You just landed a job interview. Congratulations! You know you have the knowledge, skills and experience to excel at the job. You have been a top performer and really believe you are among the best at what you do.
That is a great attitude to have, but you need to be careful that your confidence doesn’t become overconfidence, even arrogance or cockiness. Here’s how to avoid sounding cocky during your interview.
Why is overconfidence a bad thing?
Being overconfident is just as bad as its opposite because it may lead you to cut corners on your preparation or come off as someone who is not a team player.
When you arrive for your interview, make sure you offer a friendly greeting and smile to everyone in the office, no matter who they are. If you slight those who are lower on the job ladder, it will not present a very flattering image of your personality. Hiring managers will see this and assume you are not someone with empathy for others.
Start with a good first impression
Naturally, you want to establish a good rapport with the interviewer. First impressions are crucial. You should enter the room with a smile and a firm handshake, looking the interviewer in the eye. You want to be enthusiastic and cheerful.
Make sure you have good posture when sitting. If you slouch or otherwise show boredom or nonchalance, it will not sit well with the interviewer.
Be aware of your posture and body language
When answering questions, you can use your hands occasionally to make a point, but don’t get carried away. Also, watch out for extraneous gestures. You certainly don’t want to be caught looking at your watch. You also want to avoid things such as playing with your tie/blouse collar or running your hand through your hair, or similar motions.
Also, be prepared to make small talk. Most interviews begin with a little light conversation as a way to break the ice, so come prepared for it. It is another way to establish a rapport with the interviewer.
Do your research before the interview
If you have done your research well, you might even have been able to find out a few things about the interviewer – likes, dislikes or hobbies – and might be able to bring them up in conversation. Let the interviewer set the tone here.
Focus your answers to the hiring manager’s questions
Some experts advise that you keep answers short, while others say if a longer answer is called for, then don’t be afraid to talk at length. The thing to avoid is a response that is unfocused or rambling. Make sure you stick to the point.
And finally, don’t forget to thank the interviewer at the close of the session for his or her time and interest. You also should ask for the position.