Clammy hands. Wobbly knees. Shaking voice. Churning stomach.
Do you experience any of these just before an interview? If so, you’re not alone!
There’s no doubt that nerves or simply lack of confidence can cause you to behave out of character. It’s incredibly common to make silly statements and even tell white lies, saying things that you’ll undoubtedly regret the moment you walk out of the interview.
The idea of presenting yourself just as you are to a prospective employer may raise some eyebrows. Surely you’d be better off showing them what they want to see? While there’s a fine line to tread between the two, it should be obvious that ‘being yourself’ means being you on your best behaviour. Be polite and attentive to the interviewer while simultaneously expressing some of your better personality traits.
These are some of the reasons being yourself is so important:
1. Your interviewers will like you more
Skills and experience are important, but having your interviewer warm to you is also key to securing the job. Greeting your interviewer(s) with a big smile and open body language will give a strong first impression that will last. Statistics state that in the first 30 seconds someone will form an opinion of you. If it’s negative, it will be almost impossible to shake.
2. You’ll avoid looking over-prepared
Don’t get us wrong, we’ll always argue that preparation is key. Prepare, practice and rehearse is our motto. But once you have your answers perfected to a fine art and can confidently talk through your best professional experiences, stop your preparation there. In an interview where you’re letting your personality shine through and you’re prepared, you’ll find yourself in that sweet spot of being able to speak confidently and naturally.
3. You’ll give a better interview
If you’re able to shake off those nerves, you’re more likely to be a better listener, respond in a more engaged way, give stronger responses to unexpected questions and be less likely to find yourself tongue-tied. Additionally, that all-important body language will be more open and inviting.
4. A better cultural fit
Your interviewer knows which personality types will work best within the existing team. It could be that a bubbly personality will boost team morale, or a more passive personality will work better. If you paint a false picture of yourself at interview you’ll be faced with the choice of continuing the façade or suddenly seeming like a different person to your new manager– not a good way to start a job! And, honestly, would you really want to work for a company who didn’t take you as you are?
5. You’ll rise up the ladder
Ultimately, entering into a company where the managers like you and the cultural fit is better will mean you’re more likely to be working there for a longer period of time as well as experience accelerated career progression.