My wife and I got into a discussion last night. She went on a few rounds of interviews and was wondering what to do after the feedback she got.

The feedback from the hiring manager was positive in that they like her alot but that she came off as over confident/arrogant. They've invited her back for the last round of interviews. Should she apologize and try to explain it or just correct the behavior at this next round by being more humble, less excited, etc?

I say apologize, she says correct. Which is the right way? Or should it be a combination apologize & corrected behavior?



RickMeasham's picture

Unless she was actually being arrogant, there is nothing for which she needs to apologise. And the fact that she has been given a second interview shows that it's unlikely she was being arrogant. There's no way I'd ever invite someone back that was actually arrogant in an interview.

In my opinion she has been given another interview, so there's somthing they like. It may well be just the hiring manager was surprised by her confidence and possibly a little intimidated if he doesn't feel the same confidence in his own ability.

Does she know basic DiSC? It might be worth her considering her own profile and guessing at his profile based on what she saw in her interview and on the phone. Then in the next interview modify her behaviour enough to suit his profile without losing the confidence in her abilities that she obviously projected the first time. There's a summary on the Manager Tools website and there's the D, I, S and C podcasts.

If she's to back down in her confidence level it may come across that she isn't so sure she can do the job. After all she was really confident at first, then less confident later. How will she be when she's actually doing the job?

So, bottom line down the bottom: Don't apologise and don't be any less confident.

Rick Measham

Geek Herding

TomW's picture
Training Badge

don't apologize. It's just feedback. She can show an ability to improve by acting on it. Maybe she can tone down the confidence by 1%.

Interviews are very short and apologizing could easily derail the conversation in a way that works against her.

Doorag's picture

Maybe they want to see how she reacts to the feedback.

Personally, I'd simply adjust slightly but mostly just be myself. If they don't like me as I am, then I probably wouldn't like working there. End of.


stevesim's picture

I wouldn't suggest apologizing and I would be careful about modifying behavior based on that coment since your wife doesn't have anything actionable to work with.  Confidence might be considered a "behavior" but the conclusion that someone is over confident/arrogant is really a reaction to one or more exhibited behaviors.  What I suggest is asking the hiring manager "What was the behavior I exhibited that led to the conclusion that I am over confident/arrogant?"   If she gets an answer this gives your wife some actual data to work in order to deterine if she needs to make an adjustment, and, offers the opportunity to let the other person reconsider their perception of the behavior(s).  

Steve Simmons

AManagerTool's picture

If I had to wait for actionable behavior to be detailed to me, I'd never get any feedback at all.  The epidemic of bad managers that give bad feedback dictates that you sometimes will have to adjust your behavior based upon vagaries.  Asking for clarification is a good idea when in the moment but how often are you quick witted enough to shoot back a request for clarification?  I probably miss 50% of those opportunities in a given day.  Many times I walk away thinking about what was said and say to myself, "Hey, now why didn't I catch that!"  That 50% can go down with stress too and I don't know anything more stressful than an interview. 

Quick note, I don't give feedback on an interview.  I'm not trying to improve a candidate so I can use them.  I want them useable out of the box.  Feedback is what you get after you are hired.

Only apologize when you do something wrong or offend and if your wife did either of those things....there would be no second interview.  Tell your wife to take it under advisement and move on.  It's no big deal. 

Best of luck on the follow up interview