Some good thoughts on how to be honest and positive in interviews, even with negative information…
Humblebragging is notoriously obnoxious. But sometimes, it feels necessary. For example, in a job interview, we’re often told to answer the dreaded “what’s your biggest weakness” question with something sly, like, “I’m too much of a perfectionist.” People see through this. It’s better to either be honest about your bragging or be open about your weaknesses.
With some colleagues, Harvard Business School professor Francesca Gino conducted research on humblebragging. They instructed a group of subjects to write down how they’d answer the “greatest weakness” question in a job interview. Over three-quarters of subjects answered by trying to reframe a positive statement as a negative one—better known as humblebragging. The researchers hired assistants to evaluate subjects’ answers. Here’s what they found:
Interestingly, this strategy was not effective: The research assistants indicated that they would be much less likely to hire the humblebraggers than those who seemed honest. These findings suggest that in job interviews, showing we are self-aware and working on improving our performance may be a more effective strategy than humblebragging. After all, authentic people who are willing to show vulnerability are likely to be the type of candidates interviewers most want to hire.
Keep reading: Why You Shouldn't Try to Humblebrag in a Job Interview