Why being authentic at a job interview?

authentic job interview

As we become grown ups, authenticity is one of those words which are less and less making sense. There is this thing that people tend to feel as they go over every step of their lives: School, University, Summer Job, Internship, Graduation, Career. The truth is people are not less and less authentic they just learn to show less and less authenticity.


Because authenticity is or could be a synonym or vulnerability and vulnerability makes people look weak. In fact, it is vulnerability that makes people discover their real truth and real truth makes people stronger. When we go through those difficult moments in life where things don't go as planned or they just do not turn out the way we were hoping.

At this exact moment, our vulnerability gets the control over who we are and shows our weaknesses. In those moments we like to cry, we like to feel hopeless, we feel the world is not fair and we feel simply empty.

Believe us or not but that emptiness that you feel is this exact same one that creates your strength and who shapes the person you become. This emptiness makes your brain open to new horizons. It makes you think differently.

At first, you may see things worse than they are but with time, worst thoughts will go away to let space for new ideas, new thinking, new reasoning and will get you to new strengths. All your strengths were shaped out of weaknesses and they are the reason why you decided whether you want to apply for this job position. Your strengths are the element you are going to use in your career which will help you get to the place you want to be.

Every hiring manager has a big responsibility to let come in the company, someone who will belong to the family. Sure, this family might be different based on the company you are going to work for, but still it needs authenticity.

If it is a start-up you may feel this family feeling stronger than if you are going to work for an International Corporate with thousands of employees. Eventually, even in a big corporate, the family feeling will come out from your team, your manager or perhaps even from the department itself.

A hiring manager is a person who was given the responsibility to let more people inside the family. Whether this one is big or small, this is what hiring is about. At first, it is not about how much money you will get or how many paid days you will place but how much you will feel for the family. That is the exact reason why showing authenticity can lead you to better success during a job interview and along your career.

Hiring managers will hire candidates who are authentic during job interviews because they know what to expect about the employees.

authenticity job interview

Now, what does it mean being authentic during a job interview? What should you consider about authenticity?

During his/her career a hiring manager will perform dozens of interviews maybe more. Now, think that most people seeking for a job will go through the same process:

1) They will read the company website,

2) They will try to look up for the hiring manager name on Google

3) They will read those ten most asked questions during an interview

4) Learn those answers to the questions.

The problem with this type of preparation is that the hiring manager who has performed dozens of job interviews have heard the same answers repeatedly. Sometimes, it could work but in most cases it will not.


Because there is no authenticity in Google’s words, it does not belong to you and it does not show who you are.

At the end it is almost similar to telling white lies and guess what, no one would hire a candidate if they had even the tiniest feeling that something was not true.

To the question, where do you see yourself in 10 years, why would you ask your computer what to say? Ask yourself instead.

The good news is that you do not need Google, you have already in yourself, all the answers.

Trust us, Google does not know you better than yourself. Google doesn’t know either about authenticity.

Here is the secret to get yourself on a high-performance job interview level, the first step is right, look up for those ten most asked questions. I would say, push it even further. Go for the twenty most asked questions during a job interview.

However, what you will do next is different, you will not be looking on Google for the answers, but you will answer yourself on a piece of paper. You will take the time to think of each answer. This part is very important, you need to be clear about yourself. You need to apply authenticity.

To be authentic, you need to be able to summarize your past from education to professional experience in a very synthetic way. You highlight the most important part.

preparing for an interview

Then you need to figure out where you stand today.

Answer the questions like:

  • What do you not like about your work/internship?

  • What are the things you are excited about?

  • What drives you in a job?

It might be difficult to know all of that, but you can also look at what you like to do in your personal time:

  • Do you like to listen to your friend about their love stories?

  • Do you like to run, take photographs, are you on an artistic project?

  • Do you like to watch TV?

  • Do you like to spend time on your own?

All those aspects of your personal life tell a lot about how and what your professional career should look like. And how authenticity is a part of it.

Now after summarizing your past and figuring out about your present, you will then look at your future.

  • What?

  • Where?

  • Who?

  • With whom will you be working with in ten years?

  • How do you imagine your career path to be?

The key is to be clear about yourself:

  1. Who you were as a person?

  2. Who you are today?

  3. Who you want to be?

After answering the above questions, does the job position you are applying for still fit your ambition? Would it be a good step to support your career plan? Does it meet authenticity?

If the answer is YES, then it's time to move to the next and final step.

You now need to take the job description you are applying for and think of the hiring manager position.

  • What could be the hiring manager’s work life?

  • What challenges could he/she experience?

  • What could be his/her objectives? Its vision?

  • What skills might he/she need in the team.

As an example, if you go for a job interview in Finance:

  • Challenges: Might be meeting deadlines, managing high workload, working with demanding stakeholders.

  • Objectives: Could be handing in a report by the end of each month, finding opportunities to save-up money, matching audit requirements.

  • Vision: Could be having high collaboration between his team members, so they become independent and can rely on each other.

  • Skills: the ones needed will be good with numbers, patient, problem solver, with time management.

Once you have

1) your questions

2) your authentic answers and

3) the challenges, objectives, vision and skills that the hiring manager needs

You need to build your answer based on the elements that you have worked on and you have it all!

Make sure you always combine authenticity with the needs of the hiring manager. So you show who you are but you also demonstrate a good understanding of the job position and the challenges.

If you are interested in getting into a real-life practice session, The Ambitious provides online job interview preparation. It will help you articulate your answers and get you prepared for your next job interview. We coach you on authenticity but also on many other topics such as interview questions and answers, small talks, soft skills etc.

The Ambitious first coaching session is about 39 euros for one hour of interview preparation.

With one hour you will get the foundation and the main tips to score and stand out from other candidates. You can click here to book online or check out jointheambitious.com site for more information.

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