Boast Your Way to a Better Job
I’ve been told it’s a strange thing to like, but I really do love job interviews. I mean, when else will someone ask you to list your best qualities and then actually listen to your answer? “Tell me more about how great you are.” Really, interviewing for a job is just socially-accepted bragging. I love it! But because bragging is generally frowned upon, a lot of us are out of practice. So here are some ideas for getting more comfortable with tooting your own horn:
Share stories or quotes from other people
If it’s not your style to dish about your awesome work ethic, then consider sharing a story from someone who has. For example, “My former supervisor said she appreciated my punctuality.” Or “One of my regular customers told me that my attention to detail was the reason she kept doing business with XYZ company.” Sometimes bragging doesn’t seem so self-indulgent when you’re just passing on what others have already said. (As long as others have actually said it. Do I even have to mention that this won’t have the same effect if you’re passing on false tales about your job performance?)
Sometimes creating the moment to brag is the hard part. Say you want to talk to the interviewer about your great writing skills, but aren’t sure the conversation will lead you there. Bring some of your writing samples along to present. But don’t just stick them in a folder to sit on your lap or under your chair. As soon as you get in front of the interviewer, bring those bad boys out and put them front and center. Even if you’re not asked about them right away, their physical presence will encourage the conversation to go that way eventually.
Do it in writing
We all know that post-interview thank you notes are important, but consider using them for more than just a sign of propriety. Briefly mention some of the “braggable” topics you forgot to mention. Something like this might work:
Thanks so much for meeting with me yesterday to discuss the accountant position at XYZ Company. I enjoyed learning more about the important work XYZ Company does and could really see myself being a part of your team. As I might have mentioned, I recently earned my BA in Accounting and graduated with a 3.9 GPA. My knowledge of accounting – coupled with my integrity and professionalism – will make me a valued member of the XYZ Company team.
Thanks again for meeting with me. I look forward to hearing from you soon.”
Practice bragging out loud
Sometimes the best way to get better at bragging is just to do it more often. If you have a long ride home from church or a few minutes in the parking lot waiting for your kids, use that time to practice bragging. Think of one quality you have that’s admirable and a story that illustrates that quality. For example, if you want the interviewer to know you are a people-person, then think of a moment in your life when your people skills really paid off. Practice telling that story out loud. The better you get at telling the story, the more natural it will seem when you’re recounting it to an interviewer.
What do you think? Does bragging seem more doable after these tips? Have other ideas for making bragging in a job interview easier? Leave your thoughts in the comments!
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