I'm in my final year of university (for engineering) and I am in the process of looking for full-time employment. My university has a co-op program and so I have 6 internships under my belt. For each internship we receive an evaluation from the employer--I've received outstanding evaluations in each of them. This is the highest evaluation you can receive from an employer. I think this track record is valuable information for the interviewer and may make them see me in a more positive light.

During interviews I'm always afraid to say this. I don't know how to say it without sounding arrogant, but I want my employer to know that I made significant contributions to the companies I've worked for. It's very competitive and difficult to get a good job after graduation--I think I need to find a way to convey my positive track record.

I don't think it would be good to say, "I have had 6 paid internships and I've received outstanding evaluations in all of them", because to me, it sounds arrogant. The evaluations are apart of our school's work placement system. Part of my concern is that employers who are unfamiliar with the system might think that I'm saying that I am outstanding versus that I have received a 7/7 evaluation. Of course, in my experience, being too humble is also a big mistake in an interview.

How can I tell an interviewer that I have a great track record without sounding arrogant?

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    Personally, I would like to interview people that can say "I'm a hard worker and pick things up pretty quick; I have had 6 paid internships and I've received outstanding evaluations in all of them". It doesn't sound arrogant to me at all; part of interviewing is selling yourself. Not adding this as an answer as DarkCygnus' answer is great (I think you should include it in your resume as well); just wanted to give you another opinion on the matter. – UnhandledExcepSean Oct 4 at 19:12
  • Do you happen to have references from these employers? An outstanding review might fit better as a reference letter. – The Netty Professor Oct 4 at 19:45
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    I feel like a statement such as "I received 6 outstanding evaluations" doesn't tell me that much about a candidate. I'm not particularly swayed by the opinions of 6 people whom I have never met. It does seem arrogant out of context. Some companies will give a positive evaluation as long as the intern shows up and doesn't break anything. I would much rather you told me how your work affected the company, even better how you moved a metric. – jcmack Oct 4 at 22:20
  • FWIW I'm afraid I agree with jcmack. – Fattie Oct 5 at 11:21

"I have had 6 paid internships and I've received outstanding evaluations in all of them"

If prompted, I don't think this sounds arrogant, as it is the truth.

If you are asked something about your past internships, or asked about something you are proud of or worth mentioning saying that would surely have a positive impact.

It's worth pointing out that this is something you should also consider including on your resume, so potential recruiters can read this in advance before you meet them in interview.

  • I have never been prompted by an interviewer to say this. Sometimes they give me an opening by saying, "tell me about yourself", but I avoid mentioning my evaluations it because it doesn't feel right in the moment to say it. I've tried putting it on my resume before, but I found that it doesn't fit in--others have commented that it seemed arrogant. – Klik Oct 4 at 17:05
  • It may be relevant that the evaluations are apart of our school's work placement system. Part of my concern is that employers who are unfamiliar with the system might think that I'm saying that I am outstanding versus that I have received a 7/7 evaluation. – Klik Oct 4 at 17:08
  • I don't see how "others" have found that arrogant, as it is the truth. If there is no room for it during interview surely there is on resume (perhaps under each job you list, briefly indicate that you received such review).... – DarkCygnus Oct 4 at 17:25

You need a lead in, i.e. break up your achievements into bits and pieces, split them and insert them into the conversation when required.

Let's say something comes up about coding, and then you say - yes I am good at coding python, i won hackathons in college and my github repository is active and i have over 5 active projects with over 1,50,000 lines of code.

If they ask you if you are a team player, then you can pitch in another achievement here of a time when you have driven a team to success, it can be anything, something as trivial as leading a team during trekking also counts. The mind does not really want to know if you have taken a team to mount everest, but they would definitely want to know if you have some accomplishment or understanding related to this particular aspect, and that is where achievements do a great job!

Let's say this question is asked:

Are you a creative thinker, do you consider yourself creative and innovative?

Yes absolutely, I have always been madly creative, the first creative thing was a periscope that I made in class 6, in class 9 I have made a periodic table model of 108 elements, it is so perfectly made that it hangs till date in the lobby of my school. It took me one full month to make it perfect. Recently I have pitched my ideas to an Idea Contest and won the first prize. I have also pitched a Bplan to investors and received funding and office space offer, but we could not pursue the offer due to the team's constraints. So that is how the line of reasoning should proceed.

But if you try to tell them about the time when you sprinted seven marathons, when they ask you about innovation. They would understand that you are trying to brag, for the sake of bragging.

But the topic about marathons and adding 10,000 steps everyday for the last 3 years without fail to your fitbit, is relevant when they talk about persistence and perfectionism!

Bragging is permitted, in fact, that is the primary reason why they have asked you to come there. They want to know about you in detail and if you don't brag, you are hiding many of your impressive qualities and only exposing your average, normal abilities.

Read this book "PITCH ANYTHING" and you will understand about frames and how to pitch yourself and the strategies you need to employ!

Put it on your resume. If you have an entry for each internship, just put a bullet point beneath each one saying 'Received outstanding mark on intern evaluation' (maybe put it into better English).

Just don't overdo it with information. Putting something on your resume might mean it never gets read if there is a bunch of other fluff on it.

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    I would put quotes around "outstanding" here, to make it clear that the name of the grade was "outstanding", as opposed to saying that "outstanding" is your personal opinion of the grade. – Ertai87 Oct 5 at 19:08
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    @Ertai87 Quotes can mean a lot of things: scare quotes, in which a "so-called" is implied, emphasis, etc. Better than "Received 'outstanding' mark would be "Received mark of 'Outstanding'". – Acccumulation Oct 5 at 19:26
  • @Acccumulation Sure, that works too. In any case, quotes. – Ertai87 Oct 5 at 19:30

Arrogance is rating yourself highly, not reporting the fact that others have rated you highly (although reporting that others have rated you highly can be arrogant if it's done with a tone that implies something further, such as that all criticisms of you are therefore invalid). So make sure that it's clear that you're simply saying what your evaluations were. If your statement is interpreted as "For all the evaluations I've received, I've interpreted them as saying I'm outstanding", that would sound arrogant, but if you're clear that "outstanding" is the term that the evaluator gave, that's not arrogant. You can make that more clear by moving the word "outstanding": rather than saying "I've received outstanding evaluations", say "All of my evaluations have received the mark of 'outstanding'".

Also might want to brush up on the difference between "apart" and "a part".

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