Top career experts will always advise you to tailor and amend your CV or resume to fit with each job you are applying for. We understand why doing this can be a very effective way to get through to the interview stage, but when it comes to how you behave in your interview, can you afford to drop your guard and simply be yourself?
If you have followed the experts advice to mirror the company you want to work for by using their ‘company-speak’ and company language in your resume and cover letter, mostly to make you look like you would seamlessly fit in with their team, you may want to keep using the same tactics during your interview.
Putting on an act in your interview
However, should you try to put on an act during your interview, then your interviewer may suspect that you are being disingenuous. It can make things awkward for you and ruin the atmosphere in the room. This could lead to being asked some negative and probing questions where the interviewer will try to trip you up.
By this point it is pretty much guaranteed that you won’t get the job anyway, so you would simply be going through the motions of sitting through the rest of an uncomfortable interview knowing it will be completely fruitless.
This is why you should try to be yourself during your interview so that the interviewer gets to see the real you and can get a good understanding of your true drive and motivation. When you think about it, what is the worst that could happen? Well, apart from landing a job that you don’t enjoy, or end up working for a company that you don’t like.
Always remember that interviewers are professionals – they can see through people. It’s their job! This is why it is best to be as authentic as you can during your interview. Interviewers like to see honesty in their candidates, so you should be honest.
How to be yourself AND be an ideal candidate
Putting on your smart ‘only-for-interviews’ suit and a bright smile may feel like you are preparing yourself for an acting audition. You may be very tempted to think that you should put on a performance and deliver exactly what the interviewer wants to see. But just like an actor, you may be auditioning for a job that isn’t you in real life.
Of course, you want to land yourself a job, and there is absolutely nothing wrong with adding a little shine to your image and delivery to make yourself stand out from every other candidate. However, there is a big difference between showcasing your skills and talents and pretending to be someone that you are not.
Be yourself, but be mindful
Being yourself in your interview doesn’t mean that you turn up late wearing crumpled clothes. There is a big difference between being yourself and being unprofessional. You need to show that you are keen and willing to get the job – anything less will put the interviewer off you completely. First impressions do count!
In all honesty, there is one important thing that an interviewer is looking for in a job candidate – and this one thing should be important for you too – a good fit for the job. The interviewer wants to choose someone that will perfectly fit the requirements needed for the role on offer, and you should be looking for a job that you are a perfect fit for. You could end up in a job that you are not satisfied with, and the company will be losing out too.
You can give your interviewer the answers to their questions that they are looking for, but also embellish your answers with little touches of your own personality and personal experiences so that they can see your true personality.
Turn interview questions to your advantage
Take the opportunity to use the usual ‘what are your strengths and weaknesses‘ question to your best advantage. Give them a genuine assessment of your strengths and skills and how they can help you succeed in the role and benefit the company. But also, be honest about your weaknesses and state that you want to improve your skills and knowledge in those areas. Explain what you are doing to gain more knowledge or skills by mentioning any training or courses you are taking or plan to undertake in the future.
By being honest and being yourself, the interviewer can properly assess whether or not you are a good fit for the role, but also that the job on offer will give you enough satisfaction and incentive to stick with the company and grow with the position.