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"It's all about me, me, me"

As a nation, we Irish are a modest bunch, possessing a tendency to downplay our achievements and/or strengths.

For example, if asked the question, “How did you get on in your exam?” a typical response may be, “Ah grand, I think it went OK. Sure I’ll have to wait and see when the results come out.” However, in actual fact we are thinking, “It went brilliant, every question I studied came up and I’m confident I will get a good result”.

Personally, I think it is an admirable trait to have, as hearing people swinging from the roof tops shouting about how amazing they are can be a tad annoying. However, one scenario where a bit of self acknowledgement will go a long way is that of the job interview. In my role on the Talent Acquisition team in Morgan McKinley recruitment I interview high volumes of candidates and one thing I see repeatedly is a lack of self-confidence or a discomfort in selling ones achievements.

A job interview is the one place you need to speak about your achievements and prove why you are the best person for the role. These are my top 5 tips on how to display confidence and your potential in an interview:

  1. Body language: A firm handshake is a must. Practice it before hand on someone if you need to (this is not a silly thing to do). When in the interview do not cross your arms or fidget with your hands. Remember it is important to try and maintain eye contact and avoid using exaggerated hand gestures.
  2. Professional Achievements: Look at your current or most recent roles, what did you achieve in these roles? Did you receive any internal awards or any commendations for a job well done? These are your achievements and an interview room is no scenario to be shy, an employer wants to know exactly why they should hire you over the other people applying for the role.
  3. Educational Achievements: People can be very blasé about getting strong results in education. Don’t be, not everyone does and employers look at educational performance favourably when selecting professionals.
  4. Prepare: Do your research on the company and the role you are interviewing for, this information is readily available online. Use this information in the interview, a potential employer will want to see your interest in their business.
  5. Strengths, not weaknesses: Focus on your strengths not your weaknesses. People tend to bogged down in the skills or experience they may be lacking, be aware of these but highlight what you can bring to the role not what you cannot.


Remember, a CV can and will only get you so far. Your interview is your opportunity to make a positive impression on an employer.

Know your strengths, achievements and why you would be right for this role and don’t shy away from presenting them.

  • Feb 16, 2015
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Anna Maher

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