Why you should stay true to yourself during interviews

In Hamlet, Polonius certainly gave a great speech on being true to oneself. If you aren’t familiar with the quote, it’s worth a quick Google search. Language has changed a bit since then, but truth certainly has not! And when it comes to your job search, being honest with yourself (and also with recruiters) is crucial.

But isn’t pleasing the interviewer a good thing?

In most cases, the answer is a definite “yes!” But telling an interviewer that a job you don’t want actually appeals to you is definitely an exception to that. At times, it’s tempting to do so. Maybe you’re in a spot where you need a job because you have no cash flow right now. Or maybe you’re working, but it’s just the most awful job ever. In either case, nearly any job seems acceptable. Let’s look at the progression to really see how this typically works out.

In the beginning

At first, the job will likely work out well. As someone with solid work ethic, you’re doing your best work. The employer’s needs are met, and your needs of survival are met. You may even experience a sense of relief that you’re no longer feeling desperate!

But then things begin to shift

Eventually, the memory of a desperate time fades, and you may start noticing a level of dissatisfaction again. That sense of relief dwindles as you start realizing you don’t like this job. As a skilled employee, you can keep doing the job, but an enthusiastic, satisfied person is far more productive than an unhappy one.

At this point, your unhappiness is affecting you and begins to surface in your work as well. Morale and attitude change, and you can think of a million places you’d rather be than your desk. Of course, we all go through periods of time where we feel this way about a job. It’s just not something that should hang over you constantly!

So what do you do next?

Most likely, you start looking around for other jobs. Your experience that got you this job in the first place is still valid. Only now, you have this new job on the resume, and it’s of a short duration. Recruiters may wonder if you took this job only until you could find something better. They may worry that you are doing the same thing with them now as well. The more this cycle recurs, the more challenging it is to stand out to recruiters and hiring managers.

In short…

That cycle is a bit on the dramatic side, but it’s definitely something I’ve seen as a recruiter. And yes, I’ve even fallen into it as a job seeker. It takes a little more perseverance and discipline to stick to your guns and stay true to yourself. But as always, it’s worth it in the end!

Written by Adam Lafield, Recruiter & Marketing Specialist