Ask a Recruiter is an ongoing series that covers topics both large and small facing students who are looking for their first job or internship. This article will focus on imposter syndrome, a major obstacle for job/intern candidates.

This series is written by Rachel Graham, a University and Diversity Recruiter at Lenovo who specializes in North America opportunities.

Have a question for Rachel about starting your career, interviewing or finding an internship that’s right for you? Add your question in the comments section below!

What is imposter syndrome and why is it important to address during recruitment season?

Imposter syndrome can be defined as doubting your abilities, skills, background, etc. by comparing yourself to others. Many students I speak to surround themselves with successful people, which is great! But can also make them doubt themselves by thinking they're not as great as those around them.

This comes into play during recruitment season, because students and job seekers sometimes decide against applying for a role because they believe there's no way they will get it. Ultimately making it so there is no way they can get it by not applying.

My advice to anyone who is looking for a new job is to APPLY! Put in your application and go for your dream job. Be your own biggest cheerleader and get your resume submitted for the role! You truly never know what can happen if you give yourself a chance.

About Rachel:

Rachel graduated from the University of North Carolina – Wilmington in May 2019 and began her career at Lenovo soon after. She is a Raleigh, North Carolina native who spends her free time fostering kittens, doing home DIYs and enjoying time with friends and family.

What questions do you have for recruiters or what do you wish you knew?

Leave your question in a comment below!

  • Yes, overcome imposter syndrome by ignoring it. It's all in your own head. If you're not good enough for the job you studied and trained for, you'll find out anyway

  • Might actually be more important to understand Dunning-Kruger Effect.

  • Good things to know/try.  Especially when you don't have friends or relatives in your field of work/

  • I definitely have experienced this at a new job. I found that being honest with my supervisor - basically saying I was feeling anxious to meet the expectations of the role - actually really helped me to overcome it. My boss was really nice and offered some words of encouragement, which, gave me steam and confidence. Within no time the feelings of being an 'imposter' went away and I was getting great feedback from all over the company about my performance. 

  • This information about imposter syndrome is very helpful. Thanks for sharing!