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  • Writer's pictureMC Mendez

Authenticity at the heart of your job interviews

Good news for all the people out there looking for a job:

- Having an interview isn't about "selling yourself", it's about having the courage and motivation to be yourself and shine.

- Having an interview does not mean being at the mercy of others, it means radiating awareness of who you are and your added value.

- Going for an interview isn't about pretending, it's about showing authenticity.

- Having an interview is not about being vulnerable, it’s about fully owning your strengths and weaknesses.

As part of my activity as coach and mentor, I help many people in their preparation for job interviews and I am amazed by the number of people who feel paralysed at the thought of ​​having to play a role, because they are convinced that to succeed in an interview it is essential to become someone else, to be someone they are not. However, the more I do this job, the more I am convinced that the opposite is true. With equal or similar skills for the same position, the more candidates are authentic and true to themselves, while drawing on the best of what they have to offer, the more comfortable and convinced they are, and the more likely they are to convince others.

I remember one person in particular who was very jovial and outgoing by nature, but as soon as she got into interview practice mode, she adopted a very unnatural robotic and closed attitude. Surprised, I asked her: “What happened? I don’t recognise you! » She then confided that the environment in which she had applied for was renowned for having very serious and closed-off people and that she had already had an interview in this environment and that everyone had behaved in that way.

I then asked her: “And how do you feel when you behave like they do?” ". To which she replied: “I feel horrible!! But I can’t start joking around in front of an interview panel.” Which I agreed with totally. The question then was: How could she stay true to herself and the context of a job interview without joking around in front of her interviewers? So, she worked on that important balance. We resumed the practice in a totally different dynamic where she radiated her personality and knowledge while controlling potential bouts of familiarity.

A few days later, after her interview, she contacted me and told me: "They all started with the expected long faces…", then she continued with pride: "… but I remained myself and I won them over one by one!!! At the end everyone was relaxed and happy!” She learnt soon after that that she had got the job.

It is impossible to know if she would have obtained the same result by adopting a much more conservative behaviour, removed from her true nature, but one thing is certain, the fact that she remained true to herself allowed her to shine effortlessly, and this influence had a positive impact on the interviewers and on the final decision and he was able to have fun through the process.

This example is one among many and I remain convinced that being yourself, aligned with your values, connected to your skills and attributes, while being proud of your accomplishments and taking ownership of our areas of vulnerability and improvement, allows us to approach interviews with much authenticity, power and even enthusiasm.

Nothing can guarantee success in job interview situation given that the decision-making power is out of our hands. However, we can ensure personal success when we take control of what belongs to us and what makes us unique and allow ourselves to shine especially in a moment as crucial as a job interview. It’s rather reassuring, isn’t it?

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