How to avoid being a weak candidate

By Aaron Rappaport

You are a qualified, competent, and valuable professional with a lot of expertise to offer, but are you coming across as a weak candidate or a strong candidate? As a leading firm in the executive career coaching and job seeking field one of the most common challenges we hear from hundreds of clients per year is that they “aren’t good at talking about themselves.”

These same individuals possess fantastic qualifications, and in most cases have a lot to offer, yet they feel personally that they are uncomfortable “bragging” about themselves on their resumes or in an interview. News flash – your resume and your interviews are one of the only times in life that it is socially acceptable to brag!

Strategically highlighting your value to a company can of course be a challenging thing, which is why you need to first become comfortable in your own skin and get excited to talk about what YOU bring to the table. And to be honest, if you don’t get comfortable with it, someone else will. And it’s entirely possible that they may not even be as qualified as you. So how can you strategically highlight your value, showcase your accomplishments, and discuss your “brag book,” without seeming overly confident, arrogant, or obnoxious?

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1. Become an expert in yourself & the company who is interviewing you

The better you know yourself, and the better you understand the needs of the company who is interviewing you, the more comfortable and natural your presentation will be about yourself. Comfort and confidence helps to exude the right tone and will prevent the appearance of over compensating. Know your achievements, know your successes, and be prepared to inject them into the conversation based on what you know the company needs.

2. Get the interviewer excited about you!

Companies and hiring managers want to hire people who can make their lives easier. People who can accomplish things that they need accomplished and those who can fill gaps in their team. Keeping in line with being prepared about the needs of the company, be 100% sure of not only what the job description requires, but also the needs of the specific hiring manager and make a point to convey how you can alleviate any problems or blind spots in the organization.

3. Believe you are the best candidate, and you will be the best candidate

Of course you need to have the appropriate qualifications for the job, but so many great candidates are afraid to showcase themselves. Before you go to an interview, tell yourself you are the best candidate for the job, do your research, and prepare, prepare, prepare. You will be shocked at how much better the interview will go when you are fully prepared mentally and emotionally. Confidence is a bigger x-factor than you could ever imagine, so build your confidence. And if you need to, “fake it til you make it!”

4. Have fun in interviews!

Seriously, the best candidates actually enjoy interviews. We teach our clients how to do this every day. When you can finally learn to enjoy the interview process, you have truly mastered it and will be seen by the interviewer not as a candidate, but as a trusted consultant or partner.

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