/ Asked by Jonathan
Most interviews I go on I tend to overcompensate for my anxiety by "laying it on too thick," trying to sell my skills to the hiring managers. I realize that I may seem insincere and speak too much about myself to the point it hurts my chances. How can I find a balance to show the hiring manager I am a good fit, without coming off that I'm trying too hard?
Answered by John, Hiring Expert at Textron Inc., on Wednesday, January 22, 2014
This is a good question, and you definitely are not the only person who feels that way sometimes about interviews. I think one of the most important things to remember is that an interview is a conversation – it is a way for the interviewer to learn more about you and your past experiences, and to see if you would be a good fit for the position you are applying for. It is also the time for you to ask questions about the company and the position to make sure that it would be a good fit from your perspective. Through the natural conversation that comes from an interview, you should be able to demonstrate your skills and why you are qualified for the position without having to sound insincere. Prior to your interview, be familiar with the responsibilities of the role so that you can use your past experience to demonstrate why you would be a good fit to that specific role. Lastly, try and relax before the start of your interview. Coming in calm and collected will help make you more comfortable during the interview!
Answered by Steve, Hiring Expert at Caterpillar Inc., on Friday, January 24, 2014
One thing that is very helpful to prepare for interviews is to research or think of likely interview questions and prepare or even rehearse your response to those questions.  It will help your anxiety if you have thought about answers in advance and have a general idea of how you will respond.  Remember, most interview questions are behavioral based, meaning the question is asking you to provide an example of a specific action that you took in a particular situation and what the outcome was.  Also, you are fine to speak about yourself in depth as long as you can tie it back to how your actions helped the larger group or team to succeed.
Answered by Stephanie, Hiring Expert at AT&T Inc., on Monday, January 27, 2014
The job interview is the one setting in which it is professionally understood that you will be talking well of yourself. However, a couple points will make sure you sound experienced, mature, and professional. First, use the word “we” as often as you use the word “I.” For example, “For three years I led a team that was responsible for sales operations. We launched a program that was directly responsible for a 23% bump in sales.” Second, talk in concrete examples and metrics as much as possible. One sentence like “Our team reduced error rates by 37% year-over-year” is worth twenty sentences like “I’m really focused on reducing error rates.” Practice these two approaches and you succeed in talking highly of yourself during an interview without “laying it on too thick.”
Answered by Kelly, Hiring Expert at Merck & Co., Inc., on Thursday, February 6, 2014
You are not alone. Most people are uncomfortable during interviews and over compensate or freeze up completely. The best advice I can give is to be as prepared as possible. The fact that you made it to the interview stage proves that you have the skills and experiences required. Do your research on the company and the position you are interviewing for. Be confident when you walk into the interview. Be prepared to discuss how your skills and experience fit nicely with the position. Have a few questions prepared to ask the interviewer. Be sure to be professional and courteous. And as always, practice makes perfect. Rehearse your responses by having a friend do mock interviews with you. Good luck!
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