According to new research by Gumtree, British people have a tendency to undersell themselves in interviews.
92% of jobseekers lack confidence when talking about themselves in job interviews, and 27% feel that they’re underselling themselves. The number cited by employers is even larger, as they claim 42% of interviewees – nearly half – regularly undersell themselves. Under 25s are the most likely to play down their skills.
This research was carried out by Gumtree.com in an attempt to understand the difficulties jobseekers come up against in their search for employment.
However, this is not the first time people have recognised that Brits undersell themselves. In June 2009, an article on precisely this topic appeared on Vicki Hollet’s ELT blog, written by fellow blogger Karenne Sylvester. This article was based on personal experience rather than research, but it points out the British tendency to downplay their achievements to appear modest, even in interviews.
Unsurprisingly this makes it even harder to find a job, according to careers expert John Lees: “With unemployment levels still high across the UK it’s clear that candidates need to cut through the competition and stand out from the crowd," he says.
“While we are known for being a reserved nation, there is no room for modesty in the current cut-throat employment market.”
The areas in which candidates are most likely to undersell themselves in interviews are:
1. Public sector
3. Health worker
6. IT workers
9. Finance and accounting