How to Talk about your Strengths , without Boasting Too much in the Interview?

“Experience tell you what to do, confidence allows you to do it” - Stan Smith

Our behaviour in an interview and our attitude towards things might be more important than our skills. Talking about strengths without really focussing on the Resume is not good. Also, talking about your strengths in an arrogant manner does not work as well. It should be a perfect balance. One cannot show that the person knows anything and everything even if they know it. This might harm their chances of getting hired. Candidates should always have the attitude of an active learner and let the interviewer have an impression that the candidate is ready to learn new things. The candidate is open to upgrading their skills. Boasting too much and self praise does not really work in interviews because the person taking your interview is taking it for a reason. They definitely have an experience. They ask about the candidate’s experience to get to know them better such that they know their skills and hire people accordingly. Too much self pride and the addition of stories which do not make any sense actually ruin your chances of getting hired.

Talking about strengths is just like the amount of salt cooking. Any extra event of self praise might actually ruin the situation. It’s just like you want to prove yourself good but unknowingly you end up not making it to the position.



There is a difference between presenting the strengths one possesses and saying that they are best and they know everything. Even if they are fully skilled, they should listen to the interviewer's suggestions without cutting their conversation in the middle. There is an art to present every skill one has plus their interest areas plus their achievements in a way that the candidate doesn’t boast about themselves but at the same time say everything they wanna say. Be yourself throughout the interview process. Do not stretch the conversation with good points about you. Talking to the point is the key.

Statistics - 

  • According to a recent study conducted by top Interview and resume library, almost 70 percent of the employers consider personality among the top three factors to consider for the hiring. 
  • 42 percent of HR professionals who participated in the study, suggested that confidence is a very important trait in any individual appearing for an interview. 
  • 72 percent of the employers suggested that over confidence decreases the chances of getting hired because it is the biggest turnoff in terms of personality.
  • 33 percent job interviews come from referrals. Therefore , for them it is advised not to be arrogant and overconfident. Instead use the opportunity wisely. 
  • According to Forbes , “In the workplace, arrogance breeds arrogance, and confidence breeds confidence. That’s why it’s important to know the difference between the two traits, especially at the crucial stages of hiring and promotion.

Tips to talk about strengths without boasting too much in an interview - 

Confidence over arrogance - strengths are the assets we own. It is very important to present it in a way that we do not praise ourselves too much and just inform them what all you know. Talking about the skills confidently is very important but being arrogant in a way that whatever you know is the epitome of learning and you do not need to learn anything else is not really required. Be confident in whatever you say. Arrogance is not the proper attitude one should have. It is just like answering one of their questions. Just answer it with confidence.

Reframe the SWOT analysis - SWOT stands for strengths , weakness ,opportunities , and threats. Each candidate should have a complete analysis of themselves such that they know themselves well and answer the interviewer’s questions accordingly. SWOT analysis will help candidates realise what they know and what they don’t know about. This analysis will stop them saying yes to any skill they do not acquire. Therefore, reframe whatever is there in the SWOT analysis and talk about your strengths.

Talking about weaknesses is equally important -  sometimes interviewers ask about a candidate’s weaknesses as well such that they can judge the person’s ability to accept their weaknesses. Every person has their own weaknesses. When I was asked about mine in an interview, I said that confidently. Saying that you do not have any weakness is wrong, it suggests that the candidate is over confident, and trust me you would not want that. Confessing about your weakness and committing to improve and overcome that weakness is the correct way to go. That way, you might receive help from the organisation's end as well. Accepting flaws is always a sign of honesty.

Accept flaws but do not put yourself down - accept flaws with confidence and do not put yourself down that you do not know. Now you do not know but you will learn it eventually. Again, be confident and not arrogant. You might not know about one thing , confess and express interest to learn it. If we degrade ourselves by just saying I don’t know , we might lose confidence. It might result in covering all the strengths we have. Nobody would want that. 

 Use referrals - talking too much about yourself is called self praise therefore show referrals. It would be great if people talk about you. Referrals are good but then balancing things is important there as well.

Use statistics from work - instead of saying that “my sales record is amazing!” or “I can sell anything” back it up with evidence. Do not just say that you know this. What’s the proof? Saying something like , “I increased 8 percent of sales last quarter” back up your skills with small evidence.

Express interest to learn and unlearn - learning new skills and unlearning few skills as in giving up on some skills to acquire new ones are a way to go. Unlearning is a procedure in which a person is willing to give up skills which are no longer in use or are not required in the organisation or the position they are working for. This system of learning and unlearning is a very good way to impress the employers without even boasting about your strengths. In fact many organisations ask, whether we are ready to unlearn or not? The answer would always be a straight yes. That way you are not devaluing your skills , your skills remain yours. Everything is not required everywhere. Use it where it is needed. Unlearning helps us fit in the organisation perfectly. You compensate a bit, the company will also compensate you. Unlearning is the new and positive approach to learning.

Focus on talking about skills required for that position - one might have many skills but talk to the point. For example - if one is interviewing as a content writer , then the person will talk about their writing skills, their genres, areas where they were published in, seo writing or keyword writing, delivering non plagiarised content etc. Here our knowledge of video editing is not really required until and unless the position demands it. Talk about skills relevant to the position one is interviewing for and it’s job responsibilities. That way you talk to the point and not end up talking extra. 

“ confidence is the most beautiful thing you can possess” - Sabrina Carpenter 

To conclude, arrogant people do not accept their flaws and mistakes. Avoid making that mistake. Maintaining that ultimate balance is all that is required to ace the interview like a cakewalk. A proper balance of confidence is required just to avoid being over confident and arrogant which might ruin the chances of your getting hired by the organisation. One needs to convince the interviewer that they are the best fit for their organisation but they should not take it too far in terms of arrogance . I hope this helps. Good luck!

References -

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