As HR & Recruitment professionals we are often asked by candidates how to phrase an awkward piece of information, how to put their best foot forward. Is it better to simply omit certain details such as how much you really loathed your last job and instead of pulling your hair out you simply resigned for a happier life? Or is it better to come clean and be human and transparent?
The truth is interviews are a delicate juggle of integrity, self-branding and PR. Insincerity and desperation can be spotted a mile away. Since the majority of our communication is non-verbal, when we lie or are uncomfortable with something we are saying we have tell-tale signs and the whiff we give off is of someone not quite all that they seem.
For interviewers the process is a lot about trust. Feeling as though the person you are interviewing is as they appear and will therefore be someone who can be an asset to the company is a key component in the ultimate decision.
Candidates must find the balance between honestly portraying their capabilities and style but learning how to PR themselves and ensuring the Interviewer has got the full picture of all their skills. If you believe yourself to be a consummate professional do not shy away from emphasizing and drawing attention to your achievements
One of the best methods of maintaining authenticity is Evidence based replies. When asked questions in the interview, answer using examples to fully illustrate your expertise. When we talk of things we have lived through there is an unmistakable note of authenticity. Our demeanor and language is such that the listener feels assured that we know exactly what we are talking about.
Phrasing and language and knowing how to communicate information in a manner and content that fits your audience is another talent and crucial factor to maintaining sincerity. Many interviewers also recruit in their own image which is a narcissistic element to the dynamic, being able to mirror and empathize with the interviewer will go a long way.
If for example Stage one of an interview process for an IT Role is with an HR Officer and not the IT Dept. Manager learn to ‘translate IT-speak’ into layman’s terms. Do not be tempted to blind them with science, this is off putting and the rhythm and pace of the interview will be stilted.
Interviews are a dynamic process, listening skills are paramount as is the ability to read cues from the person you are conversing with. Being prepared for interview helps keep the dynamic buoyant. Have Questions ready so you can convey your interest and enthusiasm. Being genuine and up front without focusing on negatives can seem like a tall order but will ultimately pay off.
In short: Be Yourself, but your Best self. Your professional self where you can project your skills and experience, maintain your personality that makes you unique and focus on positives and moving forward. If you feel you are being honest you will feel comfortable and knowledgeable about the discussion during interview and this will help relax you and give you the air of transparency and integrity that decision makers are looking for.