Congratulations! You have landed an interview for your ‘dream job’ and you’ve prepared yourself for your big ‘date’.
On the day, you show your motivation for the job, how much research you’ve done about the company, recite all the examples you prepared about dealing with challenging stakeholders, when you worked in a team to achieve an important outcome, and so on… Everything is going well until the moment hiring manager asks you THE question: ‘How did/would you feel about this?’
At this point, you realise what is happening, the interviewer is trying to find out about the real you! They want to know how what kind of employee you are, understand your ‘work personality’, how you will fit with the rest of the team, the company… Assuming you have all the skills for the job, this is when the real interview starts.
We all have personality traits and ways to think, behave and feel about things, it’s the same at work and we often have ways of working that reflect who we are as a person in real life.
So, should you be you?
Let’s give the example of a recruiter job for an agency. The role involves going to networking and industry events to find clients to work with, selling your services and negotiating rates, headhunting and finding candidates, and so on… You’re pretty good a dealing with the candidates, but haven’t dealt with clients before, this scares you a bit and you don’t really like approaching people.
Step away from the interview for a second. Remember this time, you arrived at a party with lots of people you didn’t know and your friend was late by 30 minutes. You ended up pretending to take a phone call outside.
You’re probably an introvert.
Being prepared for the interview also means knowing yourself and your ‘work personality’, there are plenty of tests on the internet for you to look at.
So, how would you feel about attending networking events to find clients? No so good.
Should I tell the truth or the right answer?
This is where it can all go wrong.
You can tell the truth about being a bit shy and say that you’ll need support with developing this skill, but you might not get the job.
Or you can tell the right answer: ‘I can’t wait to meet new people and use my great communication and networking skills to find you new clients and make lots of money.’
Do you want to change?
Like in love, work goes two ways. If something doesn’t make you comfortable, it might not be worth it.
In any job, you need to enjoy what you do and if networking isn’t your thing (and it’s not going to change), maybe it’s not the right job for you. You won’t pretend forever that you love those clients’ dinners every couple of days.
If you want to change, tell the truth, at least the manager will know and will see your potential. And if they’re not ready to develop you, then, they’re not right for you.
Being honest will trigger the interviewer to be honest with you. Ask questions, real questions about the job, style of management, development, anything that is important to you.
They want to find out if you’re right for them and you need to find out if they’re right for you. This way you’ll find a job you love.