From my 7+ years experience as a recruiter and through 1,000’s of executive interviews, it’s abundantly clear to me that there are 2 things that make a person stand out versus their competition.

Confidence and Passion

These are the two things that seal the deal. They’re the difference between getting the interview, and landing the job.

You’ve already got the passion.

When you talk about a job you’re passionate about, and you’re excited about the work you’re going to do, it shines. YOU shine. It’s infectious and people want you on their team. Passion also mitigates risk. Passion ensures that you’ll do a great job even if you don’t have all the experience to do the job you want. You’re going to give it your all and make sure you succeed. Passion is on the inside and comes from pursuing work you want to do.

But how do you get confidence?

Confidence comes from comfort.

You probably aren’t comfortable bragging.

Many of us just aren’t comfortable talking about ourselves, or bragging about ourselves. Being humble is valued in our society, so we downplay our experience. Women in particular are viewed as less likable when we advocate for ourselves, so we learn to give credit to others, defer, and smile and say “thank you for the opportunity”.  It’s a tight line to walk, and we’ve become masters in the art of deference.

You probably aren’t an expert at interviewing.

Because you hardly ever interview. Even if you’re super awesome at the #humblebrag, interviews are an entirely different type of conversation.

Interviews are conversations that you have once every 3-5 years. Interviews are super high stakes conversations that impact your life, 8 hours a day, 5 days a week for the next 2-3 years. So yeah, interviews are important.

You will likely interview for less than 20 jobs over your lifetime. And each time you start a new job search, the rules have changed, and you’ve changed.

How can you be confident in a scenario that you only encounter once every few years, that’s different each time you encounter it, when you’re a different person than you were the last time you encountered it?

The answer is simple: get comfortable with your inner awesome.

You need to get comfortable with bragging. I prefer to call it “telling the truth about what you’ve done and can do”. You need to get comfortable talking about yourself, the person you are now, in the context of where you want to go. No review mirrors allowed here. Go get comfortable and you’ll find the confidence to let your inner awesome shine.

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