Saturday night saw the emergence of Ireland’s newest sporting superstar, Conor “The Notorious” McGregor. Like thousands of other Irish viewers, I also tuned in to watch his comprehensive defeat of Diego Brandao within the first round of their featherweight fight in the O2, which catapulted him to a top 10 title contender. This is all the more impressive due to the fact that it was only his 3rd UFC fight, normally it takes anything up to 10 successful fights to attain a top 10 placing.
So how did he do this? Firstly, he is an exceptionally skilled fighter. Skills and talent are not always enough to make it to the top, though. McGregor, through highly entertaining interviews, witty one liners and a sharp dress sense, has promoted himself into one of the must see attractions in the UFC today. Anyone who has seen his interviews cannot help but be entertained. However, many perceive his confidence as arrogance which divides opinions on him.
So bearing this in mind, I’ve decided to deal with something which regularly arises when preparing people for interviews – Confidence Vs Arrogance.
I know telling someone how great you are can be a difficult thing to do but you must be able to do it to a certain degree in an interview. If you simply tell an interviewer (potential future employer) what you do on a daily basis then they will learn nothing more than they have from reading your CV. You must be able to highlight your achievements, times where you excelled above your colleagues and your strengths. It’s commonly said that there is a fine line between confidence and arrogance but this line must be hit in order to be successful in an interview.
Back up what you say
The best way to find the line between confidence and arrogance is to be prepared to back up everything you say with facts, figures and strong examples. If you claim to be the top sales person in your company then you must be able to back it up with your targets, figures and performance against your colleagues. If you cannot back up what you are saying then you will be found out very quickly. Our friend Conor McGregor does this excellently by delivering every time he steps into the ring and hence why I feel there is little argument to call him arrogant.
Embrace the Nerves
Nerves in an interview situation is generally viewed as a negative, I would disagree. If you listen to any sports person they will talk about the feeling in the pit of their stomach before they compete and the edge they feel it gives them. I feel this is also vital in an interview, if controlled, as it helps to keep you focused and your mind on the prize. I am always wary when someone tells me that they don’t have any nerves prior to going into an interview. Firstly it would lead me to question their desire for the job and secondly you can be guaranteed that their body language will come across as being very relaxed which will potentially make them look disinterested and arrogant. Simple things like eye contact, upright posture and a firm handshake can convey confidence and could be the difference between a good interview and an excellent interview.
So to finish up, I am not advising that you go into your next job interview quoting Conor McGregor but I do feel there is a lot we can learn from him in terms of presenting a confident front. Every employer out there wants people who are confident in their own ability and can deliver on their promises. So I hope the above tips can help you portray this in your next interview and finding that line between confidence and arrogance.
Have you ever been told that you where arrogant in an interview?