and like to interrupt and dominate conversations. Some might even brazenly disagree with and proper the interviewer. Right here’s an instance from an actual job interview:

Interviewer: “The information of on-page search engine optimization can actually make it easier to as a content material author. Is that this one thing…”
Candidate: (interrupting) “I’ve labored with MOZ, Ahrefs and SEMRush, so there must be no issues there.”

What the interviewer is pondering:

They clearly have the information of the important thing search engine optimization instruments. Nonetheless, the candidate interrupting the recruiter is disrespectful and impolite. Make certain that the interviewer is making a psychological observe and can proceed to scan for different indicators of vanity earlier than inviting you to the following spherical of interviews.

4. You complain about your previous work experiences

Even when your final job was a catastrophe, bashing your employer and colleagues is unhealthy manners and conceited. And so is complaining and badmouthing your boss, your coworkers, or the standard of meals on the canteen. Right here’s some vanity 101 – exaggerated statements, soiled laundry, and inflated ego.

“Firm X wouldn’t have survived the pandemic with out me. No one has made half the gross sales I did. Regardless of that, I by no means received any reward from another Gross sales Reps or my boss. I suppose he was too busy yachting along with his secretary.”

Or this gem:

“A time when my actions translated into huge bucks for my employer? I may bore you with quite a few examples, however I’d say me simply being there, as a filter for the incompetence that abounded there, was priceless. Earlier than I received there, no person knew what they have been doing.”

What the interviewer is pondering:

Interviewers know {that a} whiny individual will convey tons of negativity into the office. This individual turns off potential employers by bragging about himself, criticizing all people else, and customarily appearing like a pompous jerk. Is that this the form of man you’d wish to work with each day?

5. You may’t settle for suggestions

It’s tough to simply accept unfavourable suggestions gracefully, particularly if you’re younger and inexperienced. Criticism, regardless of how constructive, can simply depart you feeling defensive and emotional.

Let’s say Tom is interviewing for a Software program Engineer function. In his interview, he exaggerated his talents, made a number of snarky feedback, and had a common aura of vanity and superiority. He leaves the interview feeling assured he’ll get the job, however a number of days later, he will get a rejection letter saying that one of many explanation why he was eradicated was his haughty perspective, making him a poor tradition match.

What the interviewer is pondering:

The interviewer is rarely screening for technical experience solely. Technical abilities will be improved comparatively shortly. What can’t be is your friendliness, staff spirit, and willingness to assist and collaborate.

6. You might be too demanding

An conceited applicant may show a powerful sense of entitlement and be fast to tell the interviewer about what they DON’T wish to do. That is frequent with senior candidates which have an amazing monitor report. Right here’s how one interview went downhill due to the candidate’s perspective:

“Yeah and I’ve two guidelines – I by no means work extra time and I would like my desk to be subsequent to the window.”

What the interviewer is pondering:

The interviewer can inform that they’re coping with a tough one who wrongly believes that their experience can justify their habits. This could possibly be a dealbreaker as a result of HR and hiring managers are additionally analyzing your perspective when evaluating your interview efficiency. You might be the perfect candidate technically talking, and also you’ll nonetheless be eradicated if the hiring staff believes you’ll transform a rotten apple who doesn’t get together with others.

Extra examples of vanity in interviews

I keep in mind a narrative a recruiter good friend instructed me a couple of candidate whose overconfidence turned her off the second he opened his mouth of their pre-screening telephone interview. The dialog went one thing like this:

Interviewer: “That is only a brief name to trade some info, no motive to be nervous.”
Candidate: “I’m not nervous. I knock each single interview out of the park.”

She was utterly stunned – ”I couldn’t imagine how hung up he was on demonstrating his intelligence and superiority. A lot in order that he forgot about some primary human values like decency.”

One other state of affairs – think about answering the query “The place do you see your self in 5 years?” with “In your spot”. Some hiring managers can view you as a menace to their very own profession aspirations. They don’t need an aggressive upstart, however somebody to assist them look good. That might not be totally truthful, but it surely occurs on a regular basis.

So keep in mind:

  • In a job interview, it’s by no means a good suggestion to make your interviewer really feel silly, defensive, or irritated. You wish to make a connection, set up rapport, and make a optimistic impression.
  • An interview isn’t a contest to see who’s smartest, however a chance to point out who you might be and how one can profit the group.
  • Regardless of your experience and spectacular background, folks will simply not wish to work with you in the event that they assume you’re obnoxious, demanding, confrontational, or stuffed with sizzling air. Interviewers will fear you might have an perspective downside, and also you wouldn’t be an excellent staff participant.
  • Can vanity be cured? Sure, granted that you’ve the self-awareness to acknowledge it and also you’re keen to work on enhancing your gentle abilities.

How Do I Cease Being Smug in Job Interviews

The steadiness between being assured and confident and conceited is usually a actually laborious one to strike, particularly should you’re younger and inexperienced, insecure or shy, or just haven’t had the chance to develop sure folks abilities.

