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. This week we talk about being yourself and making sure there is a personality fit for you as well as the company.
Should you be yourself in interviews?
One of our consultants 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. Our consultant was asked if they had any tips for using social engineering to tilt an interview in the candidate’s favour or if you should just be yourself?
Our 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. We’re 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 we 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 we 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!
We focus on that when interviewing for Verify. We have chats about Battlestar Galactica and then talk about the things that cause us to passionate about in recruitment – candidate experience being the top of our list in terms of importance.