Be Confident, But Humble

    3 min read time



    Most people go into a job with a great desire to learn, training to become skilled within their area and turning it into their expertise. When you go on an interview you put your best foot forward, showing off your abilities to demonstrate how well you fit the bill, and what you do well. But how do you exercise confidence while also making sure to express your willingness to continue to grow, and not be tooting your own horn so much so that it makes you sound over zealous? It is a difficult quality to develop, dubbed as “confident humility.”

    How do you demonstrate it? You’re going to have to look within and get to know yourself well.

    What you do well/ Where you Need Help

    You need to first identify all of your strengths. Create a list if you must and fill it with all of the skills, abilities, passions that you possess. They may be things that you have listed on your resume as your core competencies, programs that you know, or even basic tasks like organization and communication. These skills and abilities will pave the way for you to express to an employer or hiring manager that you qualify for the job. It may also help you to retain services that will help you align your job skills the best way.


    Next, find all of the areas that you need to improve upon. Find where you might need more training, where you could spend more time to solidify your knowledge. While you don’t want to focus on these areas in an interview, if the question is asked what your weaknesses are it’s not a bad idea to know a couple of spots you could work on, and also ways you plan to put in to action how to improve, or attain the help you need. This can turn into an impressive asset, and mapping it all out beforehand will help align your thoughts if you are nervous about your interview.

    Be the Solution With Examples

    When you interview for a company, take time to research so that you can accurately point out areas that the company can improve with yourself. It demonstrates you being the best fit for the position if you can already identify where you can serve the organization.

    Also, be sure you don’t sell yourself without having the evidence to back it up. When you are going through all of your skills and abilities, add the “how” as well - how did you achieve this skill, or what awards did you get that proved you stood out among your fellow co-workers? This won’t come off as boastful, because you are clearly able to explain what you’ve done to achieve your success.

    Don’t be vague, don’t say something like “I have excellent communication skills” but rather how you collaborated with other departments and lead meetings and discussions to successfully complete your last project. Take it a step further and end with what you learned from each experience also. This will show that bit of humility so that you’re not just tooting your own horn but can acknowledge that you learned and grew from the achievement.

    Acknowledge the Obstacles

    Another way to execute humbleness is to discuss the obstacles that you have overcome because any hiring manager expects that you’re just going to give them the highlights. Like you do with your abilities, make sure you include your thoughts and strategies to overcome difficulties you had in a position. Maybe it was a disagreement with a fellow co-worker, having to extend a deadline, or dealing with an irate customer.

    Struggles make us human and are going to arise in any job, so it shows true promise if you are able to talk about them and know how to deal with them. It showcases your accomplishments with humility, which is exactly what you want to achieve. You want to celebrate the mistakes as well as the wins because you will have learned from both.

    Don't Exaggerate / Give Credit

    Since you might be applying for new career positions other than where you currently work, and you’ll be talking about yourself, make sure you don’t oversell yourself. Basically, don’t lie. It’s easy to feel like you don’t have to worry about being accountable for past experiences in a job that you may have gotten help with. But it aids you greatly to show that humility by giving credit where it’s due if you didn’t actually complete a certain task, although you may have been working on it with someone, give that person the credit if they were the ones to actually finish.

    "Give Credit Where It's Due"


    Confident, Not Cocky

    Don’t be cocky. You want to show your confidence physically: sit up straight, shake hands firmly, have strong eye contact. Back up your credentials with good examples, and make sure to highlight all that you have learned. Be the best fit for the job but don’t take exaggerate or lie about the things you have accomplished. Keep all of this in mind, and you’ll be stellar at Confident Humility.