It’s Interview Time: Just Be Yourself!?


By Phil Gérard

The other day I read an interesting article on LinkedIn Pulse about interviewing. The message was that one should not be completely honest in interviews. This seems a bit unorthodox at first but what the article essentially wanted to express is that organizations do not want to hear certain things from candidates in an interview.

We are all human and we are not perfect. For example, you might have had a really bad experience with your previous manager or a co-worker. And it might have been entirely their fault, but should you be talking about it in an interview? No, you want to always keep things positive.

Having said that, I believe strongly that you should be yourself in an interview. Yes, it is a risk, they may not like the real you! But do you really want to work in an environment where you don’t fit in ?

In an interview you should get a good sense of what the team is like, if there is chemistry between you and the individuals who interview you.

Of course you don’t want to let your hair down completely in an interview; you want to adhere to certain guidelines:

  • Be concise and only answer questions you are being asked – and as directly as possible.
  • Present well: Look, speak and act professionally.
  • Don’t speak negatively about a previous employer or co-workers – ever!
  • Be positive and courteous.

Beyond that – be yourself. And after the interview evaluate how it went, how the experience felt to you. Ask yourself:

  • Is this the right environment for me?
  • Does not only the cause, the organization, the campaign excite me but will I thrive here?
  • Will I be able to work well with my supervisor?
  • Will I get along with my colleagues?
  • Will I want to come to work every day?

Of course, you will never know for sure from one or two meetings but you may get an initial sense or gut feeling. And we should listen to it.   Sure, sometimes you don’t have a good day and you may feel that you blew the interview. But believe me it’s not always you! Sometimes it may just be the team that interviewed you. Maybe this is just not the right fit, and that’s ok! You want to find the organization and the team that appreciates your skills and experience as well as your personality. You want to be in an environment that makes you thrive!

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