There has been a lot written and said about how to answer likely questions in a job interview, including here in this column as we discussed the Dirty Dozen questions.
Another important consideration, however, is to ensure you are yourself in that interview.
I have been asked many times how to act in a job interview. My answer typically includes something to the effect of acting the way you would once you get the job. It is you they are making a hiring decision about, and that decision is not based solely on how you answer all their questions. It is, in great measure, based on their perception of your personality.
So show them your personality. The fact is, we spend more awake time with our co-workers, bosses and subordinates at work than we do with our own family members, so our personality plays an important role in hiring decisions.
If you have lost a lot of jobs recently, you may want to ask yourself why, and consider that your personality is one possibility. There may be cases where your personality is too strong for a particular employer. For example, you may have a quick wit and say some crazy things from time to time that some find obnoxious. If you do not show that side of your personality in the interview, and then it shows up on the job, you may have set yourself up to fail.
If your personality is too strong for the employer and you do show it in the interview, you may not get the job to begin with, but which outcome is truly worse?
Be yourself in the interview. You're better off to go in as you really are because otherwise you may set yourself up to fail. If you don't get that job, keep interviewing until you find an employer who likes your personality.
Keep in mind we are talking about personality traits, not poor work performance and behavior. Being on time, being dependable, working hard, getting along with others and a host of other performance issues do need your very best effort.
There may be times when you have personality traits that do not fit so many employers that you will have to consider other options, such as starting your own business. If you think it's possible, you may try to alter those personality traits in the workplace to fit more of what the business world would accept. In some cases, such changes may require professional help.
The economy, especially here in Utah, is getting better, so you should be finding more opportunities to interview. As you do, go into that interview well prepared. Know the answers to likely questions and, having researched the company, be prepared with your own questions to ask the employer.
Just as important, though, is being yourself.
Ron Campbell has worked extensively in the job preparation and job search industry. He can be reached at 801-386-1111 or email@example.com.