Job seekers in 2017 face a labor market where employers are seeking a good culture fit.
In part, this is to reduce the risk of having to let someone go and spend more money recruiting a replacement. And in part, it is to ensure that the right team is assembled to move the employer forward and achieve business goals.
To find that right fit, employers spend much more time on hiring now, using behavioral interviews and meetings with many more potential colleagues.
How can a job seeker best respond to this? Be Yourself.
Why is being yourself a good strategy for job interviews? Employers want to hire a real person, someone who has the right abilities, expertise and experience as well as the right values and work ethic. There is almost nothing worse for an employer than being surprised by the person who actually shows up in the job as very different from the person who showed up in the interviews. All those interviews are intended to sniff out the real imposters.
By being true to your own values and answering questions based on your actual experience, you’ll be giving yourself and the employer the chance to make a real match.
You too need to be looking for your right fit job. Most people leave jobs because there is a bad cultural fit, including a bad boss/employee chemistry. If you are yourself, you are less likely to end up in a “bad fit” job.
You’ll also make it easier for yourself to be confident during interviews. Two things happen when you answer the way you think the employer wants you to answer.
- You are probably wrong. We can’t read anyone else’s mind and it’s dangerous to try.
- You’ll be very nervous, trying to remember what you’re supposed to say. Instead, rely on your own experiences.
You’re the real deal already. If you got the interview, you have enough of the required skills and experience to do the job – assuming your resume is honest (and it needs to be!).
In the interview, talk about experiences you’ve actually had, lessons you’ve actually learned, and ideas that are your own. You’ll be confident because you do really know this material as you’ve lived it. That confidence will communicate itself to interviewers, and reassure them that you do know your stuff. People like to hire confident people, especially when it’s based in reality.