Are you a great reporter but terrible at bragging about yourself? Clam up whenever anyone asks you about your strengths?
Poynter held a career chat today on confidence, and projecting that confidence in job interviews. We’ve culled the best advice from the chat in case you missed it.
Colleen Eddy: “Confidence is so beautiful and cockiness so annoying. The difference I feel is focus. Confidence comes from know yourself and being ready to offer that value to the employer, but respecting the person across from you and his company’s value.”
Joe Grimm: “Listening can go a long way toward keeping it closer to confident and away from cocky.”
Grimm also mentioned what should be obvious: being well-prepared for the interview makes you less nervous. If it’s a journalism job, you should’ve read the paper; with any company, get a copy of the company’s most recent annual report. And as far as reading the paper goes, Grimm thinks it should be the paper: “Web is dandy — but it should not be the same as the hard copy. Read at least one — but the person who gets the job will be the one who read both.” And don’t go overboard with the Facebook stalking: “We had a guy come into the Free Press who had backgrounded all of us and dropped a factoid on each of us to show us how impressive he was. Fail.”
Another good trick: find out who you’ll be interviewing with. A nice way to do that, Eddy suggests, is to ask “whom shall I expect to meet and how many copies of my resume would you recommend I bring?”
Last, practice interviewing. “Even schedule practice interviews with friends to help you get ready,” suggests Grimm–though we personally find these incredibly awkward. But don’t be afraid to go on an interview for a job you’re not sure about–best case, you could end up falling in love with the company; worst case, at least you got some practice out of it.