How to Put Your Best Qualities First in an Interview

How to Put Your Best Qualities First in an Interview

Interviews are notoriously stressful — and, sometimes, with good reason! If you really want the job, it can feel like your entire life hangs in the balance. While we don’t believe that’s true, and we think the secrets to a happy life lie inside you, we understand that landing that dream job can sometimes make the road to a contented life much easier. 

We also believe that you have amazing qualities just waiting to shine through during your next job interview. The only question is how you plan on letting go of inhibitions and showing just what a talented, insightful, and hard-working individual you truly are. 

Today, we’re walking you through the simple steps you can take to unlock your inner potential and let your best qualities truly shine in job interviews. It may take a little practice at first (so maybe try it out with a friend or partner before heading into the real deal!) but once you get the hang of it, you’ll have what it takes to ace that next interview and land the job you dream of. 


Confidence is key

It may seem like a cliche, but trust us: confidence makes a difference when it comes to succeeding in life, from romance and friendship to job interviews and promotions. In fact, confidence often just means putting your best qualities first. When you’re confident, everyone around you can see that you’re self-assured, you don’t need their validation, and you’re totally cool with who you are.


For whatever reason, that personality trait is extremely attractive in a variety of contexts, and it’s one of the traits employers look for. So, whether it’s sidling up to the bar to ask that cute person for their number, or looking an interviewer straight in the eye when you tell them your name, confidence is the key to succeeding. How can you exude confidence during your interview? Body language!


  • Keep eye contact. Averting your gaze causes people to think you’re worried, insecure, or distracted. 


  • Improve your posture. Slouching over may cause you to look smaller and less confident, so be sure your back is straight and your chest is out. 


  • Remember that you’re cool. Your mind has all sorts of ways to trick you into thinking that you’re less interesting, funny, and downright cool than you are. Stopping to remember what a great person you are making a huge difference, especially right before an interview. 


Put your skills on display

The next area to focus on, once you’ve got your confidence game on lock, is displaying your skillset when answering interview questions. The exact way you do this will often depend on the industry where you’re applying for a job. For instance, a programmer may be required to do an on-site coding assessment, a copywriter may be asked to write up a quick social media post, and a server may be assessed on their friendliness and charisma while talking to the interviewer. 


Whatever your situation, be sure that you talk directly about how your skills have been useful on the job in the past. For instance, you may want to tell an engaging story about a time when you were able to tackle a difficult challenge at work using your skillset, or a time when you were able to innovate an interesting solution and took on a leadership role to help your team.


  • Pro tip: If you can, bring in a concrete example of a case where you were able to pull ahead and take the lead, or solved a complicated problem all on your own. Maybe it’s a writing sample showing your innovative thought leadership, a simple program you wrote to bypass a problem your team faced, or even an engaging graphic that clearly rendered a complex idea for a wide audience. 


Displaying your skillset like this actually has two benefits. First, you clearly demonstrate that you have the skills required to excel at the job you’re interviewing for. And, second, you show that you have the additional skill to effectively communicate your abilities, which is indispensable. In fact, it deserves its own section. 

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Show that you’re a team player

Effective teamwork makes or breaks organizations of any size. When you’re applying for a job, it’s important to remember that you’re applying to work with a team as well. It’s not just the tasks that you’ll complete that are central to your job; it’s the people you’ll be working with to complete them. 


So, in order to truly put your best qualities forward in an interview, it’s a great idea to show that you are willing, able, and happy to work with a team. Here are a few ways to showcase this in an interview:


  • Rather than painting yourself as a genius lone wolf, talk about solving problems with the help of your team, while supporting them as well.


  • Ask plenty of questions back to your interviewers. This may seem rude, but trust us, people love people who ask questions about them. Plus, it’ll make you seem strong and confident, too. 


  • Don’t forget to ask about the benefits. Don’t shy away from asking about what the yearly calendar looks like, if the company offers any kind of end of life benefits, and perhaps what will happen if there is a worldwide pandemic and you are laid off. What kind of unemployment benefits do they offer?


  • Ask questions about the team you’ll be working with and about their strengths. Then, you can tailor your answers to suit how you will be an amazing new support for the team once you join. 


Being a team player also means being able to take feedback and learn from mistakes humbly and diligently. While some interviewees may be nervous to talk about a time when they messed up, it can actually be a valuable asset to your employer if you’re totally comfortable with taking pointers and direction from the people you work with. During your interview, don’t be afraid to talk about a time when you learned from a mistake by seeking the advice of the people you work with. 


Even after perfecting your CV, acing an interview can be challenging, make no mistake. But it is doable, especially with the right interpersonal strategies, confident mindset, and willingness to listen and learn. Try these tips out the next time you’ve got an interview, and watch your future employer’s face light up as they realize you’re just the person they’ve been looking for. 


Samantha Rupp

Samantha Rupp holds a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration and is the managing editor for She lives in San Diego, California and enjoys spending time on the beach, reading up on current industry trends, and travelling.