When looking to grow or as the Jefferson’s Theme Song goes‘moving on up’ in our professional life, depending mainly on our wall of achievements will most times than not take us nowhere. While an overachiever successful person can get you a meeting or can get you shortlisted. But on a personal level and professional, people want to know how you got to where you are today, what were the struggles and tumbles you’ve gone through to get to where you are. They are looking for relatability and humbleness. People who take first meeting to explain how successful they’ve been in achieving their goals without mentioning the hardship that got them there might never live to see a second meeting. Mainly because they fill the room with an underwhelming sense of excitement. However, when someone reveals the failures behind their success, they start to feel identifiable and relatable.
In a study titled Impression (Mis) Management When Communicating Success, Dr. Janina Steinmetz explained that “A success story isn’t complete without the hard work and explanation of why we were successful. Did the success come easy, thanks to one’s talents, or was it attained through hard work? Both of these attributions can be part of successful self-promotion, but my research shows that emphasizing effort is more likely to garner a positive impression and people really want to know the story behind your success.
Resume is a clear indicator of our professional successful landmarks. Recruiters can look through your social media account(LinkedIn, Instagram) to get an idea of how you want to be perceived. It also offers an introduction of who you are and/or a summery in terms of career choices and interests. A sit-down interview, on the other hand, requires openness and digging deep. Recruiters want to see what’s your character like in person, behavioral interview to see if your personality will fit well with the team, to ensure that you’ll be able to get along.
In most cases people who achieved a lot can appear jaded or even worse will have a demeanor that says, ‘my work speaks for itself’. They won’t show the effort that it took from them to get to where they are. Whilst a person with a success checklist less checked will show all the enthusiasm that can be fathomed to make sure that the interviewer realizes what the candidate lack in success milestones, they more than make up for it in effort and hard–work.
Interviewers encountered candidates who try to seem like an overachiever maybe even try to lie their way through an interview, but what they neglect to see that this approach will get them eliminated faster than if they chose to be honest about their achievement regardless of how humble they seem compared to others. Moreover, interviewers who actually put in the work can spot when an interviewee who tries to fabricate by realizing that they aren’t familiar with an important detail or inaccurately talk about a task related to the work they are interviewed for. This ultimately cuts their chances of getting a future phone–call for a job that might better suit their skillset and experience. Since their first impression interview showed how unethical the candidate was.
Ultimately, humbleness and humility win always when put side to side with overconfidence and a bragging personality. Its best to use the time offered during the first interview wisely, by balancing it between your successful milestones and the effort you put into getting there.