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Are You Making This Common Job Interview Mistake - Revealed: The Secret to Acing Your Next Job Interview

If you’re on the hunt for a new job, you’ve probably heard every trick, hack, and tip in the book.

Yes, there’s no end of people telling you just how you ought to land your dream job. From oozing faux confidence to wearing just the right outfit, there are many ways people think you can win over a potential employer.

One of the biggest pieces of advice you may have heard is to just say ‘yes’ to whatever you’re asked; say you can do everything and figure out how later. But is putting your best foot forward, so to speak, really the way to go? According to a new study published in the Journal of Applied Psychology, simply being yourself and presenting that in a sincere and honest way could be the secret to getting your next big role.

“People are often encouraged to only present the best aspects of themselves at interview so they appear more attractive to employers, but what we’ve found is that high-quality candidates — the top 10% — fare much better when they present who they really are,” explained the study’s co-author Dr SunYoung Lee. “Unfortunately, the same isn’t true for poorer quality candidates who can actually damage their chances of being offered the job by being more authentic.”

The study looked at two samples of people — teachers and lawyers — when they were applying for new roles. In each case, the participants who ‘self-verified’ (i.e. the ones who were honest about their skills and abilities) were more likely to land the job. The researchers noted that those who had this habit found it easier to communicate with interviewers, and so came across as more authentic.

“In a job interview, we often try to present ourselves as perfect. Our study proves this instinct wrong,” explained the study’s Lead author, Dr Celia Moore. “Interviewers perceive an overly polished self-representation as inauthentic and potentially misrepresentative. But ultimately, if you are a high-quality candidate, you can be yourself on the job market. You can be honest and authentic. And if you are, you will be more likely to get a job.”

So, while your impulse may be to bend the truth a little and tell the interviewer just how ‘perfect’ you are, it could be utterly counterproductive. You’re not fooling anyone. Trying to be someone you’re not will shine through brighter than you can imagine and before you know it, the interviewer will see through you. So, how can you be yourself and present yourself well when you bag your next interview?

How to Relax and Be Yourself In Your Next Interview

If you’ve got an interview in the pipeline, you absolutely need to make sure that you’re ready to go! It’s all very well just saying ‘be yourself’ but how does that really work? For some, it may come naturally but others really need to work hard to make sure that they are as authentic as can be. Here are some tips that will help you along the way:

1.  Write down a list of your skills

First of all, you need to get your head straight when it comes to the skills that you already have. Understanding your talents will mean that you can talk honestly about them when you’re asked to describe yourself. Make a list of all the things that you know you’re good at or that you’ve learned in the workplace.

Now comes the tricky part! Under each skill, write down an example of how and when you last used it. Doing so will mean that you have tangible facts behind every claim you make. So, when an interviewer asks you to expand on a certain skill, you will be ready to do it at a moment’s notice.

2.  Practice answering tricky questions

There’s no doubt about it — the interviewer will likely ask you questions that you’re not prepared for. That’s normal. There’s no possible way that you can guess what they’re going to want to know, and so you just can’t prepare for everything. What you can do, though, is make sure that you’re ready for the unanswerable questions.

Practice what you’re going to say when you don’t have the answer. Your speech should be earnest. By saying that you don’t know or understand something but would like to know more, you’re not misleading the interviewer. Instead, you’re showing that you’re a truthful person who has a willingness to learn; two skills that are invaluable.

3.  Relieve your stress before the interview

Much of the time, the reason people are grandiose about themselves is because they are trying to cover up some nerves! If that’s the case, it may help you no end to de-stress before you head to the interview in the first place! You could try a few techniques to help you along the way. From meditation to getting a decent night’s sleep beforehand, there are many ways you can calm yourself. And…. breathe!

So, the next time you head off for an interview, be sure to take the above advice. Simply finding your calm before an interview and being as authentic as possible won’t guarantee you a job, but it is sure to boost your chances. And now, what about you? If you have any tips or advice on how to chill out before an interview, please leave us a comment below! We’d love to hear your thoughts!

Featured image via royalty-free stock photo
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Charlotte Grainger

Charlotte Grainger is a freelance writer and digital journalist. Her main areas of interest are health, lifestyle, and relationships. When she’s not writing, she loves reading, gymming, and socializing.

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