In the classic "mockumentary" film This Is Spinal Tap, sage musician David St. Hubbins said, "It's such a fine line between stupid and clever." Turns out that the fictitious rocker knew something about the job search game, too. During job interviews, many folks walk a fine line between expressing a winning trait and a losing one. Why? Job interviews make people nervous. And when people are nervous, their traits can get amplified, oftentimes for the worse.
Here's a look at the positive qualities most folks strive to display during an interview as well as the negatives they can become, especially if they turn it "up to eleven."
Eager vs. Desperate
By all means, display your eagerness for a company. Show your enthusiasm for the position. But make certain you maintain your cool so as not to come across as desperate. Refrain from mentioning how much you need this particular job (even if that is the case). You may state that you can start immediately, but don't make suggestions that could indicate you're in dire straits (i.e., offering to work for free or on a trial basis).
Confident vs. Cocky
Talent is important, but when it comes to hiring employees, confidence is king. Don't be afraid to strut your self-assured stuff during an interview. However, remember to temper it with a fair amount of modesty when speaking of your accomplishments. Be factual, but not too boastful or you could come off as cocky - the ultimate turnoff to a potential manager.
Professional vs. Stiff
Never underestimate the power of professionalism. Presenting oneself in a business-like manner - from your clothes to the way you communicate - is invaluable. Yet even in the most conservative of business environments employers welcome personality. They want to hire more than a suit so be sure to showcase your individuality and sparkle.
Cutting Edge vs. Crazy