Job Interview Characteristics of Interviewee

Case Interview interviewee
New answer on Nov 05, 2020
8 Answers
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Anonymous A asked on Jul 21, 2020

Hi all,

I am a quite outgoing person and would describe myself as self-confident. However, some peers on here told me that I might come over as arrogant during the interview. So my question is: when does confidence go over the line into arrogance? And how can I prevent it?

cheers!

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Udayan
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updated an answer on Jul 21, 2020
Top rated McKinsey Case & PEI coach/Multiple real offers/McKinsey EM in New York /6 years McKinsey recruiting experience

Great question!

As Clara mentioned being aware is a great first start.

Confidence is great - people love listening to those that are confident and as long as you can defend your points using facts/logic go ahead and be confident. Here is where confidence clashes with arrogance

- If you need to put someone else down to make your point - e.g., if you have to say they are wrong in order for you to be right. Instead be open to multiple points of view (...a common technique is to say yes and as opposed to no)

- If you are stating things based on your world view as opposed to facts - e.g., it must be true that this company is not good because I don't like their product

- When you are not enthusiastic except when it comes to your own points - people want to be validated and if you only want to praise your views and disregard those of others even being right is no good

- If you ignore what others say - e.g., if the interviewer is giving you hints in an interview but you insist on doing things your way

There are many more examples. The best thing is to be aware and constantly ask for feedback on this point. Take notes on what in particular caused people to say that and focus your energy on improving those

All the best,

Udayan

(edited)

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Clara
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replied on Jul 21, 2020
McKinsey | Awarded professor at Master in Management @ IE | MBA at MIT |+180 students coached | Integrated FIT Guide aut

Hello!

I used to struggle with the same thing, and it´s true you need to be carefull since, without wanting so, you can come across as rather cocky and overconfident.

There is no easy recipie for this, but only the fact that you are already aware is good news. Try to be extra careful and measure all the time the reactions from the interviewer.

Hope it helps!

Cheers,

Clara

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Anonymous B replied on Jul 21, 2020

If you are getting feedback on coming across as arrogant then that can be a sign of 'self-orientation'. This means during the interview you are focussed on getting your point across and either ignore non-verbal cues from your interviewer, talk too much or interrupt them

Solution - come across as a listener. Take frequent pauses to allow your interviewer to prompt you or give feedback. Prepare good questions for your interviewer that are positive example what is your favorite project, what was your professional highlight in the last year etc. Basically make sure you give your interviewer time to speak as well

Can I also suggest 1-2 sessions with a coach? You do not want to risk over-thinking feedback from other candidates

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Robert
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replied on Jul 21, 2020
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Hi Anonymous,

I am afraid there is no KPI on how to measure that and differentiate between those 2 sides.

If you tend to be overly confident, a good thing to keep in the back of your mind is to always assume that there might be something you don't fully understand and know - so instead of making universal statements from your side which might make you looking arrogant, better try to have engaging conversations by leading the conversation with questions.

However, to really balance between the two sides you need feedback and being open to that. I guess it's not a one-off thing to do but it's more like a process of adapting your behaviour towards the norm. This might or might not be related to what you say ("the what") - that might be also related only to the way you say it (the "how"). Any seasoned interviewer and expert can work with you on that to adjust along the way.

Hope that helps nevertheless - if so, please be so kind and give it a thumbs-up with the green upvote button below!

Robert

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Anonymous replied on Jul 22, 2020

Dear A,

As other experts said - being aware of these is already a big step forward.

Next thing I would recommend you here is to notice this feelings and internal conditions in a further practice. What is it about? Whay do you feel this? My be you

Showing an arrogant might be in a situation when you feel lack of confidence, and try to show it artificially. Please, don't take it personal. But I would recommend you to think what are those fundamentals that gives you real confidence? May be it's pactice, knowledge, mentoring, support from the people that matters. Find your recipie of confidence.

If you need any further help of advice, feel free to reach out.

Best,

André

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Ian
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replied on Jul 22, 2020
MBB | 100% personal interview success rate (8/8) and 95% candidate success rate | Personalized interview prep

Hi there,

Great question!

Strong beliefs, loosely held

As a consultant, you do need to come in with a view, but you also need to listen.

So, I recommend that, while you should still hypothesize and state your view, make sure that you practice active listening and are eager/willing to pivot your position based on new information and guidance.

Remember, if the interview is telling you to look somewhere else, or questioning you, mor likely than not, they're trying to guide not challenge you. So, be adaptable/flexible :)

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Rahul replied on Nov 05, 2020
McK 2nd round cases

When being interviewed, you are expected to tell stories and experiences of yourself that showcase your talents and abilities. In this part of the interview, it is alright to boast a bit and show why you are the best candidate for a specific role.

However, if you have been told that you can come across as arrogant, a good trick to try and counteract this is to listen closely to any feedback or information that your interviewer gives you and apply it in the conversation. If you can show your interviewer that you are learning from their feedback and actually listening to and applying the knowledge they are sharing with you, this is the best way to come across as someone who has strong abilities but is willing to listen to feedback to continuously improve.

If you are interested in improving your communication and problem-solving skills. I would recommend you to have a look at https://leap-pro.strategycoglobal.com/. It is a 4-weeks interactive course for aspiring management consultants with the goal of equipping participants with the skills of high-performing industry consultants while interacting and learning from peers with similar skill sets.

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Gaurav
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replied on Nov 04, 2020
Ex-Mckinsey|Certified Career Coach |Placed 500+ candidates at MBB & other consultancies

Hi there,

Sometimes it happens when a candidate would like to be assessed higher and be the best candidate. In this case the line between self-confidence and arrogance goes away.

I would recommend you don’t try to be the best, be yourself and don’t overestimate yourself.

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All the best,

GB

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Udayan gave the best answer

Udayan

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Top rated McKinsey Case & PEI coach/Multiple real offers/McKinsey EM in New York /6 years McKinsey recruiting experience
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