What to Eat Before Your Next Interview

This post isn’t’ about eating a Whole30 or Paleo breakfast before your next interview. Though, a healthy breakfast is certainly a good idea (for having a full stomach will often help you get through your day better than being full of yourself). Before your next interview consider having a slice of humble pie.


I’ve often heard hiring managers say they are looking for candidates with a cool confidence. Someone who can share his or her experience and accomplishments without the air of conceit. An individual who can interact with employees at all levels of their organizations, and who wouldn’t feel that making their own coffee or copies is beneath them.

Yes, employers want someone with the experience (or potential) to do the job, but they also want someone who will fit in with the corporate culture. Often times, this is where “humility” is subjectively measured. As a job seeker, your challenge is to articulate why you are the best person for a job, without arrogance or otherwise “putting off” the interviewer.


It’s simply not enough these days to possess the right professional or academic experience to land your next job. Interviewers are also assessing your ability to communicate and your character. Here are some questions that an interviewer might ask you to objectively measure your skills, while also assessing who you are:

  • Tell me about a time that you failed.
  • What would you say is your greatest area for improvement?
  • Describe a situation where you didn’t professionally agree with someone.
  • Tell me about the last time you received feedback at work.
  • Why do you think you are the best person for this job?
  • What would you bring to this position that no one else could?
  • Tell me about the hardest conversation you’ve had with a co-worker.

For some of us, our nature may be to balk at the idea that we have ever truly failed. Others may have a really hard time thinking about where they could improve. These types of responses could turn off your interviewer, regardless of how qualified you may be.

So, before you head into your next interview, think about who you are as a professional; identify examples of your awesomeness, but also some that demonstrate that you’re not exactly perfect. Articulating what you’ve done in your professional career while acknowledging that you still have a lot to learn may be just what the employer was looking for …


If you are a recruiter or hiring manager, what do you think about humility in job seekers? Would you hire someone who was arrogant in an interview?

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Shannon Smedstad

Shannon Smedstad has nearly 20 years of recruitment, employer branding, and communications experience. Currently, she serves as the Principal Employer Brand Strategist at exaqueo. Previously, she held employer branding and recruiting leadership roles at CEB and GEICO. She’s a work at home mom raising two awesome girls who also enjoys reading, running, leading a Girl Scout troop, and her morning coffee. You can connect with Shannon on LinkedIn and Twitter.

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