The Power of Humility: Why it Matters in an Executive Job Interview

I’ve been facilitating executive job interviews for over 15 years and have witnessed time and again the delicate balance of juggling confidence and humility. Confidence is a must-have in the job interview game, but the quality that can truly set you apart is… humility. While showcasing your skills and experience is crucial, demonstrating humility can make a surprisingly positive impact on your chances of landing the job. Here’s why:

Humility Signals You’re a Team Player: Boasting about your accomplishments might paint you as someone who prioritizes individual glory over collaboration. Humility, on the other hand, shows you understand the importance of teamwork and are open to learning from others. It also shows self-awareness and adaptability.

It Demonstrates a Growth Mindset: By acknowledging that you’re always learning and willing to improve, you showcase a growth mindset. This is attractive to employers who value continuous improvement and adaptability.

It Creates a Positive Connection: Humility fosters a more genuine and approachable demeanor. Interviewers appreciate candidates who are easy to talk to and who seem like they’d fit well within the team dynamic. This is crucial for executive leadership who are particularly at risk of upsetting the apple cart when joining a new organization.

How to Show Humility:

  • Focus on balancing “I” and “we” achievements: Highlight accomplishments achieved through teamwork.
  • Use phrases like “I’m passionate about personal development” or “I’m eager to grow and learn new things in my next role.”
  • Ask thoughtful questions that demonstrate your genuine interest in the role and the company instead of asking questions designed to further sell your own skill set.
  • Be respectful of everyone you encounter during the interview process.

Remember, confidence and humility are not opposites; they can co-exist. By striking the right balance, you’ll project a well-rounded image that makes you a standout candidate. So, walk into your next interview with both confidence in your abilities and a willingness to learn – you might just surprise yourself with the outcome.

About Kristen Perez

Kristen has over 18 years of executive recruiting experience and has worked within Human Resources in Talent Acquisition and Organizational Development roles. She joined The Christopher Group as a Recruiting Manager in 2021 and was promoted to Recruiting Director in 2022. Kristen’s focus is on filling Human Resources executive roles nationwide and she has a strong background in the Manufacturing, Logistics, Oil & Gas, Aviation, Consulting, Private Equity and Healthcare industries. She unofficially serves as the organization and technology guru within the firm. To learn more about Kristen visit her bio.