Too Much “We”?

John Sitting At Coffee Shop

We’ve been told how important it is to demonstrate that we are good team players, and to give credit to others. And that is very true.


However, this can lead to a common mistake in job interviews: too much ‘we’.


A job interview is about you – what you will do, what results you will produce, what challenges you will solve, what you will bring to the table.


When you talk all about the things “we” did, I may start to wonder what you actually contributed. Plus, it leaves the impression that perhaps you only operate well when you are working in a group, and may struggle a bit when left to your own devices.


This is a particular issue when talking about what you did on a team project. I want to hear what you actually contributed to the team’s efforts and results, and if I don’t, I’m likely to be suspicious of how important your contributions were.


Instead of saying “I was on team x that produced y”, make a statement that gives an idea of how you advanced their efforts, or even just what your role was, such as “I provided the actuarial leadership to team x that produced y.”


None of this means you shouldn’t use ‘we’ in your stories. You do want a balance, that also shows that you do support team efforts and contribution. Just be sure to balance the ‘we’ with enough ‘I’ to show exactly what you contributed in every situation.


For more on telling stories the right way, see this piece:

The Power of Stories

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