How to be confident without appearing arrogant

  1. 2
    I am usually confident when it comes to what I know and I really do believe I will be a great nurse, but how can I remain confident without appearing to be arrogant? I have no nursing experience since I'm a new grad, but I have previous healthcare experience and am in my late 40's and have raised 3 children. So my days of being self deprecating and unsure are behind me now and I find it much easier to be confident than when I was younger. My classmates always say I'm confident and nurturing at the same time and normally I am. Nevertheless it's been 4 months without an offer and now I worry that I will seem desperate and try to over sell myself at the next interview and come across as arrogant, because quite frankly I AM desperate for a job. I don't want to let my desperation be so obvious and I think I might get a call to interview soon. Any suggestions?
    kerrynurse and lamazeteacher like this.
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  3. 18 Comments so far...

  4. 0
    I've just started reading "Lean In." It's worth a read and it may be helpful!
  5. 1
    As with most situations, it is my experience that what one person perceives as confidence another will see as arrogance. It's really all in the perception of the observer. Just be yourself and try not to let the details interfere with your confidence. There are lots of nurses looking for jobs these days as the boards here prove time and time again. It's not you. The job market is tough. Best of luck.
    lamazeteacher likes this.
  6. 1
    Quote from chrisrn24
    I've just started reading "Lean In." It's worth a read and it may be helpful!
    Is this a book or an article here on AN?
    SoFloRN likes this.
  7. 0
    Quote from heartsgal

    Is this a book or an article here on AN?
    Book.

    "Lean in: Women, Work and the Will to Lead" by Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg. It's fascinating and a worthwhile read. Although most of us work in female-led units/businesses, etc. it's a good look at how inadvertently women hold themselves back in the workplace due to guilt, feelings of failure, our perceived beliefs that we are bad mothers and wives if we care about our careers and more.
  8. 17
    I hope you aren't going overboard in interviews about raising 3 kids. I'm on our unit's hiring panel and we just finished a round of interviews. We are all tired of hearing about people's kids. It comes up without our asking far too often, and we never cease to be appalled at the information people volunteer on interviews.

    It has nothing to do with the job, it's none of our business, and sorry to all you hardworking parents out there, but it is neither special nor heroic. It's commonplace. It is no more admirable than someone who has served our country, fought off cancer, cared for an aging parent or rescued a shelter animal. Go ahead, flame me if you want, but my parents didn't expect special treatment or gold medals for parenting like so many do now. If anything, candidates that find a way to weave their children into the initial interview make an impression that they'll weave their children into their job duties with us, too.

    I'm sure you're qualified as all heck, have a killer resume, and are smart, but if you are coming off with a seen-it-all/done-it-all attitude because you may or may not have more life experience than some others, (regardless of what that consists of), other will pick up on that more than you will. A little self deprecation is healthy at any age, and humble pie tastes a lot better than crow if you know what I mean!
    Nola009, HMAmara, troop949, and 14 others like this.
  9. 0
    ^ that too.


    Legally to my knowledge interviewers can't even ask if you have children. Unless you have a gap in your work years that only kids can explain don't bring them up.
  10. 0
    Quote from mclennan
    I hope you aren't going overboard in interviews about raising 3 kids. I'm on our unit's hiring panel and we just finished a round of interviews. We are all tired of hearing about people's kids. It comes up without our asking far too often, and we never cease to be appalled at the information people volunteer on interviews.

    It has nothing to do with the job, it's none of our business, and sorry to all you hardworking parents out there, but it is neither special nor heroic. It's commonplace. It is no more admirable than someone who has served our country, fought off cancer, cared for an aging parent or rescued a shelter animal. Go ahead, flame me if you want, but my parents didn't expect special treatment or gold medals for parenting like so many do now. If anything, candidates that find a way to weave their children into the initial interview make an impression that they'll weave their children into their job duties with us, too.

    I'm sure you're qualified as all heck, have a killer resume, and are smart, but if you are coming off with a seen-it-all/done-it-all attitude because you may or may not have more life experience than some others, (regardless of what that consists of), other will pick up on that more than you will. A little self deprecation is healthy at any age, and humble pie tastes a lot better than crow if you know what I mean!

    I only briefly mentioned that I had grown children and went back to school when my 2nd child went to college, when asked what were the circumstances that led me to nursing as a profession. As far as mentioning it in my OP, it was to give you a bit of background on myself. I have read on other websites about how it is a big no no to prattle on about your kids etc. in an interview and honesty since mine are all off to school or on their own, there's not much to say about them. I suppose in hindsight I should have also tilted this thread, "eagerness without desperation" as well as the confidence part. Lord knows I've had my share of humble pie and also coined my own phrase which I use frequently: It's not a matter of will I eat crow, but what kind of sauce will I dip it in tonight. I will keep your suggestions in mind though, and make a mental note not to bring up anything about my family unless asked, because I wouldn't want an interviewer to be distracted form my ability to be a good nurse. My comment about self deprecation was in part aimed at some of my younger counterparts that I graduated with. some were often so down on themselves and had no self confidence at all and I would encourage them not to be so hard themselves, because we all make mistakes. Perhaps you can keep this in mind also the next time some nervous candidate mentions her children and not be to hard on her.
  11. 0
    Quote from chrisrn24

    Book.

    "Lean in: Women, Work and the Will to Lead" by Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg. It's fascinating and a worthwhile read. Although most of us work in female-led units/businesses, etc. it's a good look at how inadvertently women hold themselves back in the workplace due to guilt, feelings of failure, our perceived beliefs that we are bad mothers and wives if we care about our careers and more.
    Oh yeah I heard about that book now that you mention it. Thanks, I'm going to see how much it is on my kindle tonight.
  12. 0
    It could be that you're quite intense and appear to be holding back something, when a subject in an interview isn't welcomed. Tune in to your interviewer(s), who could see this task as interfering with their "real" work. To accommodate that person, keep your answers to questions posed, concise and to the point. Whatever you do, don't ramble on with anecdotal incidents. If a question seems unclear, simply ask what the interviewer wants to know about whatever that is about, without appearing to doubt their ability. A good way to get more information that allows you time to get your thoughts together, might be to respond with a query about how they want you to phrase yoyr answer, with some experience or knowledge. It's easy to be led astray with lack of clarity, getting on a track that wasn't the intention of the questioner.
    Above all, keep the atmosphere as light as possible, without telling jokes or appearing to know more than the interviewer. You want to come over as someone they'd like to have working with them, not a doubter in their ability to lead. Interviewing can be onerous, with one applicant appearing similar to all the others. Wear something clean that you know sets off your appearance well and isn't over dressy. Since nurses usually wear scrubs to work, you need to present yourself casually, yet in line with any work environment on any day that isn't Friday (when overly casual dress is accepted). Keep makeup to a minimum, as you'll not be interviewed for your cosmetic skills (avoid "smoky" eyes.
    Be sure to look comfortably, with a friendly expression, into each interviewer's eyes (not like a staring contest). Practice that in your mirror and with your family/friends, until you get that effect. It can be harder for some of us, to do that. The harder it feels, the more practice you need. In a way, you're lucky that you won't be rushing from a rushed work environment, into an interview. Be well rested (bloodshot eyes may be like warning lights to a prospective boss.
    At most Federal Employment offices (formerly called "unemployment" offices), there is a "Profile" Club for professionals. That's got a wealth of employment information, and classes for improving how your CV looks, and role playing interviewing situations with others who are your peers! That place is an opportunity to feel less isolated when you're not working. Even if you need to hire a babysitter to get out of your house, it's well worth doing that! Consider it a job requirement.


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