What does your perfect interview look like? That’s right YOUR perfect interview. All of us bring unique talents and perspectives to a company and a big part of acing your interview is showing your authentic self in the best possible light. Being someone else in an interview will not serve you or your future employer. If your alter ego gets the job, you will have to maintain that persona, or worse, if you don’t get the job, you’ll wonder if you should have been more genuine. Use theses six tactics to remain confident and true to yourself during the interview process.
They are on your side! A job is open and you might be the one to fill it. If they weren’t interested, you wouldn’t have been invited to interview. The company has a problem to solve and you might be the one to do it. Assume those interviewing you are rooting for you. Everyone wins if you are the best fit for this role. Show up strong and confident that you’ve earned the interview.
Remain present It’s okay to pause and gather your thoughts before answering a question. While three seconds may feel like an eternity during a job interview, it’s still only three seconds. Use that moment to take a breath and gather your thoughts. Were you too nervous to hear a question? It’s okay to ask the interviewer to repeat it. Leave your worries outside and be the best version of yourself.
Own weaknesses Everyone dreads being asked about weaknesses or areas for improvement. When preparing for this question, instead of asking yourself what the interviewer may want to hear, think about a lesson you have learned in your career and how you’ve improved as a result. Your weakness should be something you are already actively working on and seeing results that show your progress. An authentic interview does not include saying you have no weaknesses or that your weakness is perfectionism.
Take control Sure, we all have circumstances that brought us here. There might have been a move, divorce, layoff, or rotten boss, but there is no room for circumstance or negativity in your interview. Focus on what you did rather than what happened to you and be sure to remain positive.
Observe the culture You’re the one being interviewed, but you should also be paying close attention to whether or not the company is the right fit for you. A job search can be tough, but if you’re not checking for the right fit, you may have to do it again sooner than later. Pay attention to the office environment as you walk to your meeting. Is the setting quiet, jovial, bustling? Could you see yourself working there?
Ask questions Asking questions about your role and the company at the end of an interview shows the interviewer that you are making a thoughtful decision and you are actively engaged. It is also an opportunity to further gauge fit! Learn more about the company culture, team and your role beyond what can be found on the company website. This is not the moment to ask about benefits and salary. That comes during the offer stage, so ask questions to determine whether the job is right for you.
A job interview is like the beginning of a new relationship. You want to show your best self and find out whether both of you want to invest more time and effort into fostering a long-term commitment. If you’re not the right fit, that’s okay. You’ll be glad you held out for ‘the one.’ The right job for you is out there and it’s much easier to find if you are yourself throughout the process. Use these tips to ensure you leave the interview knowing that you showed the best version of yourself to a potential employer.