I recently heard a colleague tell a candidate during Interview Preparation to be her “authentic self during an interview.” This led me to muse, is there an authentic interview self? Or is the interview a performance where you need to play a prescribed role?
How do you convince someone hiring for an important project to “choose you” for this perfect of all roles? How do you appear confident and competent but a good listener and note-taker? This interview approach, while not precisely straightforward, is entirely doable. First, be your authentic self. In short, “Just do you.” This tactic may evidence some of your quirkiness, but on the plus side, there will be no surprises once you start the job.
Listen carefully to the questions asked, then pitch your responses straight down the middle. If more info is needed, the manager will ask a further question. Speak in clear sentences, which allows the interviewer to take good notes, which they will need when discussing your candidacy with others, so your responses to questions should be clear and concise.
1) Do not embellish your competencies because you want the position or believe that the role is the next logical step in the plans for your career. This overreach approach will not entice someone to tie their career future to yours.
2) Be honest when detailing your capabilities. The role described in the interview process does not always match the job description, so we need to listen and adjust our presentation. Do you have a record of measurable success? Show your expertise using numbers and timeframes to validate your facts. Does their response to your answer mirror or validate the info in the job description?
3) Among the needed skills, products, or processes the interviewer mentions, are there any with which you are unfamiliar? Are you the fast learner everyone says they are when they interview? Or are you the courageous interviewee who asks if someone at the firm is already an expert you can tap into if you have a question?
5) When stumped for something to ask the interviewer, try utilizing my favorite “back-on-the-good-foot questions,” “Can you tell me more about XXX?” or “How are you using XXX” or “What has been your experience with XXX product? But be mindful not to deviate from being your authentic, knowledgeable, competent self.
The secret to any successful job interview is to be yourself, to “Just do you!” But in addition, you also need to convince the manager that you are a qualified fit for the role. This is the indescribable karma that needs to be fostered between you and the hiring manager. It is the middle ground and the elusive goal you seek, which can simply be called “Interview Success.”
The secret to any successful job interview is to be yourself, to “Just do you!”Tweet
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