How to Brag at a Job Interview without Sounding Like a Braggart

Many career counseling clients admit to me that they are uncomfortable interviewing because they do not like to talk about themselves.  Bragging is not something they do.

That’s a great characteristic to have…just not at a job interview.  At a job interview you are supposed to brag.  The key is not to sound like a braggart.

Here’s a trick that works:

When asked the first question which requires you to talk about your achievements and accomplishments say the following:

I am going to answer your question but I just want to clarify something.  During my career I have been fortunate enough to work with some really good people.  But I am going to focus on my contributions to the team effort or on solo projects.  I just want you to know, that I know, that there is a “We” behind the “I.”

I call this “I vs. We.”  You have recognized your colleagues and now you can brag all you want without sounding like you are bragging.  Just remember not to use any superlatives.  Keep the adjectives to a minimum.  If you will, follow the rule of the old Dragnet television series:  Just the facts, Ma’am!

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Bruce Hurwitz is an executive recruiter, career counselor and business advisor.  In addition to serving on the Board of Directors of the Manhattan Chamber of Commerce, he chairs their Entrepreneurs Network, hosts their weekly podcast – The Voice of Manhattan Business – and serves as an Ambassador.  Visit the homepage of my website, www.hsstaffing.com, to read about the latest questionable offerings of so-called job search assistance companies.

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