Understandably, you might think that there’s not a lot of upside to showing off your personality in a job interview. There’s a big risk to being seen as overbearing, presumptuous or just plain unlikeable.
However, hiring managers want to hire people that can work alongside current employees, and therefore determining the potential culture fit of applicants is a big part of the interview. If you walk in with an “all-business” attitude, you run the risk of losing out on the position to someone that shows their personality is a good fit for the company.
Common sense should tell you that you need to relax and be yourself in an interview, but that can be easier said than done. The following tips can help you show a bit of personality in an interview without going overboard.
A job interview is a kind of performance, and like any good performer, you need to prepare. Thorough preparation can help to reduce your nerves and feel more confident about showing some personality.
In the run-up to the interview, practice every day. Practice to the point you have everything you want to say down pat and can even improvise. Practice until your reach the point of boredom, as there’s no risk of being bored in an interview.
With enough preparation, your responses will be so automatic, you can focus on delivering them with a bit of personality.
Remember to Smile and Give a Good Handshake
First impressions in a job interview situation are crucial. Therefore, you need to make a concerted effort to smile and offer a good handshake.
You may not be too worried about your handshake, but if you’ve even gotten a bad one, you know it can be memorable for all the wrong reasons. Giving someone The Bonecrusher grip or The Creepy Dead Fish handshake are two things you’ll want to avoid. It might seem silly but ask a trusted friend to evaluate your handshake.
Remember Your Body Language
You may be able to say all the right things to project confidence, but if your body language doesn’t project confidence, your words will be less convincing. Slouching, folding your arms and avoiding eye contact are all body language expressions that project defensiveness or insecurity, so remove those from your vocabulary when you walk into an interview.
Don’t Bring a Comedy Routine
Don’t mistake the benefits of showing a bit of personality in the interview as a license to break out your stand-up routine.
Of course, if you have a funny, safe-for-work story that is relevant to the interview, it’s probably okay to tell. Just don’t focus on hitting punchlines and keep the focus on the work-relevant bits of your anecdote.
Let Us Prepare You for Your Next Interview
At Career Concepts, we connect job seekers to great opportunities and help them through the application process, including the interview. Please contact us today to find out how we can get you your next big job.