‘Interviewing is like dating’ they always say. To a point, that’s true. Everyone tries to put their best foot forward and you see if you mesh well. The only difference is that you usually don’t end up with your pants around your ankles after an interview, depending on your industry. They say be confident, be natural, be charming, be nice, be firm or be a better version of yourself. None of that is as important as being yourself. With being yourself, you’re confident, you’re charming (if you’re going in to a position where you need to be), you’re natural, you’re nice and you’re comfortable.
Being comfortable with yourself is the most empowered you you can be. It’s tough getting there during an interview and will take practice for most. But the interviewer is just as out of place. They may seem more put together since they’re coming from a position of power but let’s be honest, the interview is an awkward process. Everyone is just trying to be the less awkward of the two, or three in some cases. It’s not often in your life where you’re sitting down in front of someone you don’t know, trying to convince them you’re amazing. Oh wait, that’s almost every day. So why are we so bad at it?
Conflict, which is what this is, is hard. I’m an expert at conflict avoidance. As having the good fortune of being the interviewer more than the interviewee, I can tell you that it’s just as awkward for both sides. Trying to hide the company skeletons with a smile is never easy. Just thinking about it makes my hands clammy.
Pretending to be someone you’re not is not only tiring but tough. There’s a whole study about the imposter syndrome. Not to mention, when a company hires you for who they think you are and not who you actually are, it doesn’t always work out. And after spending hours with your new co-workers, your personality is gonna come out. Sometimes it’s rad, sometimes it’s disappointing. Either way, you’re not being true to yourself.
It’s ok not to know every answer. What people are interested in is that you’re excited to learn and capable. Unless you’re just a hired gun. That usually doesn’t result in the best work environment. So, like you’ve been told your whole life, BE YOURSELF. There’s something to it.