There is a quiet undercurrent in all of the job interview advice out there: become so well practiced, so well polished, and so well prepared for the interview that we almost lose who we are. We’re an interview actor, reading our well-rehearsed answers and moving from one interview act to the next with ease.
Then, as before the interview, we return to our real selves when our interview is completed and leave the actor behind.
There are two problems with this.
First, hiring managers want to hire the real you. Or, at least, the vast majority of who you are: the one who treats people well, has confidence in their work, and wants to perform well on the job.
And, second, you can’t really hide who you really are. With the amount of information on social media, friendship and acquaintance circles, and other business connections, who you are becomes known. For better or worse.
In other words, if you’re an asshole, people will find out. And karma’s a bitch.
If you think that’s not true, consider this real life example:
The line-up included Global HRD and author Peter Wright; Forward Partners’ Matt Buckland, who recently gained national fame after blogging about an abusive fellow tube passenger who later turned up for an interview at his organisation; and Intel’s Sageet Tidhar-Akerman.
Karma – the guy who pushed past me on the tube and then suggested I go F myself just arrived for his interview…with me…
— Matt Buckland (@ElSatanico) February 16, 2015
I’m sure the interview actor didn’t overcome that problem…