Interviewing is an interesting part of the job search process. We are grateful to get the opportunity to present ourselves and make our case for a position in person and stressed out by the prospect of having to show our best selves in a finite part of the time. A skilled interviewer researches the position, the company, and tries to find out how to best showcase that they are matched for the role and the company. Making the case that you are a match for the job is important, but not at the expense of showcasing who you are. Being yourself is essential for interviewing and will save you from potential problems in the future.
Job interviews go both ways. When interviewing we often just think about proving our value to the employer, but it’s just as important for the employer to prove their worth to you. Interviews go both ways; you should be interviewing the employer and making sure it’s a good opportunity for you. Being yourself and answering questions authentically will help highlight areas of synergy and contrast with your potential employer. If the company has values that are the total opposite of your own, you may want to use this information when making your decision about moving forward with the position.
Prevent surprises. You interview with a company and tailor all of your responses to the needs of the company. You mold yourself into the perfect candidate. But what happens when you get hired and must maintain this persona? It’s hard to fake it day in and day out, so when the real you comes out, it can be a problem. You don’t want your employer to say “what happened to the person we interviewed?” Being honest will save you from this scenario, there will be fewer surprises about your personality, the way you conduct yourself in the office, your skills, and limitations. Being upfront and honest helps you prevent a potential mismatch that can cause professional problems for you.
Employers can usually tell. Some of us can be pretty good actors when necessary, but many of us become rather transparent when trying to put on a show during a job interview. And the longer the interview process, the hard it is to maintain a five-star performance. Usually, the interview team has some indication that something isn’t adding up when we aren’t ourselves. While inauthenticity alone may not be enough to disqualify you from the process, it can be a clue to other concerns, from the employers perspective. When employers sense inauthenticity, they may begin to worry about trustworthiness, honesty, and judgment.
It helps you be a better interviewee. Going through the interview process being yourself helps you reflect on in what ways you shine in the interview process and highlights areas that you need to improve. You’ll remember the moments that you felt unprepared, and when you felt like, you knocked it out of the park. Reflect on how you (the real you) performed on the interview will help you improve your skills for the next interview or your new position!