How to be authentic in an Interview

How to be authentic in an Interview

We sometimes have feedback from clients saying they didn’t think they got to see the ‘real person’ behind the CV, and the candidate was a bit ‘guarded’.


Job interviews can make you feel nervous, and some people put on a façade in an attempt to impress their potential employers. However, the key to a successful interview is not just about showcasing your skills and qualifications but also about being a genuine and decent human being, and showing someone your personality.


Here is some info about the importance of being authentic during interviews and provide tips on how to let your guard down while still maintaining professionalism.


1. Be Yourself:


One of the most significant challenges individuals face during interviews is the pressure to conform to perceived expectations. While it's essential to present yourself professionally, it's equally crucial to be genuine. Embrace your unique qualities and don't be afraid to let your personality shine through.  Our clients do not want to see well-rehearsed robotic answers. Remember, employers are seeking someone who will fit into the company culture – someone they will feel comfortable sitting next to all day in the office.


2. Research the Company Culture:


Before your interview, take the time to research the company culture. Understanding the values and environment of the organisation will give you insights into the type of personalities that thrive there. This knowledge will help you tailor your responses to align with the company's ethos while still remaining true to yourself.  Chances are that if you think the people inthe company are too ‘different’, you might not fit in.  Try not to come across as someone you are not– just be yourself.  You will not be a match for every company.


3. Establish a Connection:


Building a connection with your interviewer can set a positive tone for the conversation. Begin by greeting them with a warm and genuine smile. People want to work with friendly colleagues after all. Establish eye contact and engage in small talk to ease into the interview. Finding common ground or shared interests can create a more relaxed atmosphere and help you come across as approachable.


4. Share Personal Stories:


When appropriate, try and incorporate personal anecdotes or experiences that highlight your skills and qualities. This can provide a more authentic and memorable impression than reciting a list of achievements. Share challenges you've overcome and the lessons you've learned. Remember, vulnerability can be a strength when shared in a thoughtful and relevant manner – it shows your human side.


5. Actively Listen:


Demonstrate your interpersonal skills by actively listening to the interviewer. Respond thoughtfully to their questions and ask follow-up questions to show your interest in the company and the role. This not only helps you understand the company better but also conveys your genuine curiosity and engagement.


6. Embrace Imperfections:


Nobody is perfect, and interviewers are well aware of this fact. Don't be afraid to acknowledge your weaknesses or areas for improvement. Discussing your willingness to learn and grow can demonstrate humility and self-awareness, traits that are highly valued in a professional setting.


7. Maintain Professionalism:


While authenticity is key, you need to be able to strike a balance with professionalism. Avoid oversharing personal information that is unrelated to the job. Maintain a positive and respectful attitude throughout the interview, and be mindful of your body language and tone of voice.


To conclude, you sometimes have only 30-45minutes to show someone your personality.  Authenticity in interviews is a powerful tool that can set you apart from other candidates. By being yourself, establishing connections, and sharing genuine stories, you not only showcase your qualifications but also present yourself as a decent human being. Remember, letting your guard down doesn't mean abandoning professionalism – it's about finding a balance that reflects your true self while meeting the expectations of the professional environment.


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