Generally vanity is extra refined than the examples above. Generally it hides in physique language – in a smirk, your posture, or a elevate of an eyebrow. Right here’s how you can method your solutions to strike an ideal steadiness and how you can not sound conceited in an interview.

1. Calm these pre-interview jitters

Being nervous earlier than an interview isn’t essentially unhealthy. To our brains, a job interview is rather like another efficiency (assume Novak Djokovic within the locker room earlier than the U.S. Open finals or Beyonce ready to go on stage at Coachella). The sensation in your intestine has one message for you – ”that is going to be thrilling, you should be ready, keep pumped, we’ve gotta win”.

In case you’re inexperienced and don’t know how you can handle your nerves, chances are you’ll find yourself overcompensating and are available throughout as aggressive and conceited. To stop this, strive some respiration workouts, take into consideration what you’re going to say, and observe to your interview upfront.

2. Be particular and stick with the information

As an alternative of claiming “I do know the whole lot about e mail advertising and marketing”, attempt to be extra particular about your experience and expertise. It’s tough to sound genuine should you’re all about self-praise and generalizations.

Right here’s an instance of a assured reply that demonstrates competence with out tooting one’s personal horn:

“I’m conversant in numerous sorts of e mail advertising and marketing like newsletters, lead nurturing emails, chilly emails, milestones, surveys and so forth. Over time I’ve experimented with e mail methods and personalization, and am completely satisfied to say that a few of my chilly emails had an 85% OR and 42% RR. I’ve labored in instruments like HubSpot, Autoklose, Lemlist, Reply, and Mailchimp.”

3. Acknowledge your staff members

When discussing your wins, keep away from taking credit score for staff effort. There’s nothing incorrect with proudly owning your success, however keep in mind that exhibiting off and minimizing different folks’s contributions received’t get you far.

As an example, a hiring supervisor is aware of what goes into constructing an internet site, so as an alternative of claiming “Every little thing on the web site was my thought, from how it’s organized, to design, colour schemes, branding and replica”, strive a extra lifelike method the place you sound much less cocky however nonetheless clarify your contribution:

“I believe my expertise in web site design undoubtedly helped, and I’m proud to see the web site profitable an award. I used to be answerable for branding, icons, colour scheme and different design parts, however I additionally want to offer credit score to the opposite designers and the advertising and marketing staff for having a shared imaginative and prescient and contributing to the win.”

4. Reply the weak spot query strategically

The incorrect reply to the “What’s your best weak spot?” query is usually a showstopper in a job interview, and there’s nothing recruiters like lower than conceited solutions resembling “I can’t consider any proper now, sorry” or “My solely weak spot is that I work too laborious and should iron out my colleagues’ errors”.

Not having the ability to discuss failures and weaknesses will elevate a number of crimson flags. Really assured job seekers know that failure and wrestle are integral elements of labor and life, they usually’re not afraid to share a narrative of a setback and what they realized from their previous errors.

While you’re requested “What abilities are you continue to lacking?”, don’t dismiss the query by answering that you just’re “nonetheless studying to disconnect from work”.

In case you’re undecided how you can reply these questions, we’re gladly sharing some tried and examined examples.

5. Put together questions from the interviewer

Each time an interviewer asks you “Do you might have any questions for me?”, your response must be an keen “Sure”. Asking insightful questions is sending the message to the hiring staff that you just’re genuinely within the function and their firm.

It’s attainable that some questions will emerge naturally from the interview itself, but it surely’s additionally clever to arrange an inventory of questions upfront in case nothing involves thoughts on the spot.

In case you’re questioning how you can not sound conceited in an interview when asking questions, keep in mind to chorus from asking any questions on senior duties that don’t concern you, in addition to mentioning the wage too early within the course of.

6. Follow earlier than your interview

Let’s return to the Novak Djokovic instance – the GOAT has 21 grand slam titles and absolutely has all of the the boldness and technical talent to win, however the man nonetheless practices earlier than each match.

You might begin practising by going over the most typical interview questions and jotting down a number of key factors you’d wish to say as a solution.

Keep in mind that you could be not even pay attention to your overconfidence and haughtiness. It might not be traceable in what you’re saying, however in the way you’re saying it.

To see what you look and sound like, you may use a software like Massive Interview’s Mock Interviews, the place you’ll be able to report your self giving a video reply after which play it again to research it. You’ll additionally get AI suggestions on numerous standards, together with physique language, friendliness and perspective.

In case you’re feeling rusty, this loopy helpful Interview Preparation Information is usually a great spot to begin.

Last Issues to Keep in mind

  • In the case of nailing a job interview, persona and perspective play a much bigger function than you assume.
  • Whereas confidence is praised as top-of-the-line character traits in a candidate, vanity is taken into account impolite and offensive.
  • You might not be conscious that you just’re coming off as conceited due to your lack of expertise, too little observe in promoting your self, or as a result of you might have been praised quite a few instances earlier than.
  • In case you’d like to go away a greater impression in your subsequent interview and discover ways to not be conceited, you must observe being extra humble and put together particular examples to again up your claims. Working with an interview coach or communication specialist may additionally assist.

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