How to Brag without Bragging (and Win Over the Interviewer)

Some candidates LOVE to brag about their accomplishments (a little too much, according to their interviewers).

But if you’re an introvert, just walking into the interview room can push you outside your comfort zone. And actually marketing your skills during the interview? Well, that can be downright embarrassing, right?

It doesn’t have to be so tough. With the right approach (and a little practice), you can perfect the art of bragging the right way – even if you’re an introvert. Here’s how to do it:

Prepare. Prepare. Prepare. Boasting about your accomplishments make you uncomfortable? There’s a cure for that – and it’s called preparation. Before you head into the interview:

  • Know the job description and the company’s background inside and out.
  • Practice your 30-second “elevator pitch,” so you can rattle it off without becoming rattled.
  • Have an arsenal of two or three professional anecdotes ready that showcase your most positive attributes and/or measurable success on the job.

Put it in writing. If self-talk isn’t your thing, come armed with a single-page synopsis of your best attributes, biggest wins, testimonials/recommendations and the reasons you’re the ideal candidate for the job. Then use your humble nature to your advantage. When the interviewer puts you on the spot during the interview, win them over by saying you’re a little uncomfortable “blowing your own horn.” Explain that you’d rather let the results speak for themselves – and share your written evidence.

Convey the right message – without ever saying a word! Interviewers rely on your nonverbal communication heavily to gauge your confidence, intelligence and power. In fact, according to some estimates, up to 55% of communication occurs through body language.

The good news for introverts?  By being aware of, and in control of, the cues you send, you can do a little “bragging” nonverbally. Here are a few tips from an earlier post on nonverbal communication:

  • Actively prepare to relax, so you’re in a calm, focused state of mind. This will allow you to think better on your feet and deliver answers that put your best foot forward.
  • Convey confidence by offering a firm handshake, a warm smile and engaged posture.
  • Maintain appropriate eye contact to lend additional credibility to what you say about yourself.

Remember that being too humble in an interview can cost you. Still can’t get over the mental hurdle? Remind yourself that not talking about your accomplishments can cost you the job. Unemployment may be low, but competition for the best opportunities is still fierce. All your interviewer has to go on is what you communicate during the interview (whether it’s verbally, nonverbally or in written form). Use these tips, and you’ll give them what they need without coming across as boastful.

Need more interview assistance? 

Register with PrideStaff. When you come in, you’ll interview with an employment expert in a low-stress environment.  You can practice your interview skills, boost your confidence and get pointers on how to improve your performance (even if you’re introverted).

We know that looking for work can be stressful, and we’re here to ensure that you don’t just search, but succeed.  Contact the PrideStaff office in your area to find out more about great local job opportunities.