Don't Be A Sellout - Interview Culture
"Selling Yourself." These days, that's called Interview Culture.
Interviews have become more about putting on a face and practicing to answer the same old worn-out questions. But is this really the best way to find a dedicated, dependable employee? Let's dive in.......
I. Hate. Interviews.
I know. Who doesn't, right? But, unless you just love to talk about yourself, you probably do not enjoy the interview process we all know and love to hate today. I hate talking about myself, my past, and my skills. It is like bragging, and I don't really do that. I didn't realize how much my personality clashes with interview culture until my Aunt pointed out how much I hold back about my skills, goals, and work accomplishments. She said, "I know you don't like to talk about yourself, and it takes a lot for you to be persistent with people, but sometimes that's what it takes to get the job!"
Being persistent, confident, outspoken, and downright "braggy" is how you get noticed. Unfortunately, not everyone has that personality type, and I have to reach out of my comfort zone to be heard sometimes. But, in some cases, being a little more confident than you usually would be is the key to success in an interview.
Back to talking about the dreaded INTERVIEWS:
All through school, you were probably taught interview "skills." You had to do mock interviews and classmate interviews where you pretended to care about their answers, and some of you may have had to interview to earn a leadership position. We're all familiar with the idea of "selling yourself." Selling your skills, strengths, goals–and even selling your weaknesses.
Let me explain:
In an interview, you are supposed to be trying to make an excellent first impression. Therefore, the interviewer will inevitably ask the strength and weakness questions. To make a good impression, you must answer the strength question positively and uniquely that is relevant to the job you want. On the other hand, to answer the weakness question and keep yourself in a positive light, you either have to lie or spin your weakness in such a way that makes you still look good in the interviewer's eyes.
To me, this seems entirely too fake. And this is what we were taught to do!
Overall, I wish the interview culture was more down-to-earth. For example, I was told in school that you should not wear red to an interview. So why do we nit-pick and psycho-analyze everything, even down to what colors we wear? Why not look nice for your interview, but dress like YOU?
It puzzles me to think that employers want to hire the best fit for the job opening, yet the people interviewing do not even act like themselves. And how can they? Potential employers expect perfection in an interview. Therefore, anything you say can and will be interpreted according to someone else's opinion. Mostly, I would like opinions about what is best in an interview to go away because, in the end, these interview tips and tricks are precisely that: opinions.