You’ve probably heard the expression “fake it until you make it” at least once in relation to job interviews. The idea is that you need to adjust your personality in order to be attractive to potential employers. Is this the right approach or should you just be yourself?
The majority of the time the answer is to be yourself. It’s pretty hard to be a completely different person for half of the day unless you are a professional actor, so it’s better to show the hiring manager your true personality. There’s no sense faking a persona just to fit into an environment that doesn’t suit your style. This will only end up making you miserable and you’ll be looking for a new job before you know it.
So yes, it’s best to be yourself during an interview but there are some exceptions. You have to remember that you are in a professional environment which means you shouldn’t talk exactly how you would with your best friends. That means cutting out the slang and coming into the office looking like you just rolled out of bed. If any of these things describe your true personality then you probably should tone those behaviors down if you want to make a good impression.
Here are some behavioral dos and don’ts for your next nonprofit job interview:
- Come to the interview dressed professionally.
- Act professionally, exhibiting good manners (saying “thank you,” making eye contact).
- Conceal any tattoos or piercings you have. For men, make sure you are cleanly shaved.
- Turn your cell phone off.
- Wear t-shirts or sneakers.
- Act like you are above the interviewer.
- Pretend you know more than you do.
- Lie on your resume or cover letter.