I recently graduated university (UK), and in my final year I had several interviews for jobs as a programmer. One of these interviews consisted of two parts; a standard question-and-answer section with two interviewers (one technical and one business), and a short presentation about a project I had worked on to the same interviewers. At the beginning of the interview, I was asked which part of the interview I'd like to start with. I answered something along the lines of "I'd like to do the presentation first please, as I'm less confident about my presentation skills."
Admittedly, I was a little nervous as it was one of my first professional interviews, but I thought this was an acceptable response. However, one of the interviewers immediately cut in and reprimanded me for underselling myself (this did not help my nerves). I understand the logic in not underselling myself in general, but in this scenario the interviewers were about to see first-hand how good or bad my presentation skills were; overselling wouldn't really have achieved anything.
From my point of view there was only two outcomes from the statement I made and the associated presentation. Either the presentation would go well, and they would assume I had undersold myself in other areas (admittedly showing a lack of confidence perhaps, but also enhancing the things I said I was good at), or the presentation would go badly, and they would at least see I was honest in my assessment of my skills.
Should I not have made the statement, or was my logic flawed? In future, should I just not say anything negative about myself, even if I'm giving an honest assessment that can be easily demonstrated?
N.B. as it happens, I did get a call back for a second interview, although I declined in favour of another offer from a different software company.