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How to ‘Be Yourself’ During the Job Interview

“Stay calm and just be yourself!” You’ve probably heard this advice before, but how can you ensure that you’re genuinely yourself during an interview?

Let’s be honest – interviews can be stressful, especially when you really want the job. You might feel pressured to appear extremely knowledgeable and like you have to show your absolute best side, even if it’s not your true self.

But here’s the thing: it’s okay to relax! Right now, the idea is to encourage you to take it easy and not pretend to be someone you’re not just because you think that’s what the HR manager wants.

5 Tips to help you calm your nerves and be your authentic self.

Stop pretending

First things first; pretending to be someone else in an interview is bound to backfire. Please just stop and use the opportunity to be upfront about your quirks and true self.

Let the interviewer know your attitude towards work, life and other commitments. Just listing your qualities can feel superficial. Backing them up with anecdotal evidence provides real insight into who you are and is far more effective at communicating what you’re good at.

Mind that body language

Remember your body language speaks just as much as your answers to the questions. Relax! It’s just another human you’re meeting.

Be comfortable as you are and take a moment to regroup. After all, preparation is key and will allow you to exude all the confidence! Maintain eye contact at all times and be an active listener – you will be embarrassed if you forget the question!

And when they ask ‘Tell me about yourself’?

Yes, we hear this all the time! Always be prepared for this question with a short and intelligent answer. You must feel free to get clarification from the interviewer: Any area you’d prefer to hear about? My education? Experience?

You should also tie your answers into a professional attribute or two. For example: “I work well with others,” or, “My strong organisational skills has resulted in me leading most projects I’m on,” or, “I approach anything I do with gusto and put in 150 percent”.

Don’t shy away from your weaknesses

No one is a perfectionist, so the key here is to frankly discuss what you learned from a situation that went awry. The interviewer also may want to hear how you handled any resulting fallout.

Tell a story that isn’t a career killer but shows you learned something fundamental. Talk about the lesson you learned from the mistake.

Stay Positive

Take a moment and think what your low confidence triggers are when interviewing? Shaking hands, eye contact, etc. Make a quick note and cross out any negative “self-talk” and re-write the statements in an assertive manner – a way that makes you feel confident and good about yourself when you read and say them.

Turn, “I will never get this job” into “I am the best person for this job!”

At the end of it, it’s all about being comfortable in your own skin.

FAQ on How to ‘Be Yourself’ in an interview

Q:1 Why is it important to be yourself during an interview?

Answer: Being yourself helps create a genuine connection with the interviewer and showcases your true personality, which can make you a more appealing candidate.

Q:2 How can I overcome nervousness and be authentic in interviews?

Answer: Practice interview questions, take deep breaths, and remind yourself that it’s okay to be nervous. Focus on sharing your skills and experiences sincerely.

Q:3 Should I hide my weaknesses to be myself in an interview?

Answer: It’s not about hiding weaknesses but framing them positively. Acknowledge areas for improvement and discuss how you’re working on them.

Q:4 Can I be myself if I’m shy or introverted in interviews?

Answer: Absolutely! Introverts can excel in interviews by emphasizing their listening skills, thoughtfulness, and ability to work independently.

Q:5 How do I strike a balance between being myself and being professional?

Answer: You can be authentic while maintaining professionalism. Dress appropriately, prepare well, and ensure your behavior aligns with the company culture.

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