Being Real in the Interview

This article, Real is the New Sexy, was written for personal relationships. It's easy to make a case for being yourself as an essential key to falling in love with the right person, attracting good friends, and feeling like you fit in the world!

But I know that this message holds truth for the working world as well. Let's take interviewing.

Do you fret over how to answer questions? Is your focus on "what do they want to hear" in response to questions like "What is your five year plan?" or "Have you ever failed at something and please explain?" and that gem "Tell us about one of your faults" and so on? Here's a thought that will free you from expressing yourself: tell the truth.

Of course! Why tell anything less? If they hire you and you said your fault is to be a nit-picking perfectionist, and then they see that you are not all about the details, you may find yourself either let go or passed over for special projects or promotions. After all, if you've lied about one thing, chances are your employer will assume that you've lied about other stuff!

The truth is always the best, and authenticity or being real, is very attractive even to the recruitment team. They, too, are human, and if the workplace is decently human, they are looking for other like-minded, totally human colleagues (and if the workplace is toxic and hateful of humans, best to avoid getting hired there!).

I have had clients who were forthright about their need for accommodation for a variety of issues, and still got the job offer. And one young feelow has been up front about a brain injury and what that means, and yes, he landed a job as well. And I've helped many with issues of termination, gaps in their employment history, and other situations that are experienced by many.

Now, having said that the truth is best, still it is good to be strategic in your responses. Sharing that you're a procrastinator who brings in projects late won't land you a job offer. Nor will telling them that you never plan beyond tomorrow and that you always follow on a whim! Common sense and strategy do play a role in strong interviewing.

If you've interviewed two or three times and are not landing any job offers, chances are your strategy is off or non-existent. New Leaf offers a one hour interview strategy coaching that arms you for all future interviews with how to reply well to any interview question. Yes, any interview question!