When you step into the interview room, the best advice you can give yourself is to just be you. This is not new advice, many of you have heard it before, and yet, many hesitate to do so.
The prevailing challenge that many candidates face is the fear of letting themselves be who they are. We now live in a world where the internet is the source of all information, including interview answers. This is made worse by how the internet is essentially one giant echo chamber. These generic answers provide candidates with the false confidence of having prepared for the interview by memorising a few of the top results from their Google search. But what is worse is that delivering these generic answers at an interview prevents the interviewer from knowing who you really are. Which is the entire point of the interview.
Without being able to build a connection with you, interviewers struggle to trust what you say, and will be prevented from being confident about providing you with a positive outcome.
At the interview stage, your CV has become much less important than you imagine. Your CV is about your past, but the interviewer is concerned about the future.
Achievements and past results got you through the door to the interview room, but for a stranger to take a leap of faith with you, it will take more than providing memorised lines that provided no insight into who you are. To take a leap of faith, there needs to be a degree of trust. And to establish trust, you need connection and rapport, that can only come from a candidate who is willing to allow his/her personality, behaviours and values be seen by someone else.
Weaving in your personality into your interview answers requires a great deal of self-reflection and self-awareness. Expressing passion and interest in what you wish to do requires you to know yourself. Delivering all this to a stranger requires practice. And not just any practice - you need the right type of practice and a certain duration of practice.
Entering the interview room and focusing on being you is not about taking on the interview in your most casual state and going impromptu. But being prepared is not about taking canned answers off the internet and memorising them. It is a sweet spot right in the middle. Let the interviewers see who you are, show them your personality, and build a connection. That is how you ace the interview.
"Your talent will open the door but only your character can keep you there" - Christine Cane
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Written by: Siew Ling Hwang, Founder and Principal Interview Coach, Discovering Potential
Ms Siew Ling Hwang has extensive experience providing interview skills training. She specialises in conducting 1-on-1 training for those seeking to improve their interview skills for school interviews as well as for job interviews. Siew Ling is also a workshop coach and has conducted numerous workshops especially for schools and tertiary insitutions. She is a Certified Practitioner of Neuro Linguistic Programming (NLP) and NLP Coaching, as well as a Certified Advanced Behavioural Analyst and Career Coach. Her unique skillset in combining real world practices, NLP Coaching techniques and personality and behavioural expertise provides clients with an effective session to achieve real improvements that carry them beyond the interview they are preparing for.
Connect with Siew Ling, via LinkedIn