Job interview — The benefits of productive boasting

A businessman showing determination
A businessman showing determination

Bragging or boasting about yourself is generally unacceptable, especially in the workplace. You never want to be perceived as arrogant or egotistical, so you avoid patting yourself on the back in public. As a job seeker, it is essential to brag or boast a bit, especially regarding how to sell yourself in an interview. You don’t want to be arrogant about it, though; there’s a proper technique for bragging about yourself in an interview. Learn how to brag acceptably in our advice below.

1. Know your strengths

If you are going to be boasting about yourself in an interview, you have to be honest about your abilities and strengths. Focus on things that former supervisors or coworkers have applauded you for. For instance, if a supervisor frequently compliments your writing abilities, you should highlight that in an interview.

Using characteristics and strengths that others have previously celebrated you for helps maintain honesty and encourages you to root your bragging in facts and examples. You may want to emphasize your organizational abilities during an interview for an administrative role. Don’t just say that you are organized. Instead, when boasting about yourself, tell your interviewer that your coworkers applauded your organizational skills when you created and implemented an improved system for project documentation in your previous role.

Using evidence of your strengths is critical when getting the hang of selling yourself in an interview to avoid seeming arrogant.

2. Brag about your success

If you helped your former employer meet their sales figures or exceeded your quarterly goals, mention that in an interview. When figuring out how to brag about yourself in an interview, it’s helpful to provide quantifiable data to demonstrate your success. Potential employers want to know what value you can bring to their company, and boasting about yourself by listing specific metrics you met or increased in a former position is a great way to illustrate your value. 

You should also mention any instance from your past positions where you went above and beyond the call of duty. Some examples of this include working extra hours without being asked, taking on additional responsibilities to help a colleague or support your team, or stepping up to the plate to solve an unexpected problem or error. The key to selling yourself in an interview is to emphasize why you chose to go above and beyond while sharing your story. When boasting about yourself, your interviewer will be interested in knowing your motivation and the outcome. 

3. Don’t exaggerate your abilities

While highlighting all the great qualities that will make you a fit for a position, be sure you don’t let things get out of hand. The trick to bragging about yourself in an interview is to keep everything honest. Exaggerating your abilities is the same as lying to a potential employer. For example, if you are proficient with Microsoft Office Suite, that doesn’t make you an “expert” or mean that you can use Excel to do anything an employer might need. 

When boasting about yourself, be honest and let a potential employer know you are confident and comfortable handling a task without leading them to believe you have qualifications that you do not have. On the other hand, if you are an expert at a task, be sure to tell them. Any certifications or training courses you have taken are worth mentioning. 

Ace your next interview

While getting the hang of how to sell yourself in an interview, practicing with a friend or mentor is beneficial to ensure you don’t come across as arrogant. If you can learn how to brag tastefully without exaggerating your abilities or being overly arrogant, you will be more successful in your future interviews. You’ll be elevated above your competition by boasting about yourself through honest examples of your work ethic and accomplishments. 

WAI Staff

Whitman Associates is a professional staffing agency serving businesses and job seekers in the Washington, D.C. area. Since 1972, we’ve been dedicated to matching highly qualified candidates with a wide variety of temporary, temp-to-hire and permanent positions. We prioritize the needs of both our clients and candidates to ensure successful, lasting relationships.