Be Authentic Than Correct in a Job Interview


There’s nothing more nerve-wracking than going to an interview.

It’s scary, the interviewer is relentless, and you don’t even know where the questions are coming from. Rejection sucks and you always want to make a great impression so that at least you can get that offer.

The issue is — How authentic should you be in a job interview?

Look, we spend at least 8 hours in the office. More if we overtime. Jobstreet’s right — We spend at least a third of our lives at work — way more time than we spend with our own family.

If you’re going to spend that much time in a job, make it the job that really fits the authentic you. Not the mabola (unauthentic) you at the interview.

Because once you get the job, all the lies you told at the interview will come and bite you in the butt, and you’d have to face the music. What’s the point of getting an offer if you’d hate the job anyway?

Sayang lang ng oras!

It’s a waste of time for your employer. And it’s even more of a waste of time for you. Because if you were just authentic in a job interview, you would have found an even better job that fits your more authentic self.

I remember the time when I was interviewed at Tiffany’s in Taipei (Yes, the diamond company), and was so disappointed that I did not get an offer. Honestly, they needed someone who was fluent in Chinese both conversationally and in writing. I just was not it. I pushed and tried for the role, but it was not truly me. I was so disappointed.

Little did I know that my not being accepted in Tiffany’s allowed me to find my true calling in a Swiss investment bank. They didn’t need me to write in Chinese, just speak it. And they appreciated my sociability, my ability to talk to random strangers and my razor-sharp organizational skills. I spent over four happy years with them, and always felt appreciated for my authentic self.

The years went by so fast, and I totally enjoyed the experience that it didn’t really feel like I was working, but playing at work. I would never have gotten the job if I hid who I was during the interview and just gave boring, lifeless, standard answers that are a dime a dozen.

Hot Tip?

Job Applicants should be as honest and as authentic as they can be in an interview. Seasoned interviewers will know if you lied a mile away. Your answers won’t make logical sense. You can’t defend your answers if you don’t really believe in what you’re saying. And you just sound plain

Interviewers hate applicants who aren’t authentic.

We would know.
Like the time when we were hiring for an Office Staff. One of the requirements was someone who had a working knowledge of Photoshop. Jobstreet gave us a whopping 300 applicants for that single job posting.

Apparently, an Office Staff position was in high demand for new graduates.

Given the high competition, many claimed to have a basic knowledge of Photoshop and proudly said they can do it when asked. The problem was, we asked them to do Photoshop in front of us. Once they were in front of the computer, it was clear that they only have a super rudiment knowledge of the program, and it showed.

Nagmukha tuloy silang mabola. Needless to say, they weren’t hired.

If you’re looking for a job, be authentic than correct.

We interviewers want to know the real YOU. Not the politically correct you.

Fearlessly tell me that your mom is a single mom or your dad is a farmer who toiled the soil to ensure you finished university.

Tell us about the time you failed and bounced back.

Share with us the type of person you are, how you work, and what are you truly looking for in a job.

Tell us about your struggle in finding a job: One applicant courageously told me I was his 10th interview in one month, and I hired him. He’s one of our valued regular employees today.

Be shameless about where you came from, and how you got to where you are today.

If you’re insecure about your family’s financial resources, your background, your parents or your upbringing, don’t be. We honestly don’t care.

What we only care about is 1) Whether or not you can do the job, and 2) Will you be a cultural fit in our organization?

Competency comes in your educational and work background. Can’t do much about that except being prepared.

But cultural fit requires you to be honest.

A job interview is an exchange — The interviewer wants to know more about you, and you will want to know more about the company. Trust me, the salary should not be the most important factor.
The most important thing is you’ll like the job. Because if you do get the job, you’ll be spending 40 hours or more in a week on THAT job. So you’d better like the job you’re going to do, the people you’ll work with, and the person you will become.

Always be authentic.

Because an interview is around 15/30 minutes of your life. Maybe a few panel interviews. In the grand scheme of things, that’s nothing.

But the jobs you will take over your lifetime will be 1/3 of your life.

So when looking for a job, find a job that’s the right fit for the Authentic YOU, and not the Mabola You.

Good luck in your interview!

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