It can be easy to lose yourself in the interview process. You become a chameleon, constantly recasting yourself to fit the needs of each unique position with every different institution. That is a mistake. Even if that would land you an interview—or even a job offer—it will not yield a long-term match. While organizations do want someone who can fulfill the job duties, they ultimately desire someone who can inhabit and expand a role. The interview process is about learning about each other and seeing if your experience and identity are a good fit for their needs and trajectory. We have three tips to present your authentic self in an interview.
Tell your story. When answering questions, don’t give canned abstract answers. Use real situations to fill out who you are and how you approach problems.
Share your values. Your interviewers don’t just want to understand what you do, but why you do it. Explain your motivation and goals as you discuss your approach. Show them how your priorities align with their vision.
Connect. Authenticity is about a genuine interaction between two people. Don’t be so focused on presenting your true self that you forget about your interviewer. Shake their hand. Look them in the eye. Actively listen when they talk.