Job Seeking is About Confidence – But Do Not Overstep the Mark
Is it possible to get a job – writing a resume, going for an interview – without displaying a degree of arrogance? Job seeking is about confidence, yes, but you do not want to appear cocky. There is a line between the two and to overstep is it to court disaster. It is a balance people struggle with, and it is a challenge because many have an incorrect view of what confidence is.
Many people see arrogant people getting places and doing well. They think to themselves “I need to be more like that to get that great job”. But here is the truth – confidence and arrogance are entirely unrelated. They are different things altogether and are simply not related to one another, and you can have one without the other. Is everyone who is confident also arrogant? No, of course not. Is everyone who is arrogant also confident? Not at all. Bullies are arrogant, but we know they are not confident in themselves. That is why they bully others in the first place. In fact, the opposite of arrogance is not a lack of confidence. It is deference.
Confidence is something else altogether. Confidence can be described as a belief in one’s self and one’s ability to succeed. Striking a healthy balance between too much and too little confidence can be challenging. In fact, arrogance could be described as having unmerited confidence – believing something or someone is capable or correct when they are not.
Exuding Confidence in Your Interview
We are not all brimming with confidence. And even if you are a naturally confident person, this could all drain away in the stressful situation of a job interview. Or even worse, nerves can get the better of you and manifest itself in all sorts of self-destructive ways. This ends up working against them because the interviewers cannot get an accurate picture of what these candidates will bring to the company and what they will be like day-to-day.
The opposite of downplaying can be just as counterproductive. Before you have even said anything, you may be giving off an arrogant vibe. Your posture, your walk, or even an over-familiar manner can give the impression that you think you’re a big deal. To avoid that, keep your posture open and upright without leading too much with your legs when you walk. A friendly smile instead of an overly-assured smile is also a safer bet. That way, your attitude will not be misconstrued.
Your level of eye-contact can also be misunderstood, so be aware of how to strike the right balance. Too little eye contact conveys an unfriendly attitude whilst too much expresses an unsettling level of aggression. To appear confident, you need to find a balance between the two, looking directly at the hiring manager without creeping them out! Also, it does not hurt to give a relaxed smile – it can break up an otherwise intense stare.
It’s All in Your Delivery
Be enthusiastic but not just about your own achievements – save some for the organisation you are being interviewed by. They want to see you have done your homework. This will also show a large degree of genuine confidence inasmuch you are willing to give over time to talk about something other than yourself. It also puts you on a level footing with your interviewers without coming across as arrogant.
As we have said, job seeking is about confidence, and confidence includes the ability to be self-effacing. A truly arrogant person will never admit fault, try to dominate and deflect tricky questions.
So perhaps it is no surprise that confidence is the foundation that makes it okay to show you can be vulnerable. It is a coating of self-belief that allows you to take a few bricks out of that wall and know you’ll be okay, to really show others who you are.
Real, natural confidence is trust in one’s own abilities rather than second-guessing. It is congruity with one’s environment rather than raging against the machine. It is ease rather than resistance. At the end of the day, arrogance and confidence are worlds apart. Make sure you know the difference.