How To Be Your Best Self During A Job Interview

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Many job seekers share a common perception during a job interview — that they must please employers with their answers. However, this can cause you to come off as “fake” or lacking integrity during the interview.

When it comes to job interviews, employers actually want to learn why you’re the best fit for the position and how your personality, experience, and skills qualify you for the job. Employers want to learn the real you in order to gain a better understanding of how your character and behaviors fit the position and their culture.

As you prepare for your next job interview, here are some tips to help you be your very best self:

1. Showcase integrity.

One of the top qualities employers look for in candidates is integrity. Integrity is important in the workplace because it fosters trust and professionalism. If you can show integrity during the interview process, the employer will have a better idea of your values and level of honesty.

During the interview, tell stories that illustrate your integrity. Tell the employer about a time when you were trusted with a situation or had to make an ethical decision. This will allow you to reveal your character and give the employer a better idea of who you are.

2. Be honest about your experience and skills.

A mistake many job seekers make is they overcompensate for the skills and experience they lack. Although it’s tempting to say you’re experienced with a program you’ve only used once, this can be misleading to the employer when you actually get hired for the position.

During the interview, if the employer asks about a skill or experience you lack confidence in, express to the employer your desire to learn and develop those skills. Employers want you to be honest about your true capabilities in the workplace.

3. Express your passions and interests.

The entire job interview is your chance to show the employer who you are as a professional and an individual. Take it as an opportunity to weave some of your passions and interests into your answers to questions. This will allow more of your personality to shine through during the interview and give employers better insight on whether you’d be a good fit for their company.

This is also your chance to connect with the interviewer. If you’ve done research prior to the meeting about the interviewer, see if there are any ways you can relate to the individual. Whether it’s as simple as something about the town you’re working in or the college they graduated from, find a talking point where your interests will relate to the interview.

4. Be enthusiastic, but genuine.

Instead of focusing on how nervous you are for the job interview, focus on why you’re excited about the position. Hopefully, if this is an interview for a position you really want, you’ll be able to display your enthusiasm about what the position entails.

Showing enthusiasm doesn’t mean being over-excited during the interview. It simply means showing a genuine interest in the position. To show your enthusiasm, ask thoughtful questions pertaining to the position, and explain why you’re interested in the job. Remember to be friendly and upbeat during the interview, too.

5. Leave your poker face at home.

You don’t need to coax the interviewer into hiring you. Although you need to market your skills to the interviewer, you don’t want to come off as overbearing or manipulative. It’s also important to remember at this point, it’s about impressing the interviewer with what you have to offer, so save questions about salary and benefits until they come up later.

You are the only person who understands your character and work ethic best. As you prepare for interviews, make sure to share your best qualities and be genuine. By just being yourself you’ll show employers why you’re a good fit for their position and how you’ll be an asset to their company.

What other ways can job seekers be their best self during the job interview?

Image courtesy of bpsusf; Flickr

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Val Matta
Val Matta
Val Matta, Managing Director of CareerShift, co-founded the company in 2005 to help individuals bridge the gap between education and employment.  As a recognized expert in the field, Val is a frequent speaker on career management, networking, and job hunting strategies.  You can connect with her and the CareerShift team on FacebookLinkedIn, and Twitter.