Confidence spoilt my chances of job

I
have a wide range of experience in customer-focused and educational sectors and
am looking to develop my career and use my skills, knowledge and experience. I
am a qualified trainer and have an advanced diploma in environmental management
and business studies. The feedback I received from my last interview for a
training and development co-ordinator post suggested that I was too confident.
Am I pitching myself too low, or how can I better sell myself as a strong and
suitable candidate?  

Jo
Selby, associate director, EJ Human Resources

First
of all, I suggest you get more detailed feedback from your last interview –
being told you are "too confident" is a very broad statement. You
need to establish whether they felt you were confident because you were too
experienced for the role or whether it was due to the way in which you came
across.

If
the organisation felt you were too experienced and hence you appeared overly
confident, I would recommend you consider roles at a slightly higher level.
However if this was not the case, you need to consider how you present yourself
at interview.

It
is important that you continue to get across your enthusiasm and eagerness for
the opportunity as well as the skills you can bring, but on the other hand you
need to demonstrate your commitment to the role and your willingness to learn.
If you come across as being overly confident in your ability, this can raise
concerns with an organisation as to how long you will remain dedicated to the
position. You need to strike a balance between selling yourself and
demonstrating that the role will offer you a challenge.

Claire
Coldwell, consultant, Chiumento

The
fact you received this feedback suggests there is a mismatch between the way
you portrayed yourself in your CV and the way that you came across at
interview.

Begin
by reviewing your CV – assess your skills and achievements and highlight these
in a way that brings out your strengths and experience and sells you well on
paper – tailor it around where you see your next role.   

Think
about the sort of position are you seeking – will a training and development
co-ordinator role give you the challenge you want? If you are not clear about
your next role, get some help in terms of career guidance, which may also include
an analysis of your personality, interests and strengths.

If
you are uncertain as to why you may have had this particular feedback, ask the
interviewer what sort of role they would see you taking – obtain as much
information as you can to help you in your career search.

Once
you’ve dealt with your CV, reflect again on your interview performance. In
trying to impress you might have come over as unjustifiably confident, ie by
being too sure of your own likely success, you could come over as lacking awareness
of the potential pitfalls of the role.

Take
time to listen to the information being given and show interest in what is
being said – the best interviews are a genuine dialogue between the two parties.

Clive
Sussams, recruitment consultant, Malpas Flexible Learning

It
is difficult to answer your question without more details about the depth of
your experience to date.

Certainly
your training experience will be very useful and if you wanted to concentrate
on this as your specialist career, it will be necessary to obtain a relevant
qualification including CIPD membership.

From
the way you describe your career, I am not surprised that employers may think
that you are maybe too experienced for a training co-ordinator’s role. I would
suggest that you try to find a sales training post while you study or a role
which will allow you the opportunity to progress with a large or medium-sized
company.

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