What words come to mind when you think of an interview? Formal? Serious? Suit? What if we told you interviews can be fun? Yes, fun! Many people tend to think that being very formal in an interview and not showing their personality will be translated into how serious they take their work, and while this is true to a certain extent, it’s always important to keep in mind that many organizations are also assessing for culture fit, and therefore, showing your personality helps the hiring managers get a glimpse into how you may fit into the organization. Of course, this doesn’t mean you go overboard and perhaps overshare thus creating an awkward environment, but rather finding a balance between being professional and letting your personality shine. We tell you how with the following three tips.

1. Relax – We know and understand how nerve-wracking it can be to talk to a stranger and try to convince them why you deserve to get hired. (And you do!). And while interviewers also have the responsibility of creating a safe and calm environment for you to feel comfortable, it’s also important to learn how to relax. It’s easier to present your authentic self when you’re calm, otherwise, you risk misrepresenting yourself because you’re anxious and are trying to make an impression of what *you think* the interviewer wants to see or hear. Interviewers want to see the real you, believe that, so here are a few tips you can use to relax during the interview so you can be your true self!

2. Engage, engage, engage! – We have sometimes encountered candidates who are very very brief in their responses when we ask questions, or, just seem to have very low energy, and when asked if they have any questions, say they have none. Contrary to the belief that not asking questions means you fully understand the role and/or organization, to the interviewer, it shows a lack of interest, and possibly, curiosity. We highlighted three questions you can always ask after an interview in this blog. Additionally, don’t let the interviewer be the one doing most of the talking; they’re here to learn more about you – provide as much information as possible that showcases your skills, experience, achievements, and yes, your personality. The STAR methodology is a useful technique to help you answer questions thoughtfully and shows the interviewer that you’re committed to presenting your best self.

3. Avoid scripted like answers – The internet is full of articles with potential questions and answers to different roles that may be asked by an interviewer. These are meant to provide you with guidance, avoid memorizing them, and using them as your own responses. Remember that an interview is an opportunity to set yourself apart from other candidates, therefore, your responses should be unique to your own experiences and successes. Interviewers will know if your responses are memorized. Prepare for the interview but let the conversation flow naturally, don’t cram your potential answers. This may even make you remember something you had not thought of before, as opposed to cramming and possibly blocking your brain from recalling other relevant examples during the interview.

What are some of the tips you have used to showcase your personality in an interview? Share with us at happycareers@edgeperformance.co.ke, where you can also reach out to us for all your career queries. Learn more about positioning yourself as a great candidate here.