The number one issue I see in candidates during an interview is their need to be politically correct. I don’t mean real politics, but their own internal head politics about needing to sound proper. The problem, is when a person focuses on being proper, they lose what makes them real.
I don’t hire people based on their ability to say the right thing at the right time. I hire people because they prove they can get the job done, and that makes me want to work with them.
Case in point. I recently had a conversation with another senior member of the management team at foodguys. We shared frustration that people focus too hard on being what they think we want them to be, and lose their authenticity in the process. Not 20 minutes later, we were in an interview in which we asked a person “Why do you want to work for foodguys?” He gave us a very safe answer about his ability to grow with the company. While that may be a factor for some people, I could tell by his body language, lack of eye contact, and how hard he was thinking that he didn’t feel what he said. He lost sight of his goals and himself in order to look good in the interview, and it backfired.
On the heels of that interview, we had the next person come in. We asked the same question, but the result was a very heartfelt answer about missing his family for six-months due to work. He didn’t want to let that happen again. His body language, his eye contact, and the definite passion in his response convinced us he was true to his purpose. His responses weren’t perfect, they weren’t all well thought out, but they were genuine.
Yep, we offered a job to the latter candidate.
So, what can you do to make sure you are going into an interview being a real person? Sometimes a person needs a little reminder who they are. You can take a personality test, there are several to choose from: Meyer’s Brigg’s, CVI, DiSC, P3, Personalysis… the list goes on and on. Let the test remind you who you are. Do you spend time trying to be an Introvert when you are really an Extrovert? Do you play the “I am just here to get along” when you really are happier “leading the charge?” Let your colors fly in an interview. The employer will ultimately be better-off knowing you and your unique talents
You’ll be more likely to get the job that is right for you, not your perfect interview alter-ego. And you’ll be happier.
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