Your personality in your job search - job interview

Many people who feel oppressed by the interview environment may be surprised that your personality, of all things, is even vaguely relevant to an interview.

Actually, it's critical.

The Oppressed Interviewee is a pretty normal person.

Arguably, too normal. They don't shine in interviews because they're worried, over-tense, and trying to concentrate. All of which tends to suffocate the personality, and none of which achieves a thing in terms of the interview.

It doesn't help thinking much, either.

If you're doing an interview for a job you really want, and you're so hyped up about it you can't even be yourself, what's the likely result?

A mess.

The fact is people able to act normally and be themselves are much better interviewees. The alternative is a neurotic approach to the interview.

Being nervous is fine.

Being paranoid and defensive isn't.

The interviewers meet a person you might not even recognize, claiming to be you, and trying to get a job.

They may or may not meet a competent person, but they're not even talking to the real you.

That doesn't help, at all.

Workplaces are full of people, and those people have to fit together somehow. You also have to be able to work with them.

How often have you done an interview where you've got such a negative impression of the people that any enthusiasm for the job is gone by the time you've answered a couple of questions?

The Fit element in all interviews is there for a reason, and you need to take advantage of it. It's not in your interest to get a job where you can't fit in. The sheer misery of jobs where people just do not have a hope of fitting into a workplace culture is well worth avoiding.

So being yourself has two definite advantages.

You can function normally at the interview, and you're also sizing up your ability to work in the place.

The interviewers won't mind, either way. For all the talk about Great Attitudes, Can Do Approaches, and the rest of the mythology, they care who they're hiring. A Great Attitude is utterly useless in terms of doing a decent job. They need to see a person, not a robot.

It is equally possible that you may find a good, receptive panel, or the opposite, but that's really your set of questions for them, and they're the ones you really need answered:

  • Will I get on with these people?
  • Will I like working here?

Bring your personality to an interview.

Be yourself, and you'll definitely find out what you need to know.

Turn up to the interview as someone else, with or without a Great Attitude, and you'll find out the hard way, if you and the job don't mix.

In far more cases than seems to be realized, getting a job is purely a matter of preference for one candidate. No professional ever overlooks skills or any other relevant information, but the interviewer knows who they want, because of a good fit in personalities.

In professional interviews, where experienced interviewers and interviewees meet, there's no doubt at the end of the interview. Interviewees may actually decline jobs because they know they won't be able to fit in.

Try the marketing approach, and you'll find that you'll be a lot less tense, and a lot more informative, in your next interview.