How to show your personality in a job interview
People often mistake ‘acting professionally’ to ‘faking personality’. You can be yourself and still be professional. In as much as interviews are not a family meeting and you shouldn’t be informal, it shouldn’t also be boring. It would be welcomed for you to display your personality during your interview.
Displaying your personality makes the interview more engaging, makes you connect more with your interviewer and also makes them see the real you. It would enable them to tell if you fit into the company culture and of course, all employers would want to hire someone they can connect with or someone they feel they have known to some extent.
Nervousness can, however, prevent some people from showing their personality in interviews. We will be giving you some tips on the best way to highlight your personality at a job interview.
Things to do before the interview
- Practice interviewing on your own and be prepared for the questions. Practicing and making proper preparations will make you more relax and reduce the tendency of getting nervous when the real interview comes. This is because practice always pays off. It will reflect in the manner with which you tackle the questions with ease.
- You should know that first impression is highly important. It doesn’t take most professional hiring managers more than 5 minutes to form an impression of you. And when an impression of someone is made, it usually sticks and is often difficult to change even when that person has proven to be otherwise.
If you start the interview by giving the interviewer the slightest notion that you are shy, even when you are back on track, the interviewer will still see you as shy and timid.
Therefore, from the very beginning, you should be at your best and present yourself in the best possible way.
- Be punctual so you get the time to loosen up and get your thoughts together. Avoid coming late and putting yourself through even more stress of having to hurry and sweating yourself out to meet up. Make plans to arrive early so you get some time to sit down, relax and get your mindset for the interview.
- Try to relax when you get to the interview venue. You really cannot be yourself or act like your normal self when you are not relaxed. Being relaxed means that you are not anxious and that you do not let your nerves get the better part of you. It also allows you to show yourself in the very best possible way.
You could meditate or do some other relaxation techniques like deep breathing before the onset of the interview.
You could be lucky to have a friendly interviewer interview you. Such skilled interview might want to start by engaging you in a banter. In this way, you become freer and gain more rapport with him or her.
How to make your impression during the interview
- Walk into the room with confidence. Don’t just saunter into the room in a careless manner. While no one is asking that you become stiff, you should learn to take smart steps across the room. Do not go into the room sweaty and fidgety either. It is a sign that you are nervous.
- Greet everyone with a friendly handshake. Extending your hands for a handshake will further portray your confidence. It will add a bonus to your mark. Irrespective of the type of interview or the number of interviewers, don’t sway under the stares. Rather, stand tall; give a firm but brief handshake to them while at the same time making eye contact with them.
- Be conscious of your body language. Your body language is part of your communication skill and is as important as the verbal part. To continue looking confident, you should use the right posture. When standing, stand upright and when sitting, sit up. Do not slouch. Avoid tapping your feet repeatedly, making fidgety movements with your hands or biting your fingers. They are all signs of shyness or nervousness.
- While keeping it professional, don’t forget to show your sense of humor. It is okay to show your sense of humor. Laugh when a funny comment is made. You can crack a joke yourself; however, avoid being sarcastic or inappropriate remarks. Be friendly and witty but don’t go overboard. Remember your reason for coming to the interview is not to stage a comedy but rather to prove that you are the best fit for the job that showcases your skills, experiences, and qualifications.
- Answer interview questions by giving specific examples of your experiences that highlight your personality. Your answers to the questions should back up your claims on your ability to carry on with the responsibilities that come with the job. This will also help the interviewer confirm your personality, understand it better and make them see what your personality has helped you achieve in the past.
For instance, instead of just saying you have a team spirit and leadership skills, you can talk of when you led your team on a project that turned out successful. This will show that you have the potentials to lead, work as a team and motivate others.
- Avoid sounding negative. When answering the questions avoid focusing on the negative parts of your story. Rather, you talk about the positive part, the lessons you learned, the pleasant experiences and how you plan on contributing to this company. Talk about what motivates you and what excites you about the job.
- Be yourself and avoid acting. No one is asking you to turn to an actor. If you are indeed displaying your personality, then it should only come naturally. Your interviewers want to see the real you and how you react when subjected to pressure. But, if you are trying too hard, it will appear bogus and will be all that you are trying to be who you are not. Soon, you will get weary of it yourself.
- Remember to smile through it all. Start and end your interview with a genuine (not fake or sheepish) smile. When you smile, it says a lot about your personality. Smiling portrays you as someone that s fun-loving, is approachable and is always happy.
Job Interview Topics – Common Job Interview Questions & Answers
Below you can find a list of common job interview topics. Each link will direct you to an article regarding the specific topics that discuss commonly asked interview questions. Furthermore, each article discusses why the interviewer asks these questions and how you answer them!
- Career Change
- Career Goals
- Conflict Resolution
- Creative Thinking
- Cultural Fit
- Customer Service
- Growth Potential
- Honesty & Integrity
- Job Satisfaction
- Entry-Level & No experience
- Prioritization & Time Management
- Situational & Scenario-based
- Stress Management
- Telephone Interview
- Work Ethic