We all want to put our best foot forward when it comes to interviews but should we be ourself or cater ourselves to what we think the company wants. #AskRose this week talks about being yourself and making sure there is a personality fit for you as well as the company.

Should you be yourself in interviews?

I joined a new online community recently centred around InfoSec and Social Engineering. Social Engineering, if you’re not familiar with it is the science of “hacking people”. It’s using techniques to make a conversation go the way you want it to. This is obviously something that might come in handy in an interview situation. I was asked if I had any tips for using social engineering to tilt an interview in the candidate’s favour or if you should just be yourself?

My feeling is that you should definitely try to be yourself. There are a few reasons for this.

Culture fit is essential

Basically, being able to fit into the culture of the company is important. If your values don’t match with the company, you might not be happy working there anyway.

A company might be very high-achieving, type-A personalities, everyone giving it 110% all the time – You might just prefer to leave the office behind at 5:30 pm and go home. That’s not a good match. You’ll be stressed out all the time, your co-workers might think you lack drive. (even though you don’t)

However, there are lots of companies that have a culture of “Work hard and get out”. They don’t want their people staying late. For the high-achiever who wants to work, work, work – that’s not a match.

An interview is a two-way process. You have to be as happy to work there as they are to have you.

If in an interview, you pretend to be the type of person you think the company wants to see, you might end up in a job you don’t like, and you won’t stay in this position.

Basically, they’re going to find out who you are eventually.

It’s impossible to keep up a fake persona forever. You spend around 40 hours per week in work. For many of us, it’s many more. The mask will slip and they’ll find out that you are (in my case) a sarcastic nerd and a bit quiet.

Everyone has a “work-me” and a “home-me”. However, being a completely different person in the office is going to take a toll eventually. I’m not saying that you should let it all loose in the interview but be your “work-self”.

If you’re a naturally funny person, show it. If you’re highly detail oriented, show that. Go with your own personality.

However, there are disclaimers

Remember what I said about “work-self” and “home-self”? Don’t let it all hang out. You still have to be work appropriate. You can’t start telling the hilarious but rude jokes that work well in the pub. You can’t start an argument about Angular VS React because that’s what you do online.

What I mean by “be yourself” is “don’t try to second guess who the interviewer wants you to be”. It’s impossible to guess anyway and the ideal person to be is you!

I experienced that interviewing for Verify. We had a chat about Battlestar Galactica and then talked about the things I am passionate about in recruitment – candidate experience being the top of my list in terms of importance. I let my natural enthusiasm for what I feel are the important values in recruitment show and they turned out to mesh well with Verify values. And here I am, one year later!

It might have gone all wrong, my values may not have matched but then the job wouldn’t have been right for me.

Rose Farrell is a recruitment consultant working to improve the candidate experience and find candidates roles that fit their personality as well as their skills.  

For Dublin tech jobs contact [email protected] or #AskRose

She will be answering questions weekly, so if you have any career or recruitment questions for Rose to answer next week, comment on our page on LinkedIn, tweet @VerifyCommunity with #AskRose or send them over to [email protected]

Read her other articles giving insight into the recruitment process at http://www.verifyrecruitment.com/blog/