5 WAYS TO BE AUTHENTIC AT INTERVIEWS
Just like relevance which is the hallmark of a job applicant’s CV, so also; authenticity should be the sure language of success of that applicant during an interview.
Authenticity which connotes originality; being yourself, should be the watchword of the candidates undergoing an interview, and that when putting his best foot forward; he must be original.
As much as the interviewers or recruiters are concerned, they are interested in three core aspects the job seeker; which are: does he/she have the needed capabilities to do the job, will the organization enjoy working with him/her, and how genuinely excited is he/she about the opportunity to work with them.
As a way of clarity, I’ll outline five (5) ways an applicant can show authenticity during an interview while answering the above three (3) questions.
1. Candidates must be specific about their interest in the company and role. That is, when an applicant is made to answer the “why are you interested in this opportunity” kind of question, he/she should give reasons on specific aspects like the uniqueness of the organization’s culture or its impact on lives, and not just any vague reply for instance; “I think your organization is doing great in this field”. Also, interview questions like “tell me about yourself”, is expected of a candidate being authentic to answer this proactively even before being asked, as opposed to many passive job seekers.
- Candidates should not in any way be all self depreciating in pursuance of humility. There are more tendencies for candidates to discount responsibilities and qualities put down in their CV, probably in order not to look too mouthy or get “grilled” during the process.
This most times results in a disconnect between the evidence being shared in support of the candidacy and the pitch the candidate is making to get the job. So in essence, such candidate should use a lot of rehearsals before coming for the interview; so he/she can marry the above two sides.
- Clearly state the aspects of the job that you enjoy most. For instance, a candidate for the position of a marketer would state if he is to be authentic; that he enjoys engaging customers while mapping out better marketing campaign strategies, than just stating he has been involved in 8 marketing campaigns.
Instead of the candidate listing out his/her prior responsibilities like a business transaction, he/she should bring to the fore those particular aspects he/she enjoys doing; and this will ultimately makes the candidate more relaxed, full of smiles and creates a more humanizing conversational atmosphere.
- Present yourself as three-dimensional as opposed to one-dimensional. An interviewer or a recruiter will more often than not prefer job seekers with well rounded lives and can share a bit about it during interviews than those who are only concerned about acing their jobs.
The reason behind this is that, it is believed that the more diverse/dynamic they are, the more they could be more resourceful to the organization as an employee.
- Authentic candidates need to acknowledge development areas. From “frequently asked interview questions” like tell us about your weakness, candidates; when asked tend to give trivial answers like “I can’t do without some cups of coffee before getting started in the morning’ or even saying what is meant to be a strength, framed as a weakness. Employers expect candidates to have weaknesses, and sharing them candidly show that the job seeker is willing to learn and improve.
Virtue Edoziem is a Content Creator, Research Assistant and Social Media Associate at Talents and Skills Africa Consulting.