The Right Way to Humble Brag in an Interview

Sharing stories about yourself can be an opportunity to connect with someone, share useful knowledge of even do a bit of self-promotion. However, talking about yourself can also cause someone else to think you’re egotistical and self-absorbed.

When you walk into a job interview, there’s no way around it – you’re going to have to talk about yourself. The trick is to do so while coming off as likeable and capable of doing the job you’re seeking. You need to convince your interviewer that you’re a nice person and highly-skilled, not a self-centered blowhard.

The following tips are a few ways you can talk about yourself without being off-putting.

Be vulnerable

Vulnerability is the most effective approach to connect with others. We all see ourselves as flawed, so when you put your flaws out for someone else to see, it creates an instant connection. We’re not attracted to the perfection in people’s stories, but in the and errors in judgement. Simply put, we’re interested in the humanness of some else’s story.

Think about a few of your favorite stories and you’ll always come up with places where you went wrong. Including a few of these missteps can make you relatable without coming across as incompetent.

Don’t be too vulnerable

While being vulnerable can make you relatable, going too far to point out your flaws can make it seem like you’re incompetent or fishing for sympathy.

The best way to maintain a balance is to focus on being as authentic as possible. Make sure your personal details are relevant to the conversation and not exaggerations of actual events. Consider why you want to include details on certain flaws and if your motivation is to provide useful information, or garner sympathy.

Avoid being too dramatic

It’s easy to get caught up in the emotions of a personal story. Stories about success can make us ramble on with pride. Stories about tragedy can make us stress the personal emotional impact of the tragedy.

While these emotions can make for good storytelling, they can be over-indulgent in a job interview. Keep your interviewer in mind when telling personal anecdotes and make sure you are giving them the tone and information they want. Pay attention to their reactions as you are talking. If they lean in and pay attention intently, give more detail. If they give you a blank look, reel it in a stick to the facts.

Try to laugh at yourself

Stand-up comedians make a living from exposing their personal vulnerabilities. They understand how personal exposition it can be funny and how it can connect you to an audience.

Writing jokes for an interview is going a bit too far but making sure to point out genuinely funny parts of your personal anecdotes is a good way to be vulnerable and connect with your interviewer on a personal level.

At LTI, we work with job seekers to connect them with best-fit career opportunities. Please contact us today to find out how we can help you.