How To Be “Yourself” In A Job Interview

Interviews can be a demanding process, you need to demonstrate your skills, your ability to be the ideal employee, your ambitions and enthusiasm, and of course, you need to be “yourself”.

That is a lot to achieve in a stressful situation that typically lasts around an hour.

Most of the media candidates I work with find being “themselves” the most challenging part of the job interview.

Job Interview Tips

First things first, don’t be afraid to act like you.  Clearly you need to act like a professional; your future boss doesn’t need to see what you look like on a Friday night after a few sherbets!  What they will want to see is the person they will be working with day to day.  In short, you need to be your “work self.”

If you try and fake it and act like someone you are not, if you get the job you may find the culture isn’t quite right for you….

Dress for the job you want….

I once worked with an internal sales candidate who hated wearing suits, literally, despised it with a passion. However she kept interviewing for very corporate roles.  She had a Sunday best suit in which she looked exceptionally corporate, but was accustomed to working in a more relaxed attire office.

Her demeanour, sales ability and slick appearance led to her eventually sourcing her own role in a very formal environment, which she left after a month to work in a relaxed, casual, office in Covent Garden – she is still there to this day.

In this instance, her personality was reflected in her choice of clothes.  By wearing the exact opposite she created a persona that simply wasn’t her.

Whilst I would never advocate turning up to a job interview in Bermuda shorts and vest, understanding company culture and dressing accordingly can reveal great insights into your own character.

How to be yourself…

  • Planning: don’t plan to be someone you are not, instead, read the job description and plan examples of when you have demonstrated desired attributes and have examples to hand.
  • Presentation: Dress to impress, but in interview attire reflective of what you would wear to work. See this post on Interview Attire: How To Dress To Impress At Your Job Interview for more advice.
  • Talking: Say what you believe in an interview, rather than what you think someone is looking to hear.  The answers that come naturally from you will best represent you and ensure that should you get the position, you will be happy in your new role.  So if the idea of working in a team fills you with dread, and the idea of working solo makes you want to soar – then say so in an interview appropriate way.

Job interviews are as much an opportunity for you to see whether you are a fit for an agency and a role, as they are for an employer to decide if you are right for them. If your version of “being yourself” does not meet with approval, then maybe the role and agency is not for you.

If you have any questions about how to be yourself (or experiences you would like to share) please leave them below and we will come back to you as soon as possible.