The Job Interview: How Honest Do You Have To Be?

By: bigduke
You've been told to listen carefully to the employer who's interviewing you, determine exactly what qualities and abilities he or she is looking for, and then show you have exactly those qualities and abilities. Perhaps you've asked yourself how honest it is to redefine yourself for every new job interview. After all, you are who you are, aren't you?

It's not really that simple.

You're not a one-function machine, capable of attaining only a single goal. You're a sophisticated, educated human being with the potential for doing many things well. In a way, you're like a computer, capable of performing a variety of tasks. To a customer who needs word processing, a computer salesperson positions the computer he's selling as a word processor. To a customer who wants to manage a data base, the salesperson explains the data base management capabilities of the computer. And so on, for graphics, computer aided design, mathematical analysis, or whatever else the customer needs.

Same computer.

Similarly, no employer wants to tap everything of which you're capable, only a defined portion of your abilities.

So it's not unreasonable, or dishonest, for you to stress those things about yourself that are important to the employer, provided:

1. You don't lie. (Lies have a nasty way of coming back to haunt you.)

2. You're certain you can do the job successfully once you get it. Because once the selection is made, and you're on the job, performance and the ability to fit in comfortably are really the only things that matter. Nobody's going to accuse you of misrepresenting yourself if you're doing a great job.

If you insist on taking a hard line on objective reality ("This is me, this is what I think, this is the way I dress, this is what I want out of life. If you want me you'll have to take me for who I am.") you can bet you'll be in for a rough time in the marketplace. Yes, there's plenty of room for individuality, but generally you have to express it within the accepted parameters of professional conduct. You have to be willing to play the game. Inflexible people, especially those with an overblown sense of their own importance or infallibility, find it difficult to fit in..

As any politician who's ever campaigned for office will confirm, no matter how great your potential is, you can't do anything until you get elected. And that's what you're trying to do in the job marketplace -- get elected.
Careers and Job Hunting
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 

» More on Careers and Job Hunting
 



Share this article :
Click to see more related articles