by Roberta Balagopal

It’s bad to “humble brag” in a job interview, according to some HR commentators. Humble bragging is a term which is defined as making a seemingly modest or self-critical statement that is really meant to draw attention to one’s admirable qualities or achievements. Such statements don’t make a person very likeable, say such critics.

Actually, the point of the interview is not to make people like you. The interviewer may or may not like you based on a whole host of reasons, most of which you are never likely to even be aware of. Instead, the point is to demonstrate your competence, and yes, that involves highlighting your skills and strengths.

Rather than becoming self-conscious about whether you may be seen as humble bragging, try to avoid these pitfalls:

1. Don’t lie. If you can’t do something, say so, it doesn’t mean you are stupid. It only means you can’t do that particular thing.

2. Don’t share every insecurity. The interview should show you at your best, not expose every flaw you may have, or think you have. Instead, express willingness to learn about areas you are less experienced in.

3. Don’t be afraid to demonstrate your knowledge and achievements, and how this will make the company look good if they hire you. You don’t need to be a jerk about it, just give examples of what you did that worked out well.

4. Don’t try to be buddies right away. You and your interviewers want to get a feel for whether you can work together. Whether they personally like you or not (and you like them) will develop over time. For now, focus on being honest, professional and competent.

Being likeable is complicated, and ultimately subjective. You can’t read the minds of your interviewers or potential employers. Be honest, and be confident, and if the organisation values these qualities (which ideally it should) you’ve gone a long way already to being accepted in the team. Lastly, bear this in mind: if an employer doesn’t hire you based on personal dislike for you highlighting your skills and achievements, that employer is probably not one you’d want to work for anyway.