As a job candidate, it’s natural to want to put your best foot forward and present the best “version” of yourself in the interview.

But be careful not to take things too far.

You want a job that suits you – one that matches your abilities, complements your natural work style and provides an appropriate level of challenge. But if you’re not true to yourself in the interview, that may not happen! Instead of impressing your interviewer:

  • You’ll come off sounding like a robot. Focus too much on saying the “right” things (as opposed to the true things), and you’ll wind up sounding over-rehearsed and mechanical.
  • The interviewer will likely see through your façade. HR professionals and hiring managers are experts at revealing the true you – it’s their job! They use specially designed interview questions and probing techniques to uncover what you’re really like. So, it’s in your best interest not to try and “beat the system.”
  • Your plan may ultimately backfire. For a short time, you may be able to live up to the inauthentic version of yourself you’ve presented. But it will be exhausting – and nearly impossible – to fake it in the long run. At the end of the day, it’s better to be passed over for a job that doesn’t suit your authentic personality, abilities and work style than to be hired for a position that’s not a good fit.

The moral of today’s post? Be yourself!

Use these quick tips to be more authentic in your next job interview – and get a job that’s right for you:

  • Never exaggerate or embellish your skills, experience or abilities. You’ll only create unrealistic expectations and set yourself up for failure.
  • Prepare answers, but don’t memorize scripts. Certainly, you should plan your talking points for answers to common interview questions. But don’t memorize responses word for word.
  • Take the pressure off. If you’re worried about blanking out when asked a tough question, remember that you can always: pause for a moment to collect your thoughts before answering; ask for clarification; or honestly admit that you’re not sure how to answer. Any of these options is vastly preferable to a tidal wave of words that don’t make much sense.
  • Be honest about your wants and needs. “Fit” isn’t just about skills and experience; it extends to every aspect of who you are. Be true to yourself by sharing what you’re really looking for, so both you and your interviewer can ascertain whether you’ll be a good match.

Looking for a job that’s a great fit?

PrideStaff‘s team of employment experts can match you with an opportunity that suits your natural personality and work style. Contact the PrideStaff office in your area to find great jobs where you can really be yourself.